So as I was out browsing today looking for something interesting to blog on, not an easy task. I was amazed by the lack of original content and the almost recursive nature of the blogosphere. One would think being checked out for a week would bring just loads of new ideas, but not so much. I know that there aren’t a whole bunch of original ideas to begin with, but I tried to find one.
When pondering on the lack of limited new content, I “flashed” on a short story by Jack Lewis, much in the same way the tv character Chuck, on the [tag]nbc[/tag] tv [tag]series[/tag] [tag]Chuck[/tag] flashes on random things due to the intersect, a spy thing. The short story “Who’s cribbing” is about a new science fiction writer finds that all his submitted stories are being rejected because they are copies of those published by another writer in the 1930s and 1940s. He does not understand what is happening. When he finally gathers all his letters and rejection slips and tries to publish that, he is told that this, too, was the work of that other author. The real question is how much original content qualifies as new and original content? I am the blogosphere is like festivus for content.
Technorati is now tracking over 70 million weblogs, and we’re seeing about 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day. That’s about 1.4 blogs created every second of every day. I further noticed that most inbound comments to my blog are not because the article or the other commenters speak to you; you’re commenting on the blog because you hope people will click on your name at the bottom of the comment and visit your own site. CLICK!
Have you ever had that experience where you realize that you actually KNOW something, versus feeling like you’re still learning it? For instance, when you go from having to think which one is a G chord on a guitar and which one is a C (guitar players: did you just flash to a visualization of the positioning?), what does that feel like? That knowing?
Well, we get along as independent and autonomous sovereign human beings in the physical world, and we need to bring that into the virtual world. So we use tools like social networks and blogs as a utility to deliver this sense of[tag] community[/tag]. For example, Twitter enabled me to make new friends. This is the greatest benefit of all. It connected me to people like Greg, Laura, Jim, Michelle, and Chris that I had not known. They have helped me in many ways, but more importantly, they have become friends, and friends are far more important than page views. This social networking stuff is tough work! Content is just plain everywhere, which in turn, as someone trying to blog, has to retain, synthesize, document and spellcheck. Drat!! [tag]Bloom’s taxonomy[/tag] again!
So what’s the effort for? So is it google hits in a query? Pageviews? People following you on Twitter? LinkedIn connections? Feedburner readers? Gosh I hope it’s not feedburner readers, because my 23 readers are probably not that interesting.
I’ll confess I’m not a [tag]Facebook[/tag] user. I have an account as a way of checking it out, but I’ve ‘friended’ very few people. Why? Because if I friend you, especially someone I don’t know, I’m giving you explicit permission to start a fairly intense series of interactions. This makes good commercial sense if you’re an insurance salesman or even a musician looking for gigs, but if you’ve got a limit on the time you can invest, it’s not only time-consuming, it’s a recipe to bitterly disappoint people. It’s that whole synthesis thing which takes so much work.
I force myself to read great blogs outside of my niche, passion and even interest for the same reason. Start email conversations with other bloggers. Develop relationships with journalists in my niche. I’ve been quoted and featured in four stories published in our state newspaper simply because I was blogging in my niche. And then, simply, get some rest. Blogging takes a ton of energy. I think more bloggers could use more rest times of simply sitting on the couch. But a fair amount of bloggers are just out in the field – right? C’mon, [tag]Barcamp[/tag] [tag]Scotland[/tag] 2007 was a brilliant event!
If you’re reading this, chances are, you already know the importance of getting involved in all this online conversation stuff. But it’s worth sharing this advice for wannabe authors which was first shared by Scalzi, it’s really very simple… it’s about what you can bring to the party, not what you can get out of it.
Wish I had time to really blog.
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.