[$] "NEXT BLOG" button

I started playing this game on Monday, and I can't stop -- even though my eyes hurt. It's called "next blog", and it goes like this: I load my blog in the browser, and click the "next blog" button in the Blogger header and read whatever comes up.

I can hear some of you wince. I know: I should know better -- especially given some of the blogs I link to. The "blog" as an object has reached the stage of popularity of cellphones -- which means that while blogging is a great idea with some real-world applications that make your head spin (think: freedom of the press, or global distribution of ideas), it is so ubiquitous that even jerks who can't spell "ubiquitous" are blogging, making 98% of the blogs you read completely worthless. Like the cellphone, the idea is futuristic and mesmerizing: you mean I can self-publish instantly and my work will be available to billions in a few seconds? Of course, there is something lost in translation: the disciple of an editor.

So in playing "next blog", I have found many, many, many spammy blogs: blogs that link to insurance pitches and viagra-to-your-home websites. Who didn't know those would be there? Kudos to Blogger, btw, that I have not found any explicitly-"adult" blogs. Not sure how they did that, but good on them: Blogger is mostly safe for kids.

That is, if you find people who visit the Taj Mahal and can only muster "my best memories are of eating fish and chips and getting drunk on beer" "mostly safe for kids". Or if blogs dedicated to painful breakups that are weeping and bleeding over the loss of one's own true love "mostly safe for kids" (man, they're like 1 in 6 out there, even if we don't count Red's blog).

Thank heavens about a third of the random blogs out there are in Spanish. Because that way I can fool myself into thinking that very metropolitan Europeans and South Americans are blogging about existentially-vital matters that we stupid, monolingual Americans aren't fit to read because of our provincial, puritanical and xenophobic worldview -- rather than admitting that even those blogs are completely self-absorbed journals about video games, some insignificant local band scene, the never-discovered (with good reason) poetry of some emotionally-burdened adolescent, or the evils of corporate employment.

You play it yourself -- see if you can validate my findings. I think this is a great sociological experiment. I'll leave it up to you, blog reader, to determine the hypothesis and the results. The method, however, is addictive.