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<nettime> definition of snarkyness
Geert Lovink on Fri, 19 May 2006 09:52:26 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> definition of snarkyness

(While digging through the blogosphere I came across this German (?) 
theory prose on Revenge of the Blog. Net Criticism in the Age of Web 
2.0? /geert)



It would be wonder if American bloggers wouldn?t develope their ?own? 
jargon. We can speak of the top of a pyramide of attention of bottom-up 
citizen blogging which is lead by a relatively closed circle of ?class 
A? bloggers. Such a classication refers more to quality control in 
industrial production than the ranking in sports which would be how one 
would use it Germany (?Oberliga?). In these language games, which are 
certainly right now heavily researched by academia, a term which 
appeared often describes the writing style of blogger, more a common 
attitude than a distinctive form to differentiate one blogger from 
another. ?Snarky? to my ear it sounds more like witty sarcasm than cold 
cyncism, it contributes more to the Young Urban Professional than to 
the authoritarian character described by Adorno, who?s cynicism is a 
way of distancing himself from his own ethical involvement. The snarky 
voice of blogger seems to have an east coast origin, or better british 
origin. It has not reached the center of Californian ?positivism?, as 
expressed in the ?inspired? writing of Tim O?Reilly and colleagues at 
O?Reilly Radar, which is maybe a good example for a specialized ?blog? 
which is not just a self-run-ego-booster but rather tends towards an 
interesting model of coders of programs as writers of articles and 
self-promoters of their philosophy of coding.

The importance of the ?universal tone? of the snarky voice is expressed 
by the connotation of the attributed sound of the human voice. to have 
a ?voice? on the net, is maybe the most central aspect of blogging, 
especially because this sound is expressed textually and only newly in 
the direct form of podcasts. Snarky refers ethymologically to the nasal 
aspect of snoring or snorting. This sonority refers both to a certain 
private informality of the ?pyjama blogger? but also a certain state of 
routine and disconnectedness to a feedback which would allow to 
modulate the expressions. the opposite would be described by another 
emerging term ?Emo?, which stands for emotional and expressive, and is 
used both in music and programming.

Again, to me the sound of blogging is more like the one of the office 
chats, the talks around the coffee or copy machine in the morning. the 
brevity has less to do with the time of the readers but the one of the 
writers, which very soon have to direct their attention to their days 
work. in this way blogging is the conversaiton of the world wide white 
collar force, which is often working from home today.

In distinction to the authoritarian character described by Max Weber in 
the rigidly hirarchized administration of the Prussian State, the new 
authoritarian character is a liberal one, he is contributing to an 
economic culture which integrated a protestantic work ethics and loaded 
it with hedonism and fun. the new authoritarianism is much more 
machinic and structural to a degree of micro-management. another word 
which is very fashionable with bloggers is procastination. it describes 
a hesitation of fulfilling small tasks. it is enemy number of the 
blogger. between snarkyness and procastination lays the new work ethics 
which follow the subjectivification of the knowledge worker in the 
neo-liberal world society.

Published: 4.4.06 / 10am

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