Oi! Spaceman: A Podcast

Speculative Fiction, Intersectional Feminism, and Dirty Jokes

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Blogging *is* social media

So I’m finally doing something I’ve long threatened and I’m starting a blog to be connected to the podcast, with the specific intention of expanding on ideas explored there or dealing with stuff that doesn’t quite fit into that template. This will very likely include quite a bit of content either tangentially- or non-related to Doctor Who. Sorry in advance.

It’s probably reasonable to ask the question, though, why bother blogging at all? What with Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook etc., starting a blog under one’s own shingle feels like the kind of old-fogey hobby common to stamp collectors, model car enthusiasts, and quilters. How very quaint, the kids might say, if the kids still used terms like quaint, and not in the so-backwards-it’s-hip kind of way.

My answer, and I’m probably stealing this from some blogger a half-decade past, is that while our internet-age use of “social” means huge interconnectedness and likes and stars and retweets et cetera, this overlooks another usage: social is the foundation of society, and having a handful of deep and meaningful connections is in no way less than having hundreds or thousands of shallow connections. There are a handful of blogs I read (nearly) every day, mostly as a lurker (like We Hunted the Mammoth, The Hunting of the Snark, Gin and Tacos, and Slacktivist) who are just as dear presences in my life as many of the people I know personally through so-called social media, and whose thoughts I am always eager to hear, even if/when I disagree.

Fred Clark (linked to as Slacktivist above) has been blogging for over a dozen years now, and is best known as the author of the “World’s Longest Book Review,” a 12-years-plus running conversation about the Tim Lehaye/Jerry Jenkins Left Behind series. (That series is excellent, by the way, and to my knowledge is among the first examples of long-form conversation about a specific media property anywhere. All of us who engage with long-form media texts on the internet owe Fred and many others like him a debt of gratitude — I know it certainly informs much of what I do for Oi! Spaceman.) He recently wrote a post about the commodification of the Internet called “Get Off the Bus,” comparing the old days of AOL to the current monolithic Facebook culture.

And for a while there, after the flood of AOL CDs finally dried up and its fleet of tour buses broke down, it looked like the backpackers would win. Blogrolls became an important way for us to share our travels with one another — recommending new places that were worth a visit.

That didn’t last. Facebook came along with its larger, shinier fleet of buses and the AOL model of Internet tourism returned with a vengeance. Facebook’s dominance was so overwhelming that the Internet reshaped itself as a tourist trap. It became Branson, Missouri, or one of those tourist piers in a Caribbean port city where cruise ships can stop for an hour or two. Now it’s got chain restaurants, generic hotels, souvenir shops and aggregators lining every street to compete for the attention of the tourists on the Facebook buses.

The blogosphere? Yeah, I’ve seen it. The bus stopped at Planet Hollywood there. I bought a T-shirt.

So why blog? I want to be weird, or long-winded, or thoughtful, in ways that are mine and that don’t fit into 140 characters or a Facebook update. I want to encourage thoughtful conversation about Doctor Who and related topics in a place that allows for a little elbow room. And I want to encourage all who listen to our podcast or have read this post to sit down, have a beverage of your choice, and start a conversation with us.

I expect to post here approximately weekly, more if time permits, and hopefully Shana will come join as well. Suggestions for topics always welcome.