Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peace, Quiet & Relative Anonymity OR Anti-Social Grump?

Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.
Oscar Wilde

The blogging question. I think everyone who sits down to their computer and starts sending thoughts, opinions, recipes, photos, memories out into cyberspace asks the question. Huh?

There are as many answers as there are bloggers. There are many, many, many bloggers. This isn't about why. This is about something I have pondered since I started all this typing. Something that was brought up on a blog I read yesterday, causing me to decide to ask the question. Or at least broach the subject. When is it too much?

The blog I'm speaking of is a Blog of Note. Blogger chooses blogs to feature. When this happens the blog gets a great deal of exposure, people sign on in droves and the comment feature becomes over-filled. I bring this up because the owner of this blog brought up a new reader who emailed to say the blog is great, but the comments are so numerous as to be off-putting. So the question was asked, what's your opinion?

I actually replied, I was number 113 I believe. As expected, there was no replying comment. What is the value to nearly one thousand followers? Do they all follow, or is there a pack of people who hop from Blog of Note to Blog of Note joining because, well because?

Unless you have nothing else to do, reading and responding to everyone would be impossible. How do you decide? Of course these questions are my own, based on my rather reticent personality. I don't care for crowds and I find that characteristic translates itself to the virtual world as well. I enjoy commentary, both receiving and giving, but how ever could that be managed. That's not to say I don't read some of these, I do. But only as an observer and a casual one at that. 

This is a convoluted piece of writing to get to what I have felt since I first saw the Blog of Note thing. I would find it a curse. I think it would remove the personal connection from the process. I have an interest in my blogger friends. I check their blogs because I want to. I enjoy the comments and humor often contained in the comments. But when there are so many, doesn't it become rote? Frankly, I would not want to be that popular. I would either shut down entirely, or I would turn into a blogger created monster of ego. Since I have never been one of the popular people, a part of the cool group, I fear I could become the latter.

So Blogger, not me. Please.


  1. I value my privacy (and my childrens' privacy) too much to EVER want to be that popular. I started the blog as a way for Mr. Britwife's family in England to be able to keep up with our lives here in America. I've met a few good strangers because of that...but I wouldn't want to have thousands read my blog. I'm not THAT interesting anyway! :) I'd start to feel like I'd HAVE to post great things - and I just don't have time for that.

  2. I'm not interesting either, so I don't need to worry about that! I like more personal blogs, and funny ones. I like to know that I am not the only one with a sucky life!!!

    Always love your subject lines!

  3. You know the strange thing is, I have not seen any rhyme or reason to the blogs that are picked, so you just never know. I have followed a couple of blogs before that happened. They didn't have a huge following, but were eclectic. I have clicked on some of the list of BoN and honestly can't figure what is the catalyst. Some people aim for it and others are caught completely off guard.

    Both of you are funny, but what would such a crowd do to that? Maybe nothing if you could put it to the back of you mind. BTW Queen, rest assured my life is sucky. : )

  4. You already know I like the personal touch. My life is insane. Bloggy friends mean I actually get to *have* friends! lol I can fit blogging in round everything else I have to do but I don't do it to be popular or have hordes of readers but because I enjoy shooting of my mouth on a variety of different topics & having pleasant conversations with like~minded people. I think I'd shut down a blog that got that out of control. What would be fun about it?.

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  6. I don't actually check Blog of Note that often. I am not sure how they are picked. The ones that get featured are no better that the next blog. I have not seen an amazing blog Featured there yet (or did I miss that one)

    I blog with people that I like for some reason or another and I leave comments and continue to leave comments to whom I feel I am interacting with. If I feel like I'm talking to myself I no longer leave comments because just like in real life it not nice to feel ignored even if the blogger is not ignoring you on purpose and only because the have so many followers and comments to get through.

    I would feel bad if I had 1000's of followers but couldn’t reply to them. You are right who has the time to do this. My problem is I wouldn't want to shut down.

  7. All those followers too much to keep up with and too much work!

  8. Well different people blog for different reasons. I can see if there is a business reason you would want as much traffic as possible. Some people are more able to handle and even enjoy all the 'noise'. I'm not, even when visiting. When it takes 10 minutes to scroll to the last comment, it's too much. I do periodically read a couple though. I can see why those I look at have a large following.

  9. I read a reply on this particular blog where the replier said she turned off the comments because it became to much for her. Instead of shutting down.

  10. This post really strikes a nerve. You make some excellent points. At what point does it become too much? What am I sacrificing to do this? Is this an exercise in narcissism?

    And the elephant in the room that no one seems to mention: Where is the diversity? The blogs I see are mainly female, middle class, educated bloggers. Where are the minorities? Is it just ladies who lunch that can find the time to blog?

    I know I looked at a few "designer", "gourmet foodie" blogs when I first discovered this "new world" - and just felt it was a self-indulgent waste of time. If I am going to do this, I want something real - not something about creating an image.

    People who have tons of followers seem to stop following and stop responding to comments . . .

    Thanks for posting about this Sandra - I think you have started an important conversation!

  11. Interesting thoughts, Sandra.

    I started blogging with specific goals and intentions and found that I am not ready to offer up my ummm.... personal crap to the public. I found quite a few blogs that I enjoy for whatever reason. I enjoy the blogs that I enjoy. I comment when I have something to say. I check out the blog lists of the blogs that I follow when I am bored. I love that I have gained a few friends/acquaintances/followers. I check in with the blogs that I follow as often as time allows.

    I have never been a fan of the popularity contest and I don't need, nor do I want a lot of attention.

  12. Bonnie, I understand your point and mostly agree. There are a few men, but it's mostly women. I am not a lady who does lunch though. I normally work all day in the barn, I'm just highly creative in creating a false image!

    There are lots of moms who stay home to care for their children and people who have retired. I see a commonality in many of the blogs, no matter how different. Lots of people who don't have too much opportunity to talk in a meaningful manner with people directly. I'm one of them. For me, I am often spilling over with something to say and no one to say it to! So I started writing. The difference from a journal and a blog is, anyone can read what I type.

    I have a blog I look at once in awhile that I don't think I have on the blog list. A smart man who blogs every day, for his own enjoyment. I'll put it up.

  13. Some people have received writing jobs as a result of their blogs.

    Julie & Julia is a prime example, this blog has been made into a movie!

    Why Women Hate Men blogger received a writing job.

    I am with you on the gazillion comments thing. I started blogging because I needed an outlet. My friends also read my blog and it catches them up on my life. I do not get very many comments, but that is okay. I am happy venting to everyone or no one.

    But some people really just go for popularity, some use their blogs to influence opinion and others really do it as a writing example.

    mugwump chronicles blogger is a writer for a local newspaper.

    I think your life is very interesting Sandra, actually, I think most people's lives are. I think it's how you portray your life that makes you stand out.

    I am especially looking forward to next year when you start bee keeping. :)

  14. Ha! J, you REALLY need a job. : ) Good luck tomorrow.

  15. I am right with you on the BoN. I have been following a couple before they became BoN and the blogs actually changed. They became less personal. I like the interaction and feel pretty much the way your other commenters feel..it's about the interaction to me...like having a good conversation and putting in my two cents if I want to. When it gets to the point of having to read a ton of blogs, the personal part becomes null and void.

  16. I couldn't agree with you more. I don't care how many people come through my blog or how it's ranked. I care that I share common intrests with people who visit. If they become followers, I want it to be because they are intersted in the same things as me. I welcome the opportunity to share my stories and read other people's stories...not because of the numbers, but because of the reasons. Hope that makes sense!

  17. I have never even noticed the blogger of note thing. Where is that? I am not into blogging for the popularity or the comments. I do love the comments and I read everyone of them, but it doesn't matter if I get 5 or 30 comments, I will still blog.
    I only read blogs that are interesting to me, not because I have too. I follow a couple blogs that are not well known, they don't make it a point to go out and get readers. They only have a few followers and are very happy getting one comment. I just really like who they are and the stories they have to share.
    I started blogging for family and friends, it was set to private for a over a year before I went public. I never expected to get so many followers!
    I have found many new and wonderful friends by blogging!
    Thanks for bringing this up. I know there are a lot of bloggers that do it just for the publicity. I am not even close to being a writer, I just blog for fun, family, friends and to meet new people that share the same interests as me, animals!


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.