June 22, 2006

Interviews With Bloggers, Part 4: Ismateo of "Function of Unguent"

The Bella Rossa Interview With Ismateo of Function of Unguent

of Function of Unguent is a meat enthusiast and recently blogged about the World Cup. Some of his favorite new blogs include laura the tooth, basketbawful, sophisto, gentrified rice, and you can't get arrested for being awesome.

Bella: How would you describe your blog?

ismateo: Sorta chewy.

Bella: Why do you blog?

ismateo: Sometimes I want to share some weird or funny sh*t
I've seen on the internets, or sometimes I have something I want to
tell people my opinion about for whatever reason, or sometimes I have
some words I want to write that are poems or fictions or whatevers.
It's just a place for my scattermind to spread its spewage.

What was your original goal or intention when you started, and has that changed with time?

: Not really. I've always done it just because I
liked it. Sometimes I took it more seriously than others, other times
it was more frivolous and just for farts.  As more people that iIve
never met in real life started visiting, it became more intense - a
combo of ego and, like, fear. Wanting to, y'know, make sense, make it
look nice and neat. But it's always been my thing, and just because.

Is your blog a means to an end (finding work, developing
creative ideas, making money, meeting people), or does it exist for its
own sake?

ismateo: Nope. I mean, yes. I mean, uh, I guess so?


What are some of your favorite, "must-read" blogs? What keeps
you going back again and again? Have you ever totally lost interest in
a blog that you once really enjoyed, and if so, why?

ismateo: I go through phases.  i'm so scattered -- I'll
forget about a blog for a long time, then go back to it and find it and
love it and forget it all over again. The ones I read the most are the
usuals -- metafilts, growabrain, boingboing.  But I love my blogroll,
and I'm always trying to add to it, to spread it and increase the rad
randomosity of it.

What kind of person is the likeliest reader of your blog? What would you hope they get out of reading you?

: The likeliest reader is probably young in America
and working. Or it's my mom. I don't know -- i guess i'd hope to get
a smirk or two, a smile, a laugh, someone to get a little insight into
something they didn't think about before or know about.

Are there people in your life who don't "get the whole blog
thing?" How do you explain it to them without feeling as nerdy and
defensive as I usually do?

ismateo: Some friends forget that it's something I do, they
know about it but don't go there. They just check MSNBC and ESPN and
that's their internet. And I don't explain sh*t to people - maybe
that's my defensive reaction.  I just put stuff in a post and hope it
gets noticed. Or don't care at all, just do it because I'm bored on
some Tuesday.

What's your relationship with your readers? How much interaction
do you encourage? How much do you self-censor, knowing that your
friends and family might be reading?

ismateo: I'd like more comments. Like, no duh. Just
knowing that x amount of people are coming and looking and not having
anything to say about it is... well, it's not annoying really. I just
wonder if what i'm blogging about is of any interest. Huh, I guess if
it was, then i'd have more comments. Sh*t. And I usually don't
self-censor.  Sometimes I feel like I'm cussing a lot in my blog, but I
like the force of it. I'm not saying sh*t unless I mean it.

Have you ever heard yourself say something like "If you really
cared about me/were really interested in me, you'd look at my blog"? Is
this a fair thing to throw at, say, your sister, during an argument
over who gets the nicest drumstick at Thanksgiving?

ismateo: No.

Do you video blog? Would or will you? Are there any video blogs
that you look at? What would you video blog about, if you did?

ismateo: Probably not. I still have issues with my digital camera.

Have you ever blogged something that later you regretted and/or
deleted from your blog? What lesson did you draw from that experience?

: Nope. I guess I'm never super personal - I'll
put up my writing, but I'm never, like, gossiping or anything.  so it's
hard to regret posting that funny picture of the dog dressed up as a

What are your thoughts on the phenomenon of "doocing," wherein
someone loses their job because of things they posted on a relatively
anonymous, discreetly written personal blog? Are you careful to
maintain a clear line between your online self and your real world
self? Are you conscious of creating an online persona? How is that
persona different from the real world you?

ismateo: If I ever lost my job for blogging, then f*ck
it. The job, I mean.  It's just my stupid place to say my stupid piece.
Freedom and all that.  I hate the corporate machine, anyway -- but
especially if it comes to that.  But I have kept a fair amount of space
between what I share Amigaabout my personal life, and what I talk about on
my blog. Clearly, i am always the same person -- I think of it as just
facets. Like, in real life, you might not know I have a blog after
hanging out for a bit. And after a quick read on my blog, you might
get to know me a little bit, but not the whole deal.

Bella: What is the history of your relationship with computers and the
internet? How long have you been online, and what kinds of things have
you done online (e-mail, chat rooms, message boards, real-time
multi-player games, aimless surfing, etc.)? How has this changed your
life, for the better or worse?

: Since my Amiga, since Prodigy. But who knows how
this has changed my life - it's all made me who I am.  But I do miss
King's Quest.

How long do you think you will continue to blog? What are the
circumstances under which you can imagine yourself quitting?

ismateo: 'Till I lose interest. My energy for it comes and
goes - it's been waning of late. But I'm also planning a big world
tour, so my focus has just been elsewhere. I can't get all interested
in random midget breakdancers anymore.

What's the coolest thing that's come out of your blogging experience?

ismateo: Meeting cool people like you - even if we haven't
"really" met. (Editor's note: aww!) It's still friendly and fun, and that's a good thing.

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