Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The best next thing

When you saw the notice that the last post was around - however it may have been - you immediately thought something. When that tweet, notification, RSS post or whatever means of letting you know that something new is afoot went afoot - you thought something.

Hopefully, you thought "YES! THERE'S A NEW WONDERFUL POST, I SHALL DEVOUR IT IMMEDIATELY!". More realistically, it was probably more something along the line of "hey, a new post, cool. Lemme get back to you about that."

I imagine there was at least some disappointment in seeing that it was, well, the post. Five lines of text without any pretense about anything - the last one wasn't even green! What a waste of a mouse click!

I also imagine at least someone else thinking that something else is up.

Good call.

A good portion of all communication is expecting the counterparts next move. This is pretty much universal, no matter what medium (new, social or otherwise) is used. Any given particular speech act includes in itself the possibility and promise of future speech acts of a similar nature. As anyone knows who has discovered a new favorite band and fervently listens through any and all things they've ever done, both the possibility and the promise are powerful things.

Especially when there's a new album on the horizon.

Blogs are not exempt from this. On the contrary - the decision to keep reading a particular blog is based pretty much exclusively on this expectation.

Is the next post going to be good?

One may do two things when confronted with this thought. The first is to get a bout of anxiety - being good is hard! The second is to think a bit further, and realize that the key word "good" is just as relative as any other relative term. And that it is very much in the eyes of the reader what "good" might be. Leaving us with the choice between being good and being "good".

I prefer "good". Less anxiety that way, and more responsiveness to boot. Less talking with abstract universalities and more talking with people.

Like all good things, it also leaves room for interpretation and ponderings. What do you think? What do you expect from the next post? And is it possible to help this expectation along somehow?

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