A Question on Blogging

If blogging is defined as a person or group of people sharing their thoughts and musings, whatever they feel like sharing, regardless of whether it is important to the purpose or mission of the blog… then Cross-Currents isn’t really a blog. Though published in blog format, nearly everything we post is somehow “relevant” to discussing “the intersection between two currents: the timeless flow of authentic Torah thought, and the ebb and tide of current affairs.” What we publish isn’t “whatever we feel like sharing” but much more limited.

My question is: do you feel it is important to you that every article here contain relevant content, or do we, in so doing, avoid showing a personal side now and then?

Today, our email server was responding slowly. Following an accidentally poetic phrase, I sent my complaint to our sysadmin as in a Haiku pattern:

Uptime is too high
SMTP overload
My Mail is delayed

His response (edited to avoid maligning a particular brand name):

The dumb SCSI [pronounced scuzzy] card
Is slowing down the transfer
Can I tear It out?

These Haikus are amusing to those in IT, largely unrecognizeable to the rest of the world, and entirely irrelevant to what we’re supposedly doing here… or, perhaps, exactly the opposite is true. Your thoughts?

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11 Responses

  1. Aryeh says:

    IMHO, the less personal content the better. I don’t think the point of Cross-Currents should be to discuss the personal feelings and musings of R. Menken, R. Rosenblum, R’ Feldman etc. There are enough blogs out there that spam one with irrelevant and uninteresting personal feelings. If one’s interested in somebody else’s personal side, then they should try to get to know it in realspace, not cyberspace. Besides, cyberspace tends to distort the personal side, in my experience.
    Or at the very least, it doesn’t seem to be a good idea to mix the two.
    Perhaps a separate blog: Cross-currents: Up Close and Personal?

  2. DMZ says:

    Ever since I started working at AOL for the postmaster team, I’ve really started getting an appreciation for weird email problems…

    I don’t think offhand personal notes are a problem – writing long, off-topic screeds is another matter.


  3. liorah says:

    Interesting. So, the readership is treated to an anomaly every once in awhile. It’s nice, I think.

  4. Lumpy Rutherford says:

    Speaking of haiku — the first line of the Shema (שמע ישראל…אחד) – is a haiku:

    שמע ישראל // five syllables
    ה’ אלקינו // seven syllables
    ה’ אחר // five syllables

  5. Michael Spilzinger says:

    I concur with Aryeh. To me a blog is more about the conversations and the cross-referencing that come about – a discussion. In the case of this blog, it is a discussion of the issues which touch upon the observant community here and abroad. Chazak V’Nischazek!

  6. YM says:

    I say post whatever you want.

  7. Bob Miller says:

    If a cross-currents.com discussion doesn’t bore me or make me [too] mad and I learn something new, it’s worthwhile. Some personal content helps in understanding the person’s argument, but some is self-indulgent.

    I’d like to see the contributors of articles respond more often to the commenters.

  8. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    I think your web page should have a “contact us” space for reactions which do not fit into the comments on a specific post as well as those which are not intended for publication.

  9. Drew Kaplan says:

    Cross-Currents is very much a blog. As far as stating that a blog is about “whatever one feels like sharing”, does anybody really share everything? Many blogs also keep to certain parameters, but they wouldn’t be considered any less to be a blog. So, too, it is with Cross-Currents. I’m not sure whence that definition of a blog came, but it sounds a bit loose and in need of some more sharper defining.

  10. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “I think your web page should have a “contact us” space for reactions which do not fit into the comments on a specific post as well as those which are not intended for publication.”

    I like that idea, as I often have such comments.

  11. Rabbi Yonah says:

    Davar ha yotzei min ha leiv…
    Just keep it coming from the heart and the soul.
    Gut Voch!

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