January 20, 2007

In elementary school, mail was one of the best things in the world. My sister and I would delight in opening mail addressed to Occupant (providing we got to it before Mom tossed it on the nearest landfill). But my sister and I rarely got mail actually addressed to us except for birthday cards. When we moved away from Austin, my friend Nancy moved to Longmont, Colorado ... and we did exchange letters periodically. Eventually, one or the other of us would forget to respond, and there would be a long drought between letters. Then, one of us would remember, write and the exchange would begin again.

So I was startled one day in the fourth grade to receive a letter which was NOT postmarked Colorado. Who in the world would be writing to ME?

It was a chain letter - that scourge of the post office in Ye Olde Days ... which given their current desire for people to write to each other, I think they're trying to give the chain letter a comeback to help ensure their jobs.

Today, of course, the chain letter has moved online, like nearly everything else. Today it's the cutesy pictures, the PPT slides telling you that the computer software can take a picture of you (even tho your machine does NOT have the hardware installed), the "touched by an angel" letters ... ad nauseum.

And, as annoying as they are, you can generally recognize them from the subject line and delete them without any bother. Yes, they use up bandwidth, but at least they're no longer asking you to sacrifice 20 trees and your first-born child to the silly cause.

What I do NOT get is the "chain letters" of the blogging world. There seem to be two "chain letter" variations in blogging.

First are the memes ... although, I have seen some which are useful introductions to a person and interesting to read. However, most memes are silly, pointless, too long, and, frankly, boring as hell. Ones like looking up your birthdate on Wikipedia and recording the historical events that took place on your day of birth ... interesting and that can be a thoughtful post.

But most of these are long, rambling, hideously vapid entries.

Next are themed days ... again, some of these are actually very nicely done. Many people participating in Wordless Wednesday have something very interesting going on and it's a nice touch. FOAD (fook off and die ... and I forget if this is a Thursday or Friday thing) is interesting sometimes. But sometimes I've seen posts where the person is simply repeating the same post they'd made the week before. Doesn't it make more sense to just gather some stories together and have a FOAD post whenever you feel the need? Do you really want people to FOAD every single week? And if so, have you considered anger management classes? A low dose of an anti-depressant, perhaps?

Still, like Wordless Wednesday and some memes, some of the FOAD posts are also quite interesting ... and generally humourous.

What I really don't get ... what really strikes me as the "chain letter" of the blogging world ... is HNT. Half Naked Thursday.


Are there that many people on the internet who are exhibitionists? Wait, don't answer that. A quick Google search would probably confirm that question. Still ... what's the point with show a bare portion of your body on the internet for all to see?

And please ... I'm asking a serious set of questions here ... I was being a little silly earlier ... but I honestly don't get HNT at all and I really do want to know - what's in it for you and for your blog?

Is it because people need the attention? The reassurance that they are "okay"? Is it simply a kind of forbidden thrill? Is it, perhaps, a self-esteem building thing where the person is trying to honestly look at themselves objectively or in a new way?

And, if your blog is about political commentary ... or philosophy ... or your favourite hobby ... or just reminiscing and commenting on life in general ... how do you "justify" including HNT posts in amongst the other posts?

Despite any conversation this post generates, you won't be seeing HNT pictures here. I'm simply too camera-phobic to ever do that ... but I am interested in what you have to say.

Posted by Red Monkey at January 20, 2007 11:30 AM | Blog | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


MsDemmie said:

I confess to BYB -Blog your Blessing Sunday and Blog Talkers.

BYB - I like because at least once a week I can give thanks for soemthing - or share some feel good factor.

Blog talkes I use for the day that I get up out of bed and think "what the **** can I blog about today?"

T13 never attracted me - and as for HNT - eek I take a lot of time and trouble covering myself up ! I don't flash my bits for no-one!

IO think the T13 and HNT are also traffic generators as well !

January 21, 2007 9:31 AM
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