El Guajiro Azul [the Blue Peasant] sent me a text where he tells of his motivations for, and headaches in, writing his blog “Retazos” [Fragments]. The title of his message is delightful: “The old man, the Internet and me.” Reading it, I feel the strong pull of the hook, but this time the old fisherman may not pull us out of the water where, quasi-free, we swim in the web.
I could not wait to publish the texts of the blogger conference—delayed by the debacle of the hurricanes but almost done—to bring you the reflections of this forty-something blogger who was born among the sugarcane fields. Here are the last two paragraphs of the paper presented by the peasant of agile keys and posts as sharp as machetes.
Writing a blog can be frustrating, especially with so many problems in accessing the Internet. Difficulties are compounded when you live in the provinces. Time is scarce and expensive. You have to resend posts and emails that are interrupted when the line goes down. You can’t go back and fix the minor errors that escaped your notice. You can’t read or respond to comments. There is little chance of establishing relationships with other bloggers. You can’t respond to offers to exchange links. You are almost completely unable to upload images. This entire string of impediments leads to a minimalist style that is too sober and visually boring. It requires great skill for the narrator to write texts that appeal to readers, skill I do not possess.
For these and other reasons, more than once I considered surrendering in the face of adversity, discouraged by the rare visits and the meager comments, oppressed by this new form of non-communication that reminds us of messages in a bottle sent by the shipwrecked. To paraphrase Ponte, I wondered what makes people continue with their blogs. Why do this? For fame? Money? To accumulate links? For recognition now or in the future, if everything stays the same, or if it changes? Then I go back to basics, the need to say the things I’d like to say. Deep breath. Turn off the monitor. Check on the child. Arrange the mosquito net. Have a cup of coffee in the kitchen. Smoke the last cigarette in the box. Again, a deep breath, turn on the monitor, and keep typing.
- We need to give encouragement to this rural blogger to continue posting. I suggest that you leave a few words of support in the comments section of “Retazos”; they may even be read by the trolls and muchachos of the Cyber Response Brigades who have provided so much traffic and so many hits to Generation Y.