This interestingly illuminates my own experience of your blog, KF. I find myself visiting less than regularly, and always wind up going back through the archives to “catch up.” So, one of the things that happens is that I get a ton of info –the equivalent of a long letter — every time I do.
I suspect this is a different kind of experience than if I did what I inevitably berate myself for not having done, that is, followed along on a daily basis and read about things as you posted.
This makes me think about the writing/blogged self as being different through its persistence as much as through the kind of performance it is (no argument with the notion that the F2F self is a performance, too). But I’m fascinated as well by that difference that results from the possibility of reading PO in big bites (big gulps?), whereby your posts about work, reading/writing, travel, health and personal demons come together like (food metaphor about to get out of control here) sticky rice — those glutens which pull the grains together making it a substance qualitatively different from the experience of having the rice grain by grain.
It’s a bad metaphor in that it implies the superiority of the agglutinized KF, and of course I don’t mean that at all. Sticky rice isn’t good unless it’s sticky, but PO is certainly as fine if not better consumed grain by grain.
OK, I’m stopping with the food metaphor. My point is that my own experience of knowing you through the blog (which vastly expands my grad-student-friend experience) is reflective of the persistence and (growing influence) of “the archived self” which seems to live and breathe on the Net in a way that continues to astonish me.
And we often worry about that from the standpoint of privacy, or the persistence of a self-presentation we wish could be forgotten. But there’s a richness to experiencing it that I have kind of grown to like — so long as you’re still there to renew/deepen, and keep it growing.