Friday, October 17, 2008

Weblog and Dialogue

I just installed a handy little device to count visitors to my blog. I wondered if many people were reading what I have to say. I have a few readers that I know of, the ones who sometimes comment. So when I write something, I sort of picture this little crowd in my mind.

Today I went to check on the counter, expecting to see a number like five or maybe even 10. Instead, 79! What? Seventy-nine folks dropped by to read what I had to say?!? Okay, if you're a blogging veteran, this may seem like a teeny number to you, but to me, it's huge.

If that is the kind of traffic flowing through here, I wonder why only a few comments appear after some posts?

So let me put this out there: I am more than a little fond of the dialogic process (as theorist Mikhail Bakhtin calls it). You might even say I am totally into it.

What do I mean by that? Well, here is a high-falutin', convoluted explanation from Wikipedia:

"[V]arious approaches coexist and are comparatively existential and relativistic in their interaction. Here, each ideology can hold more salience in particular circumstances. Changes can be made within these ideologies if a strategy does not have the desired effect. Thus, these entities do not necessarily merge (or become subjugated) into bigger entities as in the dialectic process, but nonetheless modify themselves (sometimes fundamentally) over the course of mutual interaction."

And now, after reading that, you're probably still wondering what I mean.

I mean that I value --very highly -- dialogue and its role in learning and in developing opinions about things. When I write something here, it is by no means finished. It is just one side of an argument waiting for its other parts, waiting for counter arguments, supplements, and clarifications.

So if you're already here, why not add a comment too? I'm really interested in what you think. Whether you agree or disagree, or if you want to straighten me out on some point, please comment. I welcome all relevant, non-commercial comments.

And thank you for reading!

P.S. Interesting little side fact: Bakhtin (pictured above), author of The Dialogic Imagination, used his old writings to roll cigarettes when he ran out of rolling papers. The writings that remain are nothing short of amazing, so we can only regret the loss of those thoughts that went up in smoke.


"Bob" said...

Isn't it amazing when you realize people are actually reading what you write? (also slightly intimidating) When I have more time (I should be working on an assignment) I'll work my way backward through your bloggage.

Do you suppose blogs might be the ultimate in dialogic intercourse?

I'd wondered what became of you. I haven't heard from you for a long time and was surprised when I read on Jack's blog that you are working for him. Jack was my first editor at the Arcata Union, many years ago - what a great guy.

From the snide remark in your links section I suspect you have not gotten over your Journal freelancing experience. I hope you're not still mad at me for roping you into writing for us.

Incidentally, your hit counter was going crazy when I visited. It would seem that some new reader is checking out your blog every second.

Indie said...

Bob!!!!! Of course I'm not mad at you! You roped me in to write for Emily, not that other yahoo. It wasn't your fault.

I'm living the quiet life in Mack Town and wasn't really looking for a job so much as a way to get to know the town. However I absolutely adore Jack; sometimes I think I should be paying HIM to work there!

And that counter is just an animated image illustrating this post. The real counter is at the very bottom left and says some modest number <100.

Stay in touch! I was just thinking of you today and wishing I could ask advice on creating a community calendar. Also, I still have your mini-tape recorder.

Anonymous said...

Commenters will always be a minority of your readers. There are a lot of wallflowers.

Indie said...

That's so inspiring.