Today I read Tracy's blogs. No, not her blog itself (I do that anyway). I mean I went all the way down her blog list and checked out all the blogs she linked. Is this cheating? No, that's how I find blog reads for my own blog. I do this to a number of blogs all the time. It's how I find interesting things and interesting blogs. Almost all the blogs listed in my "Blog Reads" came from links on other blogs, links from comments in blogs, and links in blog posts.
And I tried to leave comments in almost every blog. Even ones where I didn't really have anything to say (and you can probably tell from the comment). But I hit that POST button anyway. So if you got a stooopid comment from me, just consider that I read your blog and it was my way of letting you know I read your blog. There - guilt be gone...
I consider Tracy my gauge of other bloggers. I know I'm weird. Well, Tracy's weird too, but she's much more social. So I watch how she looks at the comments all the time, checks her web stats, surfs the links and referrals... So I left comments all over her links. I can only hope that it brightens someone's day that they have another reader that they didn't know they had. Everyone wants someone to be listening.
One of the things I noticed while surfing is the large number of people who are in the "1%" of bloggers with content... Okay, there weren't that many links for me to see this as much as I did. I'm not saying that the blogs with this link didn't have content. I'm saying that maybe those with content comprise a much higher percentage. But then I guess it wouldn't be quite an honor if the admitted percentage was higher?
For the most part, I've seen two types of blogs. Those that put it all out in the open and those that have short comments and little links to neat places all over the Internet. I can't say that one is good and the other is bad. I've found pearls among both kinds of blogs. I found Movable Type from a link in a blog (although that blog is stuffed with content). And there are a few blogs that I love going to because they find the neatest things. I don't have time to surf for hours and find these things. I appreciate the links. There are other blogs that I enjoy because they are chock full of content. I learn something from them. Other blogs with personal accounts interest me - if I have a feel for the person as a person. This is the same as writing a fictional story. You have to care about the characters in order to care what happens to them.
I've also found among the blogs that there are accounts of people using the blog as a personal diary. It's sad. I've seen a lot of people get hurt that way. Remember...if you're putting it out on the Internet anyone can read it. If you're talking about someone, they can read it. If you want to vent, but don't want the person you're venting about (your best friend, your lover, etc) to read it - don't post it online! Remember the old dead-tree diaries? They had locks on them for a reason.
It's hard to balance giving enough of yourself to give the reader a character to care about and protecting your privacy. If you don't put enough of yourself out there, no one will really care what happens to you (after all, you're a one-dimensional name at the end of your post). If you give too much of yourself, you invite criticism of your self, arguments from your social circle, and might even feed a blog stalker. It's a delicate balance and takes a lot of effort. No wonder many bloggers post short snippets of comment with links to other things.
The blogs I find most interesting are ones that tell a little about what happens to them (or something they read) and then tell what they *think* about the situation. I think that's the difference between a blog and a diary. Bloggers tell us what they're thinking. Diarists tell us what they're feeling. It's a vast difference.
Posted by BlueWolf on November 4, 2001 03:18 PM