Today you get more than links, because I need to write about something that has been annoying me. It might annoy you, too. The fact that I'm writing about this two weeks after the fact just reinforces why I am not an A-list blogger.
ATTN: Tech Bloggers! You are not all there is. Yours are not the only blogs; you are not the only bloggers.
Last month, Robert Scoble (whom I read, ironically, due to a Montana -- that is, a human -- connection) wrote:
. . . there’s something deeper going on on on blogs.
1. Blogs have lost their humanity. Their weirdness. Instead we’ve become vehicles to announce new products and initiatives . . .
2. We’ve gotten too caught up in the TechMeme games.
3. We’re bored. The interesting stuff is happening off blogs . . .
4. Creative stuff and ideas and questions are getting spread out all over the place.
I tried to challenge him on this in comments, but gave up when he responded, after several exchanges (in one of which he told me I have no clue):
SB: do you “read” a newspaper? Really? Do you read every single word in it? Or just scan the page for something interesting, then you read that in depth don’t you? To me that whole process +is+ reading.
But don’t judge me on whether I’m scanning or not. If I’m not “reading” the materials coming through my feed stream I won’t pick killer stuff for you. Judge me by what I put on my link blog. is it the best stuff available? Yes or no. Many many people tell me it is. So, if that’s true, then I must have picked those items somehow. Hint: I read EVERYTHING in depth that I put on there.
His analogy is a good one; it makes my point. When I did read a daily newspaper, I didn't actually read it; I scanned it.
My point was that he should put the newspaper down, and pick up a book. Read some poems, read a biography, read a memoir. Read some thoughtful nonfiction. Look through an art or photography book.
Blogs are doing all of these; just not the blogs he reads. Apparently.
I was reminded of this when I came across Blog Like a Person, Not Like a Cyborg:
I’ve noticed that I’m becoming increasingly sad as I go through my feed reader these days. My favorite bloggers are taking the TechMeme bait and writing about topics they don’t particular care about just so TechMeme will find the link and pick up their story. We’re all guilty of that from time to time, but it doesn’t exactly help foster conversation or make you more human to your readers. If anything, it kills the conversation and makes you sound like a robot. And while we’re all looking in the same direction and talking about how smart we are examining the stories seated over there on the right, we’re missing all the excitement that’s going on over on the left. It’s like that stuff never happened. We’re just a bunch of blogging cyborgs.
But we aren't! I mean, maybe the tech bloggers are. Maybe the
meta-bloggers are (though we have Skellie, who is certainly not a
cyborg.) But since when are these the bloggers? The only bloggers?
What about the rest of us? Lisa Barone (quoted above, who writes like a person) also says:
. . . it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay motivated and dedicated as competition increases. It also doesn’t help that us bloggers often feel like we’re being talked over, that we feel like no one cares what we have to say, and that top bloggers often seem less concerned about growing their community and more interested in getting picked up by TechMeme.
What if we said: books have lost their humanity. Writers have gotten bored. Artists feel that no one cares ...
Yes! There IS something deeper going on on blogs.
We do care about growing (that is, nurturing) our community. We aren't trying to get picked up by TechMeme, or Digg, or whatever. Yoo-Hoo! We're over here, on the left!
We're the blogs that get dismissed, because we post photos of our kids, and cats (& omg! teddy bears!); because we talk about our daily weird and interesting lives.
We're the personal bloggers, the poetry-bloggers, the photo-bloggers, the online diarists, the science bloggers, the nature bloggers. Here we are, doing our creative stuff and asking questions and sharing ideas.
We're simply trying to connect our human experience with other humans. Want to read (not scan) blogs full of humanity? Check out the Watermark Favorites blogroll. I bet your blogroll is full of humanity, too.
And -- oh, yeah -- weekly blogging links:
- Why You Should Start a Swipe File Today
- The Big Juicy Twitter Guide
- Jazz and the Art of Improvisational Blogging
- Live.com Releases Very Simple Page Translation Tool
- Bruceclay.com - Creating a Powerblogging Toolset
- Twitter for Traffic and Talk: Who is Using Twitter and How? @ chrisg.com
- Widgets and Gadgets for Twitter
- Don't Click Here: The Art of Hyperlinking
Go, my friend, and blog like a person.