Eponymous blogs

by John Q on May 22, 2006

I’m reading Learning the World by Ken McLeod (available here) and it turns out that the title is that of a blog* written by one of the characters. This is the first time I’ve seen a novel named for a blog – are there any other instances.

Also striking is the fact that, even though the human characters in the book are inhabitants of a spaceship large enough for millions of people and capable of traversing interstellar distances, blog technology doesn’t appear to have advanced much since 2003. They have RSS feeds mailing lists and comments, or course. There’s some sort of of mental direct viewing technology as well, but nothing much new for blogs as such.

This raises the question: If we disregard technical feasibility, what kinds of wishlists do people have for improvements in blogs? Or is the form already so mature that any real improvement would change it into something else altogether?

* Well, “biolog”, but I don’t know if that’ll catch on any time in the next 5000 years.



Bitch | Lab 05.22.06 at 1:43 am

I would want a blog that had a way to thread comments, but without giving the user the ability to rename the title of the thread willy nilly! I think a blog such as Dailykos has such but I don’t really read there and I surely haven’t commented.

point-click-drool methods so that the average commentor could easily blockquote the text to which s/he’s replying.


Cheryl Morgan 05.22.06 at 1:55 am

Better means of organizing the conversation.

There are, of course, blogs devoted entirely to this question. For example, Amy Gahran’s The Right Conversation.


Victor 05.22.06 at 2:32 am

Not a big deal! Imitating is a common art now a days.


Cpt. Iglo 05.22.06 at 5:39 am

I do know of a blog (Wateenlullig.web-log.nl) named after an episode of a comic strip I suppose that doesn’t count, really.


Barry 05.22.06 at 7:30 am

a) Threaded conversations; I find that on certain weblogs, I no longer read or contribute, because I’d be poster #200, and can’t reply directly to the post or a particular comment.

b) Widespread use of the method pioneered by Salon’s Table Talk. They had the name of the commenter on top of the post, where it belongs, for easier skipping. They also had a ‘next post’ button, on top of the post, again where it belongs, for easier skipping. The combination of those two techniques would make most comment sections much, much better.


Urinated State of America 05.22.06 at 9:27 am

“If we disregard technical feasibility, what kinds of wishlists do people have for improvements in blogs? Or is the form already so mature that any real improvement would change it into something else altogether?”

Flamewars will be conducted by intelligent agents, who will insult each other with wit and verve. Agents that use posts consisting of just “heh” and “indeed” at the end of a quote will be contained by advanced ICware and recompiled.

Otherwise, I’m minded of Stanislaw Lem’s story/essay about literature written by computers: where speculated that when computers start writing literature for other computers, we’d no longer be able to comprehend the output.


Arturis 05.22.06 at 3:50 pm

I’d want to do away with the computer interface altogether and have blogs be thoughts piped into my brain. And the comments could be connected stream-of-consciousness-style where each comment branches to all it’s replies and you can follow each one as far as you like and back out to whatever root you’re interested in. I’d want each ‘post’ and each ‘comment’ to be an idea that I could taste generally at first to see if it’s interesting and then experience in its entirety once I decided it was worthwhile.

Ignoring technical limitations.


Tom T. 05.22.06 at 7:35 pm

Strictly speaking, doesn’t “eponymous” mean “named after a person” (as opposed to “named after another thing”)? What you’re going for would more accurately be something like “Self-referentially titular blogs.”


John Quiggin 05.22.06 at 8:10 pm

The dictionary definition says “named after a person”, but the Wikipedia entry cites REM’s album Eponymous, and other instance of self-titled albums.

Of course a book named after a blog in the book is no more self-referential than any other.


Colin Cmiel 05.23.06 at 12:14 am

Alex Ross’ The Rest is Noise, not a book yet… but soon according to Alex. Though one could say that they are really both named after Shakespeare.

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