Why not write a blog?

Fair question. For a while I considered setting one up; there's a lot to be said for that new genre. Its attractions for the writer include immediacy, interactivity, and freedom from editing (at least until readers reply, which basically means editing is outsourced to readers; one way or another, I doubt anything is ever truly and completely unedited). Outside of personal correspondence, there may be no genre of writing with fewer speed bumps and more potential, thanks to all the interlocking networks of blogs and meta-blogs, for a single unheralded voice to get itself heralded. (At least among other self-appointed heralds.)

And if a personal blog could work, as it does for so many people, why not think larger and expand it into a collective one? My colleagues in SLM are all writers of various sorts as well, and just as underpublicized as I am, and full of intriguing ideas about all kinds of things, not limited to music. Maybe, I've imagined in particularly delusional moments, we should set up part of the band's site for a collective blog! (SLM, the band that's also a publication! Hey, there's our marketing gimmick at last!)

In some ways blogs are every writer's dream. But they're also every blowhard's dream, and the more I've considered it, the more I'd like to steer clear of structures that are conducive to chronic blowhardosis (a condition to which I'm not entirely certain of having natural immunity, and in the various communities I'm part of -- NYC, universities, cyberspace, rock & roll -- I'm convinced there's no herd immunity either). I haven't surveyed the genre thoroughly, but from the blogs I've read to date, there's usually a lot of the weirdly detailed, borderline-obsessive-compulsive personal-fishbowlism associated with the strange diaries of Sen. Bob Graham. I'd prefer not to step in that, thanks.

The best blogs also require frequent (or, ideally, constant) attention; otherwise things get very stale very quickly. (Even the best of them, I've noticed, eventually start farming out a nontrivial amount of the writing.) Pros can get organizations to pay them for well-maintained blogs; as an obscure freelancer lacking that option, I'm not so gung-ho about the sight of my work in the semi-public/semi-private realm of blogspace that I'd readily put in the kind of time a decent blog requires. Other things are simply more pressing these days. The book isn't going to write itself.

So no blog. Just setting this site up with the primitive materials you see here has taken long enough. This view could change, but not soon.

What's with that e-mail address?

I worked at Columbia University for several years in several capacities, and through the good graces of a department that I've helped out with some editorial work in the past, I'm still listed there as a departmental 'affiliate' and allowed to keep it longer than I would have expected. This is a magnificent mitzvah on their part, because changing that old address would probably mean losing contact with about 80 skadillion people and organizations worldwide. An address change may become necessary at some point, but I'm grateful it hasn't yet. I have no other formal connection to Columbia. The address shouldn't be construed as an attempt to pass for faculty.

Why is this site billmillard.org, not billmillard.com?

Because I'm a lot closer to being organized than I am to being commercial.

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