Scott Hardie | October 6, 2003
In writing a comment to someone's weblog recently, I complimented him on being down-to-earth and not straining to make jokes all the time. If what he's discussing happens to be funny, he'll make a joke, but he doesn't go out of his way to be hilarious, constructing his weblog like a comedy routine. (I hope what I wrote was interpreted correctly as a compliment; I'm tired of being misunderstood in that way.) This has gotten me thinking about weblogs and web journals in general, and I've come to realize that I don't like the jokey weblogs. Sure, I read defective yeti and Izzle Pfaff and others that emphasize the yuk-yuks, but increasingly I want someone to just level with me, to tell it like it is, instead of always putting on a show.

I guess it's like this: When you were a kid, did you have a friend who was the youngest child in the family, the kind who was always singing and acting silly and begging for attention? Sure the friend made you laugh, but after a while you got tired of being treated like an audience. On some level, you felt like a tool for your friend's self-validation.

It's probably just me. I like connecting with people online; it's why you see your names and faces on here. When I visit a weblog, I tend to write comments as though I'm an equal participant in some kind of open discussion with the author and the other users, which is not the case. But it's this natural way of thinking I have that makes me prefer weblogs where the author seems to be talking to me directly about a topic that really interests him or her, instead of using it to put on a show for attention, so he or she can feel like such a charming, witty writer all the time. Does anybody else sometimes feel this way, or am I just nuts?

(And as long as I'm on the topic, I may as well mention the other kind of weblog that turns me off, the mass of hyperlinks. You know the kind; they can't go two sentences without linking to something, and they don't really discuss what they link, they seem just to want to point it out to you. Ugh. Find something to say! Be interesting!)

Jackie Mason | October 7, 2003
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