mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

#This blog is answering the question: Lovink (Reader, page 222) also argues that: “No matter how much talk there is of community and mobs, the fact remains that blogs are primarily used as a tool to manage the self”. Discuss this argument, giving an example of a blog. Specify chosen argument in your answer.

“Blogging is not rocket science, it’s about being yourself, and putting what you have into it.” Anonym

I am a blogger, and I love the statement that Lovink (2007:28) makes, “No matter how much talk there is of community and mobs, the fact remains that blogs are primarily used as a tool to manage the self,” when it stands alone. But looking at the bigger picture, I feel like a skeptic more than ever.

What Lovink (2007: 28) states has a very deep level of negative connotation. He conveys that sometimes blog focuses more on the projection of the self, and it has forgotten its purpose: to stay linked with the social world (Lovink, 2007:28). Furthermore, it is even possible for bloggers to shut down the ability for others to comment, or bluntly speaking, it’s like as if he’s saying ‘What’s the use of blog if it doesn’t allow interactivity?‘ (Lovink, 2007:28).

It may be true that bloggers want to get as high traffic as possible, and it is always nice to see people dropping comments. But it is not always necessary. The essence of a blog still remains the same: the personal voice of the blogger. I am not really attracted to read blogs about world issues, latest Hollywood gossips, politics, or other well-known blogs. Bluntly saying, I just simply don’t care. The blogs that I follow regularly are merely the blogs of my closest friends and family. Why? Because I want to know about their lives. I want to know their sense of ‘self’.

As an example, I would like to draw not on a well-known blog, but on an ordinary blog. It is my sister’s. While not all people know her, read her blog, or interested on what’s going on with her life, this is the blog that I will read everytime a new post is out. Titled as “My Prognosis”, my sister, Jessica Purnama, tells her life as a medical student, and about anything that crosses her mind. My sister’s blog is “a tool to manage” herself, and “no matter how much talk there is of community and mobs” – about how interactive a blog should be, in the end what matters is the self. She does not promote her blog (no publicising on Facebook, twitter, blah). She just writes it for the sake of writing it, interactivity will follow. (note: see Ps. below). And sometimes this is what I miss from random blogs that I read. They focus too much on entertaining readers, less self quality.

My Prognosis - Jessica Purnama's blog

Although I may be biased (I may be obliged to read my sister’s blog because she IS my sister), but actually that is my point. Blogs are biased. Blogs are selfish. And it is okay to be selfish. Because it is your blog, your mirror. It is on whom you ask the question, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

And I guess that is the question that Lovink blacklisted in the world of blogging.

“Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘blog’ is a fool’s errand.”
Michael Conniff

Ps. If you watch the movie 3 Idiots, remember the line, “Pursue excellence, and success will follow.”? Blog has the same principle.


Lovink, G. (2007) ‘The nihilist impulse’, Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, London: Routledge,  1-38.

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