Thinking Out Loud

July 26, 2011

Blogging in a Vacuum; Or Thinking You Are

Filed under: blogging — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:23 am

Bradley J. Moore from the blog Shrinking The Camel — give it a few seconds, it’ll kick in — feels he has a “micro following” and isn’t sure why he should bother.  Of course this from a guy who got over 50 comments to the post in question.  So I thought, “What the heck.  If it’s visibility he wants, it’s visibility he’s going to get.”

I am convinced I have more than a “micro following,” but alas, I say that from a populationally challenged perspective.  Anyway, he was just begging me to steal this post, wasn’t he?

So here’s what happens:

I’m dreaming up my next brilliant blog post while driving into work, say, or taking a shower or what have you, and suddenly this surreptitious little voice in my head interrupts, saying: “Who do you think you are? No one cares about your stupid blog! Look at you pathetic people, pretending to be so clever with your advice and wisdom and deep thoughts. What a load of crap! Let me tell you, the only two bloggers who matter out there are Seth Godin and Michael Hyatt - that’s it! Oh, and also that guy from Stuff Christians Like who got the book deal with Zondervan. That was impressive. Wait – and the girl who got the movie deal about Julia Child. That was a pretty good movie. But the rest of you are just stupid, stupid, stupid.”

And I’ll think to myself, “My God, what if he’s right?” I’ve been blogging for three years, and you would think by now I should be enjoying a burgeoning audience of thousands. Instead, I have barely scratched together what one might call a micro-following, numbered perhaps in the dozens.

Maybe I haven’t worked at it hard enough?

There is this coy little demotivational slogan I saw once that says,

Blogging:
Never has so much been written
by so many people,
and read by so few.”

This is funny to me now – not like “ha ha” funny, but in a scarily recognizable way.

When reading and commenting on other blogs, I confess that at times it can all seem so – I want to say – desperate. Here we are, pouring out our hearts and minds to the world, desperate for acknowledgement or attention or some meager crumb of validity to our creative output.

And sometimes, well, it does feel stupid. Like this whole blogging enterprise is some ridiculous pyramid scheme, where we’re all just propping each other up on some flimsy stack of digital cards to give the illusion that we are more significant than we really are.

There is so much talk about the power of social networking, but no one really mentions the more common situation: the online ghetto existence; words fed out to almost-empty space; the virtual echo chamber.

But here’s the thing: That little voice doesn’t stop me – I’ll go and write that next brilliant blog post anyway, and I’ll hit “publish,” and say to myself, “Well. I really like that post. Good job today, Brad.”

Then I’ll go read the next person’s blog and think, “Hey, this is good. I like the way they said that.” And then someone will send me a little email asking for my advice on something. Then I’ll get all thrilled to see that 42 people clicked on my post today, even if it was only for a three-second scan of the title, and – hey look! Some even took the time to say something nice.

So what if it’s stupid. Who cares if we’re all just making this up for each other’s delusional benefit. Because even if it’s just a couple dozen of us out there propping each other up, well, that’s something.

Bradley J. Moore

Disclaimers:

  1. Closed course, professional driver.
  2. You should never steal blog posts from people unless you have pages and pages of statistical data showing that people just read the excerpts but don’t click; or if the author of the post in question complains about readership and is thereby begging you to steal the article in question.
  3. “Populationally” is an interesting word because if you try to look it up in any search engine or online dictionary, it immediately fries your hard drive.  So just trust me on this one.
  4. How can a guy complain that he only gets 42 clicks on an article when he gets 50+ comments.  I’ve never had 50 comments on anything here unless you’re thinking of that article about that Bible teacher and author.
  5. His blog took my comment but not my link.  So he owes me.
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2 Comments »

  1. I think it is wise to think of a blog as a journal that you let other people read…that way it won’t matter how many posts are clicked. It is a way of organizing our thoughts, airing differences, letting it all out (whether or not anyone is there to catch the words).

    Many brilliant people have very very few people who understand them enough to analyze what they are trying to express, my husband being a case in point. Some of his most brilliant academic papers are directed toward a very small and obscure field of science. He may work three years on a single thought, get some results published internationally and then hardly anyone can fathom what he has done. Does this mean that he should stop?Go into a more popular field? NO. He writes and researches because he must. I think the best bloggers take on this thought process as well.

    Comment by Cynthia — July 26, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  2. rings so true. We need to write because it’s good to write. Until a wee bit of feedback somewhere says someone values it. Then the joy kicks in.

    Comment by Brian — July 27, 2011 @ 10:41 am


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