Review of Ten “Blogging Platforms”

Jul. 13, 2010
Tao Lin (b. 1983) is the author of 7 books of fiction/poetry including Taipei (2013) and Richard Yates (2010). He ...

XANGA

Seems like something discovered at the bottom of a “deceptively pond-like, very deep” lake 40 miles outside Montreal in the form of a “bejeweled” 8 GB memory stick within a waterproof [something] in 1932 by a confused 74-year-old diver who donates it to a for-profit Natural History museum idly owned by an industrial-parts corporation, where it remains in an “idly unpopular” showcase entitled “lake finds” until 1999 when an unpaid intern idly uploads it to megaupload.com. Just failed to think of an explanation why no one discusses “8 GB memory stick existing in 1932”—which maybe can be viewed as “another” manifestation of the mysterious force that stops people from discussing [aforementioned topic]. I associate Xanga with “non-minimalist pog designs” and maybe “eyebrow rings as ‘worn’ by 9th-grade males.” If I worked for Absolut I would comprehensively introduce (via charts/studies/5-year-plan) the idea of Absolut Xanga and a few days after the idea is rejected begin saying “Absolut Xanga,” in a non-sequitur manner with a bored facial expression, so frequently—mostly during “pauses” in conversations but also to interrupt people’s monologues and as a response to [anything]—that I am “laid off” in a manner that, six months later, in a court of law, having “pressed charges” against Absolut for “wrongful termination,” a jury will actually sentence me to 26 months in a medium-security federal prison, where I will be “murdered” by a “tightly-knit coalition of inmates, inmate visitors, and prison guards” (the particular “banding-together” configuration of which will, within four hours, be optioned for film in a “six entity bidding war”) for repeatedly saying “Xanga” as a substitute for “damn,” “Jesus,” “oh,” “yes,” “maybe,” “no,” [comfortable silence]. I think I’ve met one person who used Xanga, in 2003, at NYU—an acquaintance’s roommate majoring in “comp lit” named Sharon.

BLOGGER

Seems like if blogging platforms were pets Blogger would be “dog” due to its range of customizability via “full template access”/“ability to ‘hide’ the ‘navigator bar.’” Maybe 15-35% of Blogger blogs seem equivalent to [“exotic” dog species] dyed bright or dark [color not black or white] with [subcultural hairstyle like “mullet” or “mohawk”] wearing [outfit humans wear on special occasions]. Cats, hamsters, rabbits, fish seem much less customizable than dogs. I use Blogger—or “.blogspot.com”—as my main website.

WORDPRESS

Seems like if a small group of extraterrestrials, as depicted in “alien abduction” episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, in terms of my memory (gray, large-headed, severely depressed, “deadpan”), were “stranded” on Earth they would “gravitate” to WordPress in a neurotic manner, eventually believing “the only way to ‘feel okay’ while conscious is to ‘actively be doing productive WordPress things’ while at least eight other windows are open to WordPress blogs or significant articles about WordPress, each window ‘at least 8% in view,’ a mild logistical challenge.” These extraterrestrials will be viewed as if they “don’t actually exist” or are “simply insane, within the normal/not-notable statistics of insanity in certain populations” or are “doing it on purpose”/“faking it”/“being ‘ironic’” by their peers in [Alpha Centauri maybe], despite every “rescue team” (28 in 6500 years) failing to rescue anyone or even leave their spaceships (except to attend monthly WordPress “meet-ups”), in some cases not even “landing,” simply remaining “in an orbit within range of WordPress servers,” due to “also becoming ‘addicted’ to WordPress.” Eventually the entire extraterrestrial race will be “destroyed” by WordPress in “the ‘calmly inadvertent’ manner” historians will discover, with some surprise, is not uncommon to mass extinctions in the post-internet age. Seems like when I use the word “WordPress” in a sentence it becomes more difficult to be sarcastic, creative, or “playful” in the same sentence (unless I focus on extraterrestrials, I’ve noticed, during edits), to a degree that I feel it factually has some power in this manner—that in 2015 while line-editing my third novel I will gradually realize that for more than six minutes I have been watching a “20/20 Special Report” entitled “WordPress: secret powers of tonal influence and the pyramids at Giza” in a YouTube video embedded on a site I don’t recognize at all. Also seems like the MySpace of blogging platforms if Tumblr were Facebook and “people who ‘like’ MySpace for its ‘unique quality of badness’” didn’t exist. Seems vaguely Robocop-esque, like either Robocop’s “mainframe” is “powered” by WordPress or that Robocop secretly maintains something like 60 different WordPress blogs, or that an abstraction-to-object “conversion machine” consistently “yields” Robocop via WordPress. If I didn’t know it was a blogging platform I might—based on a vague intuition of its brand and the word “WordPress”—think it was a strangely bleak, futuristic company that builds tanks but doesn’t sell them, only “collects” them, though its official website firmly denies that they “collect” “anything.”

LIVEJOURNAL

Not sure at all what’s happening with LiveJournal currently or in the past eight to twelve years. Seems possible that something like “Mountain Dew bought it” or “it was abandoned but people are still using it” has happened. Seems to lack a meme-able CEO or high-level executive to a degree that I honestly “suspect,” to some degree, with some sarcasm, that it’s owned by a socialistic collective of 39,291 anonymous teenagers across North and Central America—14,219 in or around Mexico City—or maybe a single person who, unknown to itself and everyone else, was born with an anti-memetic genetic code, able “without trying” to “completely absorb” or “deflect at a speed greater than the speed of light” any “non-boring” information that a skilled blogger/journalist could conceivably associate with it for purposes of “mad hits,” including that “it has anti-memetic DNA/RNA” and “it ‘accidentally’ invented time-travel.” Seems like LiveJournal will definitely buy-out the New York Times in 2016 in a “quiet, seven-digit deal,” officially marking “the death of print journalism” in textbooks for at least 400 years, causing the “immediately iconic” concluding line in the New York Times’ Wikipedia page, that “It was bought out by LiveJournal in 2016,” to be added and then reproduced, purposely inaccurately, in [almost every other thing]’s Wikipedia page by bored people throughout the world, especially ones who can’t read English and don’t know the line’s literal meaning. “It was bought out by LiveJournal in 2016” will “conclude” 64% of new books published in 2019, 85% in a “purely non-sequitur” manner. 73% of the reviews of those books—increasing to 98% in The LiveJournal Review of Books—will also end with “It was bought out by LiveJournal in 2016.” Despite the extreme predictability of “such a ‘move’” most commenters in comments sections of literary blogs will agree that “it works,” even anonymous and “fake name” commenters, a testament to the line’s iconic power.

DEADJOURNAL

Seems like I feel averse to thinking about DeadJournal in the same manner that if I saw a [“middle-schooler” who seems severely depressed at its existence in a manner “not unsupported by context/appearance”] walking slowly while eating Doritos, on a suburban sidewalk, in Florida, as I drove past in a convertible with the top down, in the form of Jay McInerney or [high-level Citibank executive], I would easily “allow myself” to “completely forget mentally/emotionally” what I saw, merging idly into the right lane, anticipating a turn at a forthcoming intersection, then probably insert the sentiments of this paragraph into an early scene in my next novel if I’m Jay McInerney or next monologue at [something like “fundraiser to preserve select ‘patches’ of The Everglades”] If I’m [high-level Citibank executive].

OPEN DIARY

Seems like tens of thousands of college students and hundreds of college textbooks aren’t citing this as an example of [established sociological/psychological theory about how a product’s presentation/name strongly influences how it’s used].

TYPEPAD

Seems [adverb that maybe doesn’t exist] the same as WordPress. Not like Coke is the same as Pepsi, or like Coke is the same as Coke, but like [something] is the same as [something], in that the similarity seems simultaneously 90/100/110%…or something. Just experienced “a lot of problems” typing the previous sentence. “Actually” twisted my upper-body—I’m lying stomachdown on my bed—60-80 degrees and neck 160-200 degrees to my left, mostly unconsciously, in a “desperate move,” it seems, to “help me think” what to put for 2x “[something],” maybe in the manner that people sometimes move their eyeballs far to the left or right to access certain memories.

MOVEABLE TYPE

Seems [adverb that maybe doesn’t exist] the same as TypePad, and, by extension, therefore, WordPress, though somehow Moveable Type doesn’t seem [adverb that maybe doesn’t exist] the same as WordPress. Kind of seems like Moveable Type is codename for [WordPress in 2050 that time-traveled to 2003 to destroy “its 2003 self,” but then learned to co-exist and have “strong, maternal feelings” for “its 2003 self”], like if Terminator were written by a pacifist-parodist. Not sure how TypePad fits into this “model.” Maybe TypePad is in “the third installment” as codename for [Moveable Type in 2050 that time-traveled to 2003 to destroy both “its 2003 self,” which materialized as an “effect” of its future self, and “WordPress in 2003,” 47 and 97 years its “junior,” only to learn, “again,” to co-exist with itself (its two selves this time) after a period of “rotating jealousies” between the three that is resolved in a “beautifully paced, if unconvincingly acted, ultimately satisfying 26-minute montage,” according to Film Comment, as each blogging platform internalizes that they are, literally, to some degree, the same blogging platform, simply separated by time, or something—“the scientifically coherent explication that many yearned for, stupidly, was miraculously not attempted by the movie, to its lone credit,” said an early, “damning” review in New York Magazine].

WHEATBLOG

Found this on a “top-10” list while searching “blogging platforms.” Laughed a little after staring ~10 seconds with a neutral facial expression at the word “Wheatblog,” some nearby sentences, and maybe a logo. After laughing a little grinned ~15 seconds while thinking “seems ‘not gluten-free’” in a peacefully self-conscious, nearly continuous, low-level manner. Seems like information I learn about Wheatblog will “strongly displace” information I already know, about other things, that I might not want “strongly displaced,” causing me to feel some aversion re “learning about Wheatblog.” Idly wondering if a bread company created it as part of a misguided—or perhaps “genius”—campaign to fight the “growing distrust” of gluten products. Name seems similar to Steakblog, which doesn’t exist, because a company wouldn’t name themselves Steakblog, I feel, which is maybe the kind of reasoning that makes me feel that Wheatblog “seems mysterious” and maybe “isn’t real.” Not sure if I feel more interest in Absolut Wheatblog, Absolut Xanga, Absolut LiveJournal, or Absolut DeadJournal.

TUMBLR

Seems like a lowland gorilla named Michelle who has developed the ability to blog and is using her blogging skills to raise money for her family to move from an indoor compound in California to an outdoor “community” in Maui will use Tumblr in a Pixar movie in 2014. Told, somewhat riskily, from the perspective of a middle-aged man with four children, the animated story will convey Frank’s “mid-life crisis,” seven minutes into the movie, as manifesting most focusedly in the twice-daily updating of a blog he creates specifically to “shit-talk” Michelle’s campaign in a G to PG manner. The blog will resemble a WordPress blog but for libel reasons will not officially be a WordPress blog. In 94 minutes Frank develops empathy for Michelle—in part due to being harshly “shit-talked” himself by [various other blogs]—and “enlists” his children to help him refocus his blog from “shit-talking” to “supporting” Michelle and lowland gorillas in general, resolving his “mid-life crisis” and gaining a new sense of purpose in life, to the point that he sells three, or “most,” of his children, with their agreement (“anything for Michelle…”), on eBay to help Michelle “break the $1,500,000 mark” (“just kidding” re children/eBay). In an unreleased version of the movie Frank’s reversal is depicted in a black-and-white montage in which, watching his children play tag, or something, on a recently-mown lawn, early one evening, he “tears up,” goes in his shadowy house, stares at a photograph of his wife who died two years ago in an unspecified “hate crime,” goes to his “bulky” desktop computer, deletes his “shit-talking” WordPress blog, studies Michelle’s Tumblr with “wet eyes,” creates his own Tumblr—a montage removed from the theatrical release because seven of nine producers felt it to be “too…the opposite of subtle,” they said, in a jointly-written email. The DVD—released after WordPress’ “demise,” colloquially speaking, when a libel suit was still possible but “highly unlikely”—includes a deleted scene where Frank is visibly confused for more than eight minutes, as he “sits there,” “clicking things,” unable to find information about how to edit the page that says “This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this information…” after a third-party “shit-talker” concretely criticizes his blogging skills by citing the unedited state of [aforementioned page], nine typos, five split infinitives. TC mark

Tao Lin

Tao Lin

Tao Lin (b. 1983) is the author of 7 books of fiction/poetry including Taipei (2013) and Richard Yates (2010). He …

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