April 30, 2007

The Golden Age Of The JBlogosphere

The Golden Age of the JBlogosphere. I can't speak for anyone else, but it is one of those terms that catches my eye. Maybe it is because I am sentimental and I like to look back and see where I have been. In any case, it seems like every six months or so someone writes an introspective post about what the JBlogosphere used to be like.

The first time I remember seeing one of these posts was at The Muqata. Old Jameel mused about what he thought was the watershed moment of the JBlogosphere as being some time during 2005.

Today Treppenwitz became the latest blogger to speak of the Golden Age of the JBlogosphere. His timeline is a bit different. He refers to the golden age as being somewhere between 2003-2004.

I suppose that you could say that what this shows is that a blogger's perspective is very much influenced by when they began blogging. I know, that wasn't very insightful nor all that profound, but it is interesting to me for a number of reasons.

When I look back at my time in various organizations I can always pick out moments in which others spoke longingly of a time in which things were different and in their eyes better than whatever the present situation was. Sometimes it was an accurate assessment and sometimes it was a limited perspective.

I was involved with Camp Ramah for more than 20 years. If you ask people of a certain age they usually will mention my name as having been a part of the core group. But like all things those days are past. These days to find anyone who knows me you have to go back more than a couple of years. The oldest campers weren't even born when I was roaming that place. So much time has passed that with the exception of some real old timers no one would even know my name.

It is really kind of humbling but it also offers some good lessons about life. It is a reminder that we need to live today. I don't want to ever become one of those people whose best days are past. That doesn't mean that I have to give up those amazing memories. I don't have to pretend that they didn't happen, I just have to maintain my perspective about who I am today and who I am going to be tomorrow.

Flipping back to blogging, I have to agree with David that there is a certain intimacy in the Jblogosphere that has faded. Eighteen months ago I asked people How Many Blogs Do You Read? because even in those days it was getting to be hard to try and keep up.

The JBlogosphere has exploded. Even if I had 10 hours a day to devote to blogging I couldn't keep up. There are only so many blogs to read and even though a number of my favorites have closed up shop there is always another to take their place.

I guess what I am really saying is that after three years of running The Shack I hope that my posts are better than what they were. I hope that there is growth and that it continues. I don't want to find myself in a place where I look back and say that the best I had has come and gone.

The day I come to that conclusion will truly be the time when I hang up my keyboard. Hopefully that day never comes.

22 comments:

Princess of the Universe said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Not sure how you found me, but I appreciate the comment!
Princess

Ezzie said...

Heh. That's exactly what I thought when I read Trep's post.

judi said...

For me, part of the beauty of the current hugeness of the jblogosphere is that it fosters a safe kind of promiscuity. You see, I can read new blogs for a week- ignoring several others that are boring me at the moment- and then flit back to my old reliables once the thrill wears off. All without risking my reputation or my self-respect.

Irina Tsukerman said...

I think the Golden Age of the J-Blogosphere... and the Platinum may follow!

The Misanthrope said...

No worries for you, your posts have continued to get better from a writing perspective and more interesting from a topic selection. Impressive indeed.

Jack's Shack said...

POF,

I get around.

Ezzie,

You are a smart guy.

Judi,

A safe kind of promiscuity. I love it.

Irina,

Hear, hear.

Misanthrope,

Thanks. I appreciate it.

PsychoToddler said...

In the good old days, we had to upload our pictures to third party servers, and then cut and paste HTML into our posts to get them to show up. And we LIKED it! We LOVED it!

And I remember way back when, if we wanted to put hyperlinks into our blogger comments, we had to HAND CODE them...

...wait a minute...we still do!

Soccer Dad said...

I suppose the golden age of the jblogosphere depends on what was important to you. I remember a blogger I don't much care for remembering his golden age. And I couldn't get understand what he thought was so great about those times.

For me, there have been different times that I've found great. When I first started blogging, Biur Chametz was blogging regularly. He was someone I enjoyed reading, knew a little from before and with whom I agreed most of the time. When he stopped blogging regularly I felt a little down. But why am I commenting here, maybe I should write a post of my own.

Elie said...

My dad, a long-time science fiction fan (1930s-2000s!) used to like this quote: "The Golden Age is fourteen". I.e., in any particular entertainment field - movies, comics, TV, sports, etc. - whatever was big during your adolescence is what you think of as the pinnacle of that genre. There's a lot of truth to that.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

That reminds me that my 3 year blogaversary is right around the corner....do I feel old...

Miss Worldwide said...

Golden Age, Shmolden Age. It's like my dad telling me how much better EVERYTHING was when he was little, and that everything else is shit. What about progress? It's not good to lament over the good things past. One has to look towards the FUTUUUURE! Who's up for starting the J-Blogosphere Nouvelle Vague? Invent new rules? Create the J-Blog of the future? Be the next Godards and Truffauts of J-Blogs? Huh? Huh?

Miriam L said...

A lot of bloggers have struggled with issues of anonymity, personal revelation, what constitutes lashon hara in blogging, what is acceptable criticism of leaders, where is the line between analyzing the community and disrespecting it.... Maybe as the J-Blogosphere matures, we'll hear more thoughts on these issues and some interesting opinions. It's an evolving art.

Jack's Shack said...

And I remember way back when, if we wanted to put hyperlinks into our blogger comments, we had to HAND CODE them.

The funny thing is that it feels like I have been blogging for much longer than three years.

I suppose the golden age of the jblogosphere depends on what was important to you.

Very true.

Elie,

Your father was a wise man. 14, I like it.

JB,

See, you're an old timer too.

What about progress? Progress is important, the question is are we achieving that.

Miriam,

Evolving is a good description.

Jacob Da Jew said...

The old days aren't always the "good old days". They're just the old days.

JoeSettler said...

How many blogs do you read

I came across an online app called NetVibes.com. It doesn't work 100%, but I put together a page of different blog I read and now I can see all (as many as I can fit per page) my favorite blogs in one place, what's been updated, and so on.

The question is, are you on my page?

This was a public service announcement from JoeSettler.

Jack's Shack said...

They're just the old days.

Sometimes that is true.

The question is, are you on my page?

Well, you are here aren't you. ;)

Tracy Morgan said...

It's kind of like how everyone says that Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as it used to be. People always say that, and then in the future look back at that time and say it again.

Chaim G. said...

Spot on quote:

It is a reminder that we need to live today. I don't want to ever become one of those people whose best days are past. That doesn't mean that I have to give up those amazing memories. I don't have to pretend that they didn't happen, I just have to maintain my perspective about who I am today and who I am going to be tomorrow.

Growing up in a Yeshivisha velt that is very deferential to the past and indoctrinated withhiskatnu hadoros =the generations keep getting weaker as a 14th ani ma’amin, I often felt oppressed and constrained by the memories of a glorious (mostly unseen) past. One atzas haYetzer =seduction of my evil inclination that I was a particularly easy mark for was this:

“What’s the use in expending all the energy necessary to achieve excellence? Even if you do achieve it you’ll still be a mediocrity when measured against the standards of the past”. It was a convenient excuse for laziness and taking the path of least resistance.

In my experience my Rebbeim who were most effective and inspiring (also few and far between) were those who gave their students the sense that “It doesn’t get any better than this. Right here. Right now!” and who, while respectful of the past, did not obsess over it or surrender to sentimentality and see-no-evil nostalgia.

Holy Hyrax said...

mmmm... bamba

Oh, great post Jack

Jack's Shack said...

It's kind of like how everyone says that Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as it used to be.

But that is true. ;)

In my experience my Rebbeim who were most effective and inspiring (also few and far between) were those who gave their students the sense that “It doesn’t get any better than this. Right here. Right now!” and who, while respectful of the past, did not obsess over it or surrender to sentimentality and see-no-evil nostalgia.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Hyrax,

Thanks.

Smooth said...

Just wanted you to know that I love your site, and please don't ever think about stopping.

Jack's Shack said...

Smooth,

Thank you. I very much appreciate that.