Is Blogging Nihilism?

Is blogging a citizens or an alternative media? Or is it a post modern condition with nihilism as its central imperative? Are blogs conversations or are they the foundations of forming virtual communities?

Media theorist and internet activist Geert Lovink formulates a theory of the weblogs and concludes that “it is this state of ongoing affairs (as a media observer) that causes nihilism, and not revolutions, to occur.”

Caught in the daily grind of blogging, there is a sense that the Network is the alternative. It is not correct to judge blogs merely on the basis of their content. Media theory has never done this and should also in this case shy away from this method. Blogging is a nihilistic venture precisely because the ownership structure of mass media is questioned and then attacked. Blogging is a bleed-to-death strategy. Implosion is not the right word. Implosion implies a tragedy and spectacle that is not present here. Blogging is the opposite of the spectacle. It is flat (and yet meaningful). Blogging is not a digital clone of the “letter to the editor”. Instead of complaining and arguing, the blogger puts him or herself in the perversely pleasurable position of media observer.

The commenting on mainstream culture, its values and products, should be read as an open withdrawal of attention. The eyeballs that once patiently looked at all reports and ads have gone on strike. According to the utopian blog philosophy, mass media are doomed. Their role will be taken over by “participatory media”. The terminal diagnosis has been made and it states: closed top-down organizations no longer work, knowledge cannot be “managed”, today’s work is collaborative and networked. However, despite continuous warning signs, the system successfully continues to (dys)function. Is top-down really on its way out? Where does the Hegelian certainty come from that the old-media paradigm will be overthrown? There is little factual evidence of this. And it is this state of ongoing affairs that causes nihilism, and not revolutions, to occur.

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3 Replies to “Is Blogging Nihilism?”

  1. that it quite an article! i was recently disheartened to find a post from one of the “most popular feeds” that was merely a review for a new chain of cheeseburger franchises; this made me see blogs as stalking horses, as exploratory tentacles or antennae of capitalism, a filtering mechanism – we add our little bits so that somewhere, somehow, some product will be consumed.

  2. Hullo, thank you for your visit to my blog and your comment. I have written my response to that there. Best, rama

  3. tom: This article deserved a longer post but I am yet to absorb it in full, it runs into many printed pages and is densely written. The excerpts at your blog were very good !

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