Conn at an t-Imeall has some very important thoughts on the Irish language, and why he chooses to blog in it, and yet how he may no longer be able to resist the urge to blog in English. His reasoning shows a real grasp of what makes the blogosphere tick – imperfect conversation.
When I started blogging, I chose to blog in Irish because:
1. It is my preferred language
2. I wanted to encourage others to do the same and so provide me with gael-blogs to read 🙂
3. I didn’t think I had anything to add to the discussions taking place on English language blogs.
Reasons 1 and 2 have not changed – but 3 has. Back then, I thought that there were so many people blogging in English, that anything I might say would probably have been said already, and better, by somebody else.
In fact, point 3 was based on the fundamental misunderstanding of a blogging newbie. I thought that blogs were like traditional publishing – where all these opiniated people proclaimed their well-polished ideas from a soap-box, like opinion columnists, commentators or politicians. I didn’t realise that blogging is conversation, ongoing conversation. I didn’t notice how blogging is like “thinking out loud”. I didn’t see the common threads or the progression of debate in this apparent sea of “everyone talking at once”. I thought that each blog post had to be a finished coherent masterpeice, instead of just another piece in the puzzle which will never be completed.
I don’t believe I have anything earth-shattering to contribute to blogging in English. But I understand now that’s not the point. The point is that I can join in if I want to. My unformed ideas are no less valid than what many others are publishing. But they may have a grain of truth which someone else could use, and by exposing my thoughts to comment, I can develop them further.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty