I have spent the vast majority of today dreading the arrival of the new year. For once, this is not due to immensely personal insecurities and deeply-held psychological fears about spending the next twelve months desperately alone, unloved and unwanted. Not yet, anyway. They don’t generally creep into my diseased mind until some time around 27 December. No, the reason for the sense of impending doom — doom, doom and more doom! — is rather different on this occasion.
Thanks to a morning email heads-up from the esteemed Goldfish, I was quickly alerted to a BBC News story reporting that 2007 is going to be the year of the blog. Within an instant, I could feel my heart sinking through the floor, screaming for mercy as it plunged into the murky depths.
You see, I’m old enough, ugly enough and, sadly, have been blogging long enough to remember the succession of end of year round-ups from BBC News since — oh, let me think — at least 2002 onwards, confidently reporting that the previous twelve months had also been “the year of the blog”. So how many bloody years has blogging had? It seems that the only change for the end of 2006 is that the journalists have finally got with the lingo and stopped referring to the things as “blogs or web logs” (sic), which always rather reminded me of the way in which my mother quaintly uses the term “the website” to refer to the entire internet. (“Can you look up some distant relatives on the website? Can you order me some shopping on the website?”)
Every year I read these reports and every year, like the BBC’s web and technology correspondents themselves, I end up thinking the same. Stand in the average bus queue and start telling your fellow commuters that you are a blogger, and you will not only receive worried stares because you’re daring to break the unspoken rule of not talking to complete strangers on public transport, but you will also be met with befuddlement. It’s almost heresy to admit this in some circles, but between you and me, blogging isn’t really that important. No, it really isn’t. Most people really have very little idea of what a blog is. I still find myself entertaining the fond notion that many of the fortunately uninformed think a blog is a small marsupial, which is mostly to be found springing blithely through the Australian outback whilst being shot at by incompetent hunters.
Mmm. Have you ever eaten freshly-killed blog roasted over an open spit? No, me neither. Maybe one day.
Of course, those of you who have known me and read my words for longer than you care to admit will by now be sighing wearily and dismissing this bitter, cynical and twisted rant as yet another example of me feeling aggrieved because my immense contribution to The World Of Blog has mostly gone unrecognised in my own lifetime. I haven’t even won an award, for heaven’s sake. So whilst it’s true that this does indeed make my whole pitiful existence even more meaningless than it already has been since the dark autumnal evenings of October 2000, when my blogging persona first stumbled its way onto the web, it’s not the real reason behind this post. No, the plain and simple truth of the matter is that I’m just fed up to the back teeth with all the excessive blogging hype that is now rolled out at the end of every year. Every sodding year. Like a Christmas single by Cliff Richard. Like a ten pound book voucher from your grandmother. Except infinitely worse than both.
There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel — and no, sorry, it’s not a train heading towards me at high speed. Although 2007 is going to be the year of the blog (kill me now, just kill me now), it’s also going to see the “blogging phenomenon” at last reach its peak — albeit a peak of some 100 million. That’s 100 million blogs, folks. 100 million sites featuring pictures of cats and pages of sorrowful, introverted posts about not having had any sex for the past six months.
Now I come to think of it, that doesn’t actually sound like too bad a basis on which to sell the world of blogging, does it? Kittens and shagging, not necessarily in that order. Or, indeed, together. No, definitely not together. But since it utterly defeats the point of my argument, I will ignore that digression. Back to the point.
The good news is that although, tragically, there are still 100 million extant blogs, another 200 million people have already stopped writing them. Somewhere on the internet lurk 200 million entries saying that the writers don’t have time to post any longer because they have gone out, smelt the coffee, taken a breath of fresh air and now realise the error of their ways. Let joy be unconfined. It’s the start of the slippery slope. It’s all downhill from here. We’re heading for obscurity and obsolescence. About time too. Anyone got a replacement fad? There will be a new one along in a minute, I suspect.
It’s all down to me, of course. Me, me, me. I have personally managed to get rid of 200 million of the bloody things, and now I have only fifty per cent of that figure to go. Having made such brilliant progress, how hard it can be to viciously cull the rest of them? Only then will we finally reach the blissful state of nirvana where the only blog in existence is mine, still plying its trade in this dank corner of the internet. Only then will you all finally fall to your knees and worship me for the genius I really is.
Am, I mean.
Yes, the genius I really am.