Archives » February 25th, 2003

February 25, 2003

Fictional Weblogs

I was reading the latest JOHO today when a little snippet caught my attention. David Weinberger had posted it on his blog earlier this month, and it started me thinking then, but since his JOHO is basically a rehashing of things he’s already written, I saw it again today. He wrote:

Why aren’t we seeing more fictitious weblogs? […] a genuine form of narrative fiction: daily postings from a fictitious character.

That made me wonder: how many of those are out there? I could imagine the weblog being a rich medium for a writer to stretch his or her creative muscles, developing a character and keeping it going for months or years like that. The idea certainly isn’t new, after all. Many a novel has been written as a series of diary or journal entries. Dracula is the one that immediately springs to mind. But has it been done online?

Dr. Weinberger himself pointed to one, the one that made him ask the question. It certainly looks fictional, but it has the distinct disadvantage of having seemingly killed off its main character. Then I faintly remembered that Julius Caesar had a weblog. I looked for it, and it’s still going strong. I give this guy an A for the idea and an A+ for keeping it up all these years. And of course many people remember Kaycee Nicole, although that was different for a couple of reasons. 1) The author actually wanted people to believe it was true, and 2) The fiction continued outside of the weblog and spilled over into IM chats, written letters, and even phone calls. That wasn’t so much a work of fiction as a deliberate attempt to toy with people’s emotions.

What else, though? I went looking and found a few lists of fictional weblogs. In all, though, they only add up to a few dozen sites, some of which have been abandoned. Is this a realm of fiction that is yet to be discovered, and then when it does it will explode? Or will it fall by the wayside as a medium for fiction, even though the technology itself grows? (See also hypertext fiction and Choose Your Own Adventure).

Tom Coates asked the same question two years ago. I wonder if he ever got any answers?


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