Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Humbling Experience

Blogito Ergo Sum?
Opinion: Thoughts on blogging

Samuel Pepys: Ahead of the blogging trend

One of my pals has asked me to explain why I blog. It’s a valid question. Indeed, the internet is filled with cries of "Why do we blog?"

I started blogging when a musician friend suggested it. After a colleague, herself a blogger (Hola, amiga!), showed me the ropes, I was hooked.

The main reason I blog is to communicate with other music fans, though my interest is beyond fandom, it's closer to maniacal compulsion. If I can inspire one of my millions of readers to check out Ornette Coleman, The Zombies or Melt Banana, then I feel I have done a service for both the artist concerned and the cause of subjective good taste.

Writing this random diary of thoughts and events also helps me clarify in my own tiny mind why a particular tune resonates with me. It's fun to write, and blogging has helped me rediscover my passion for wordsmithery. Moreover it's a great way to show off - there's an undeniable Hey, look at me! aspect to blogging.

Though I'm not a professional writer, I try to write in readable prose since I'm wary of coming across as clumsy or pseudo-intellectual - I had serious doubts about my Mahler posting - but it's only a blog and one shouldn't take it too seriously.

Having said that, I've been shocked recently to discover that some readers of this blog actually think I know what I'm talking about.

. Well, I guess that's a reason for me try and effect some degree of quality control. I'm humbled that someone somewhere would devote their precious time to reading my rants. Incidentally, my Stat Counter reveals that on average about 15 new readers check Islands of Ecstasy each day. I'll try not to letcha down, folks!

To sum up, the blogosphere is a place where we can assert our existence, even on a tiny scale. But beware, for blogging can be a humbling experience. When I awoke one night with the phrase "Blogito, ergo sum" tattooed on my mind, I became drunk with excitement. I was convinced I had tapped into the zeitgeist and coined a cool, era-defining phrase. Then I checked the internet and found that it was filled with millions of other bloggers proclaiming that they too were blogito ergo summing.


Jimmy Little said...

Jeez, Mr le Soy, I never thought you always knew what you were talking about :-). Incidentally, you should check out Mahler's Tenth (in Deryck Cooke's version) if you like the ninth. The 10th's first movement's definitely something to write home about….

Shiffi Le Soy said...

Ah Jimmy Little, there's no pulling the wool over your handsome eyes, is there! You saw right through me! Love your websites by the way, you remind me very much of a weird Scottish-Australian guitarist I knew in Oakland, Cali. There are a lot of strange holes in the ground around there.

spaewaif said...

Ha! I wondered what had happened to your Mahler post since it seemed to have disappeared.
So far I haven't been able to get into his work -all that drama!-but who knows,maybe in the future,
considering one of last year's discoveries was Beethoven's Piano Sonatas by Schiff!
Now,Mr Soy,what *I* want to know is how you got the header background photo to work!!!
Been trying to get it right but it's been useless!

Shiffi Le Soy said...

Hi Spaewaif. Yes I did a bit of fine tuning on the Mahler thingy.

With regard to the header - search for "Screencast: Customize Your Blogger Header".That should do it.
The trickiest part - though not really that tricky - was sizing my original image to fit the header box. By a process of trial and error I finally got it right.

My question to YOU is - what's the best way ta get some tunes embedded in my blog so they don't have to open in iTunes or a new window, I have one I'd like to use (XSPF) but it's been defeating me. It says I have to download songs to my web server. Er...what's my web server? Yahoo? Blogger? Im confused

spaewaif said...

Yes,I went to "customise" and it asks me to go to "layout" but instead of layout,I get "template" and then,then... I am lost!
Regarding the player,there are myriads of them you can embed in your blog.
I don't know XSPF but the ones I am familiar with are easy to use.You register and then upload the songs onto THEIR server which keeps them there like,forever!

spaewaif said...

Have briefly checked XSPF and unless I am wrong,which is quite likely, you need to have your own website/domain to embed it.
That is why it asks you to upload to your server,that is,your provider's network...maybe...

Jimmy Little said...

E, lad! There are still a bunch of strange holes 'round here, but all the good ones are gone, unfortunately (buried under the lifestyle lofts now plaguing Oaktown and E'ville), so I make do taking photos of people instead.... I've been enjoying yer blog on the sly, but I guess I've been outed now. Oh well, that's the price of unfamy, I guess. Pip pip and all that rot from not-so-sunny Cali...

Shiffi Le Soy said...

Outed! It were the red chair that gave you away! BTW are you still the owner of a sleek blue and white fender Statocaster? I miss that baby! Oh, and those holes weren't strange, they wuz interesting....

Shiffi Le Soy said...

Hi Spaewaif,

A bit more info about that header.

From Layout you've gone to Template. Good.
Now Look at the header box, right there under the Navbar.
Click Edit.
You should see a Configure Header box.
There's an Image/From your computer box.
Make sure that's checked and browse your hard drive to find the photo you want.
Save changes and the image should appear in your header.

spaewaif said...

Me again,thank you for your clear post and instructions,thing is I am still working with the old,classic template which is why I don't have any of the layout widgets! (like the header box!)
If I move to the new format,I will lose many of the changes I included in the template so will have to wait till I have more time in my hands.
I quite like my blog's header as it is but wanted to explore new possibilities.
Some other time then.

Jimmy Little said...

Yes, I still own the Blue Strat, but it seems to spend way too much of its life chez Duffy nowadays, which is a shame. Wish I had more time to actually play it and all the other instruments lying around here. And there's plenty of interesting holes where I now live (Lovely Industrial East Oakland), but even they're being slowly filled in by the Lifestyle Lofters... trendy Oakland? Who knew?!

Cushion Meg said...

Hi Shiffi,

You wrote about why you blog.. I deeply sympathised with your opinion that it's fun to write, and your passion for wordsmithery: an art of saying things. What we seek to establish is a correspondence between the thoughts or emotions and the expressions we employ which include nothing wrong or excessive. I doubt it's possible to achieve that correspondence perfectly, but we can reach a close approximation. The thinking process is indeed fun. Cogito ergo sum!

"Man is but a reed, the most feeble in nature; but he is a thinking reed"

"The grandeur of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable."

"We would never travel on the sea if we had no hope of telling about it later. Even philosophers wish for admirers."

- Blaise Pascal

miles and ikuko and noah said...

hey mate great blog
i really like the way you write about music and how you listen to it
and you're probably write about samuel pepys!