Check out the comments on the first post to see a list of blogs that we have pulled up for your perusal. You should all have permissions to post your own response, here on our public blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bloggedy blog

The temporal nature of blogs makes it an ill-suited medium for a traditional manifesto. Manifestos seem so absolute - a public, didactic declaration of one's thoughts and views - clearcut and unyielding. Blogs, however, die without constant update. Would anyone read a blog with just one entry, dated decades earlier? What goes viral on the web lack any of the characteristics of a manifesto - (Ass Pennies* vs. Vers une architecture).

Yet because of the ability to constantly update, the blog is more suited to he true purpose of the manifesto: expressing one's thoughts and views. How many of the manifestos and monographs have we read have the authors' work or later publications modified or retracted what they originally declared? How many times are those edits heeded or mentioned? The published manifesto is static, a declaration in time with a tendency to speak for all mankind. The blog is personal, the reader is always aware that someone typed these words out on their laptop or PC, possibly drunk, possibly in their underwear. And if your blog is open to comments, your manifesto can be immediately detracted, criticized or flamed by anyone - ANYONE - and given that they are in the same medium, comments are automatically on the same level as the blog post. Any criticism of published manifestos aren't attached to the actual document.

So in random and personal rambling, I'm just going to throw out there with no evidence or three supporting points, that maybe the blog is a democratizer/humanizer and with access and inundation of everyone's** thoughts, the publication of one person's thoughts are de-deified and more open to contestation (that is a real word. I checked.)

*I do not mean to detract from the value of Ass Pennies at all.
**"everyone" with access to a computer and internet. Which is not really everyone.


  1. Also, I know it's so passe to comment on your own post instead of editing the original or whatever but in looking through my list of archi-blogs only three came up where there's actual writing; the rest are just archi-porn shots and news links or construction photos. The three with actual written content are bldg blog, lebbeus' and this dude http://gracefulspoon.com/blog/.

  2. mle, I think you bring up a really interesting point about the comments being on the same level as the blog by being in the same medium. But I wonder how much the design of the blogging site influences the comment/post relationship by hiding comments behind a link or not. Only when I am exceptionally curious will I click on a link to view comments.

  3. I totally agree that the blog is an "ill-suited medium" for a traditional manifesto. You emphasize that blogs have a changing nature that allows for them to be constantly updated and edited. Your argument is that the continuous updating allows for the true thoughts and intentions to be put forth. I disagree. First of all, looking at some of the architecture blogs suggested - do you really think that Lebbeus Woods is writing half of the posts that "he" makes? Or that Francois Roche actually "tweets" or he tells one of his interns to keep it up?

    Secondly, I think we are allowing the term "manifesto" to be used liberally. Stating one's personal objectives for the day or thoughts just for the sake of "putting it out there" is not necessarily declaring a manifesto or summarizing what it is that you stand for. Instead, blogs are allowing us to deposit statements of ourselves that end in question, lacking confidence or persuasiveness. "So I think this...?" only later to be changed by the end of the day thanks for sassy prose in the comment section.

    Also, the greatness of a traditional manifesto is that it IS published and has withstood the test of time - even if that time is simply just the process of editing and publication. While books may become dated, there then becomes an interest in prefaces or forwards where the authors (original or others) are allowed to put the readers into the historical perspective of the time as well as theorize on how the book has lasted the test of time.

  4. re: Scott, you're right b/c there are also blogs that disable comments. But there are also a lot of people that do read comments and post and respond to them; I meant that comments are built-in to the medium which adds an element of the ongoing and interactive.

    re: Natalie, I think your last point supports what I'm trying to say. And the contents of a blog aren't necessarily "truer" than a traditional manifesto, blogging just seems more suited to expressing a position and that the nature of the position changes from the "laid in stone" position of the published manifesto to, I think, the more wavering and adjustable position of what people/writers really think.