Tuesday, June 07, 2005

[Blog Entry] Innovations in the World of Blogging, The Future of Comics, Orange and Lemons

Innovations in the World of Blogging

I mean what if we lived in a world where nearly everyone was blogging, but comments were disabled? (Hey, it’d be a real chore to surf everyone else’s blogs just to check for their replies. Or it might mean giving away your email to the public [and spammers]. And of course, other people replying to someone else’s comment is almost nonexistent.) Here are some hypothetical scenarios which might daze fellow bloggers.

1) Blogging becomes online journaling: all the blog entries in the world are kept private, or at least friends-locked. It’s a mad-dash to acquire friends (ala Friendster) just to read someone else’s post, even if they’re total strangers. Obviously, referring to someone else’s entry gives you no guarantee that your readers will be able to access it unless they’re also friends of the person you’re referring to.

2) To protect the interest of people’s acquaintances and the people they’re working for, all proper nouns (including your own identity) is in code. We don’t call Charles Charles. He’s person #113. Mega Mall isn’t Mega Mall. It’s Mall type AAA. In addition, people can comment on your entries, but they must similarly remain anonymous. A program gives them a random identity number whenever they comment, and all proper nouns or attempts at an alias are censored.

3) Blogs have a time-limit. You must post at least once within 24 hours, or your account will be permanently deleted. There are enforces out there that scout for blog-bots, programs that exist for the sole purpose of posting a nonsensical entry every few hours or so just so that people can maintain their accounts.

4) People have lost the ability to meet each other in real life and talk to each other on the phone. All we have left are people’s blog entries, and that’s the only way we can perceive the other person. Pictures and vital stats become less important, because I mean what use would they be in a world where you’ll never get to touch or see the other person? Blog content and aesthetics become the main motivation for coupling in the world.

5) Blogging becomes an effortless experience of uploading your memory to the database. No need to think of what to write, how to say things, and screen what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate. A super-intelligent computer does that for you, and even makes a layout that suits your tastes (and changes it whenever you feel it’s time for a change). However, doing so comes at a cost. Once someone reads your blog entry, you forget the experience, and the only proof you have of actually experiencing the event is via reading your own blog. To spice things up, blog-hackers pop up, and these are people who are capable of hacking into another person’s account and making up their own blog accounts. When you start reading your own blog entries, who’s to say what really happened, and which are stories inserted by blog-hackers?

6) You can upload blog designs from your mind to your blog account in a blink of an eye. What makes life difficult though is the fact that everybody’s blog template changes every day, so the same layout never remains for more than 24 hours. Failure to create a new layout in 24 hours results in a monotony hell, where you end up with a white background and black Times New Roman 12-point text.

The Future of Comics

Scott Kurtz of PVP online has this blog entry about comics. Suffice to say, he basically mentions that print comics haven’t been “shutting doors on creative and innovative voices”, and that the web is not where the future of comics lies.

Objectively speaking, both Scott McCloud (whom Kurtz is criticizing) and Scott Kurtz do have a point. Web comics does have a potential to benefit everyone, whether you’re the artist, writer, or reader. But similarly, as Kurtz pointed out, it’s not currently the most viable of mediums.

Doesn’t the Internet promote free speech better than print? In a certain way, yes. But of course, because anyone can say whatever they want (or post anything they want), there’s also little assurance of quality control. I mean for every web comic that’s worth the bandwidth it’s consuming, there’s probably a dozen others that plainly suck in one way or another.

But of course I’m not closing my options on the e-publishing either. The Internet is still young, and it hasn’t yet reached the point where it becomes essential to everyone else’s lives (in the same way that a light bulb or a ref is essential to most people’s lives). Ten, twenty years from now, who knows? But as Kurtz pointed out,, right now it’s the oil field that many want it to be, and print comics does have lots of alternatives rather than just the mainstream titles (although admittedly, no one ever said that road would be easy or convenient for people).

Orange and Lemons

I honestly know next to nothing about music (well, except anime BGM’s), but many people lately seem to be raving about Orange and Lemons. Normally, I’d just ignore it but since I do work in a music magazine, let me plug our May issue of Pulp (the cover of which was Jerome Abalos). Don’t let the cover fool you; Pulp did do a feature on Orange and Lemons and it was written by our staff writer Jason Caballa (of Twisted Halo and Pedicab). And uh, I was in charge of their photo shoot, so grab a copy before our June issue ships to your local newsstands.


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