In the beginning of May, Fresca, a person who often comments on Michael's blog, posed a public question to people who continue to keep blogs on the internet. Michael answered promptly in this post, but it has taken me a while to come up with an appropriate response. I have decided to make my contribution in the form of an interview because I can. I have full editorial control of my blog. I'll even have an old alias (a name I used to use to deflect unwelcome male attention in public places) do the interviewing. Veranda Davenport hasn't been in my life for a long time.
Veranda: I see that even though you are on Facebook you still keep a blog. Why do you need to write long blog posts when you can instantly share pictures, birthday greetings, and observations with hundreds of people you know?
Elaine: There is a "notes" feature on Facebook which works kind of like a blog, but most Facebook users prefer to scroll through pictures clicking "like" when they see something they like, and leave brief comments that are either witty or supportive. Facebook is a good way to stay "in touch" with friends without going too far beneath the surface. It is kind of like "seeing" a lot of friends in a crowded cafeteria (all the cafeterias of life combined, perhaps) and exchanging, smiles, brief greetings, and words of support. The greetings have to be brief and pleasant because the cafeteria is a public space and there are many people to greet. I find the "cafeteria" a bit too noisy for substantial relationships.
Perhaps the blogosphere is more like an array of sit-down restaurants that you go to for interesting well-prepared food and intelligent conversations.
Sometimes I make links to blog posts (posts I write or posts from Michael's blog) on Facebook. A handful of Facebook friends read them, but most of my Facebook friends don't.
People do more and more of their on-line browsing using smartphones. The little box for comments and the clumsiness of the smartphone keyboard makes it more and more difficult to comment. That is a shame. I miss the free exchange of comments that used to be part of the blogging experience.
Veranda: Your blog posts do not seem to have any rhyme or reason. Why don't you give your blog more structure?
Elaine: I like to write what I feel like writing when I feel like writing it. Blog posts are not really bound in time. It's probably a good thing that most of my posts concern subjects that are not connected with current events. My Thematic Catalog blog is very structured, but that's because it's a functional catalog of music that I have written. I don't see any reason to structure my Musical Assumptions blog, so I don't.
Veranda: A lot of people keep blogs in order to promote themselves and the work they do. Why don't you use your blog to promote your work?
Elaine: I love the idea of sharing information, music, and ideas, particularly ideas about playing and teaching. I do what I can to let people know about the music I have written by linking to my Thematic Catalog blog, but I really see no reason to go beyond that. I prefer to have my work evaluated by people who play it and people who hear it. I don't feel any desire to make any claims about the quality of the work I do. People can make their own choices.
Veranda: Thank you, Elaine.
Elaine: Thank you, Veranda.