Well yesterday’s post certainly wound a few people up didn’t it. Anyone would think I did it on purpose (and yes I’m aware it’s easy to make those claims retrospectively).
So here’s the thing. Do I REALLY buy into that model? Or should I be asking whether it’s the model that is the issue or a general awareness of being part of a group of people (a very VERY large group) that is important?
Just because my blog is a hobby for me, should I just ignore those who are currently navel-gazing about the state of blogging? After all, I don’t want to challenge the mainstream media, nor do I really care about fame and fortune (other than getting that elusive Bloggie of course, or perhaps I should aim at getting a link on Kottke…), so why do I follow these discussions?
Well that’s a lot of question marks to tackle, so I’ll take them one at a time. Ohh and I reserve the right to paraphrase and ignore should it suit my needs (remember, my site my rules … blah blah blah).
1. Do I REALLY buy into that model?
Short answer. No. Whilst it’s easy to create wide catchment descriptions to easily drop blogs into, it loses one of the things that I love about blogs, the variation of content. I find those blogs that constantly harp on about the same topic are the type I visit once every few weeks, and even then I skim read. Plus the entire idea of a “Top Dog” group is no better than what we have at the moment, so I don’t see what gap this model is filling.
2. Is the model the issue or is it more to do with a general awareness that you belong to a group?
Possibly. Some of the commenters on my site backup the idea that groupings occur naturally but is that something that we should be assigning an importance to? Quite possibly, without some sort of grouping the internet and blogging in general becomes a mind bogglingly large space. Grouping makes it easier to find your way about. The crucial thing is that grouping is the sole preserve of the blog owner, not something dictated by others, the real “top dogs” are the ones that everyone has choosen to “group” with (which sounds a lot dirtier than it is, unless of course I’ve not been invited to those parties….).
3. Should I just ignore those who are currently navel-gazing about the state of blogging?
No I don’t think WE should. A bad parallel, and when I say bad I mean I’m too lazy to think of a better one, would be elections. Would you discourage people from voting and not understanding the issues? Whether you like the fact or not you, my blogging friends, are part of something that is seen as a group. The actions of the few will speak for the many. Personally I’d like to keep an eye on what’s being said. But that’s just me, you may not have the same emotional attachment and need for validation that… er… let’s move on.
To sum up – because I’m beginning to bore myself, heaven knows why anyone is still reading this – I think John’s theory is wide of the mark. At best it’s a good place to start, at worst it’s self-serving of the worst kind. One theory does not a good blogger make, no matter HOW much publicity it gets. John, no offense, but your aspirations are clear and I think that tarnishes what you publish, but I’m certain that for each casual blogger that turns up his or her nose at your theory, there will be a “pro-blogger” who will take it heart. THAT’S the beauty of blogging, it COMBINES diversity and inclusion.