The recent Bloggers Xmas Party (in London), and an aside by Lori has pinged a little light bulb in my head. I doubt I’m the first to think of this…
By all accounts, the Bloggers Xmas Party was a huge success, and already there are little in-jokes springing up, jokes that, if you weren’t there, you won’t get. Next up, Lori mentions Lyle, both of them attend a Manchester meet recently.
And this gets me thinking – how long before the blogging world starts to splinter into geographically focussed ‘groups’ (or cliques if you prefer?). And have we already?
Let’s back-pedal a little first.
Someone asked me on Friday night “Why do you blog?” and I gave my usual answer of “I started before blogs, and er… ” followed by a fumbling response consisting of ‘for my own record’ and ‘but referrer logs…’ and other mumblings that didn’t really answer the question. Anyway, one thing I can’t add to that list, not completely anyway, is that I’ve met new people. Now, I have (and do) chat occasionally to some of you on MSN (snowgoon2206 AT hotmail.com if you wanna say hi), but that’s not really much removed from reading that person’s blog. The connection is still mine to manage and control, to the extent that it’s not really a friendship but a pastime. I need to be sitting at my PC, and willing to interact before I visit a blog or respond to an instant message.
Hmmm I’m not sure I’m making my point very well, maybe I’m slightly jealous. A lot of the blogs I read (check my blogroll) are based in South-East England… and right there is another interesting thing, I still have separation between blogs and their authors. There is no gap, GreenFairy is both a person and website, as is Hydragenic, etc etc (Vaughan is just obfuscating).
So without having met Gert, I judge her personality from what she says on her website, and the comments she leaves on others, same for Adrian, and countless others. And that is the thing that will start to change the layout of weblogs as we know them, personal information, connections, “real” connections to your peers.
I’m not saying this will be a conscious decision, or even that it will be all encompassing, but it is slowly starting to happen anyway (it’s human nature to talk about what you know). The question is, how can we harness it and gain benefit from it? Or need we try? Weblogs are the modern equivalent of word-of-mouth, and a damn efficient version they are too, but as they become more and more popular, we will tailor our content based on feedback (comments) and slowly the splinters will appear. Why read about another adventure on the Tube, when I can read about an adventure on the Clockwork Orange? A farmer’s market in Camden, or Stirling? No it won’t be a wholesale switch, our innate curiosity will make sure we keep reading sites from places other than our locale, but I’m sure those numbers will shrink.
What say you?