Live From GodBlogCon 2008

So I’m here at the 4th Annual GodBlog Convention (aka the Christian blogger convention) in Las Vegas, meeting and greeting and hobnobbing with a diverse assortment of Christian bloggers. It’s a total trip. There are mombloggers here, comedy bloggers, political bloggers, and one guy whose blog exclusively covers Mormons. Everyone is sitting with their laptops, Twittering away as the speakers speak, “liveblogging” their thoughts on what they are hearing.

It’s all very nerdy, and honestly the unsettling questions and concerns I had about blogging coming in have only been increased by what I’m hearing and seeing at this conference.

I increasingly wonder if the glory days of the individual blog are nearing an end… that perhaps it had its heyday maybe three years ago but has leveled off now. Maybe for the better.

Ken Myers (of Mars Hill Audio) spoke today about the unintended and problematic consequences of wholesale embrace of new technologies, and I resonated with every word of what he said (though I think many bloggers in the audience were less impressed). Myers brought up points about identity that I’ve been harping on for the last few years: namely that the Internet has rendered the human self a fluid, flexible, not-fixed amalgam of a multiplicity of heterogeneous “selves.” (I later told him about my I’m Not There paper that addressed these issues in their contemporary cinematic representation.) Myers also pointed out how technology has rendered books and reading largely obsolete… mainly because we are all too busy writing about ourselves to bother reading someone else’s work.

This is almost too much of a gut check for me on the weekend I not only joined Facebook but drove to Las Vegas to attend a blog convention, and two days after I composed a column for an upcoming issue of Relevant in which I slam the self-absorbed Twitter mentality.

When I drive home through the desert tonight, part of me wants to just veer off onto some sage-ridden state highway and find a monastery or something to join. I could read books all day, and try to forget about the technological pests I’m plagued by. I could make my own jam and just think about things. Mull them over. Keep them circling in my head instead of floating around in cyberspace.