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Are We Blogging Original?

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The close down of Posterous was a sad moment for me. In as much as it seemed to officially mark the end of what had felt like a brave new approach - I'm not sure to what but certainly new - in an instant world of publishing to large audiences that seemed to hold powerful potential in the right hands. I had used it as a personal diary of sorts, a place for first drafts, and expanded on ideas that had felt important.

So today, rather than unceremoniously 'closing down' and turning off the lights, I thought I would use a switching service to transfer all of the 175 posts from the Posterous years to Tumblr, to give those thoughts one more airing perhaps, for vanity perhaps, or just to conserve some clearly thought out and useful work.

As the posts flick over from one platform to the other, most of them altering in format and losing nuance that had seemed carefully important in their original form, a realisation has dawned on me. One of a circulation of formalised thoughts, even in this era of the instant and the instinct.

The death of the platform is the best thing that could ever have happened to those thoughts, because in inviting reading without tailored formatting and presentation, and without a 'number of hits' or comments to grade each piece, only some sentences survive as truly valuable and interesting, while a majority fall in to the 'repeated' category. Often in new clothes, or newly expressed, but unmistakably repeats of prior thoughts.

Freed from the clothing of a blog, some thoughts invite revisiting, most invite the dustbin, and all serve as a timely reminder in the age of the instant message, that deep within us lie tendencies to conserve rather than create, and that very often, in our need to formulate an argument, or a 'whole' of any kind (including perhaps a public 'identity'), we calcify rather than set ideas free.

Breaking them down again is a creative act. Writing 'original' new thoughts from scratch is more likely to keep the components of those thoughts bound up together. It has got me thinking where I can transfer them to next.