Should so many blogs be so devoted to talking about the blogger? That question has popped up a couple of times over the last couple of days. It's worth considering.

Consider the power some bloggers possess. A captive audience seeks out a popular blog, puts it in their regular feed, reads every word, comments almost every single time and then waits excitedly for the e-mail reply. What, in those five hundred words or so, can be said to be worth that kind of devotion?

Kinship is a possibility. Maybe to read and relate to a stranger, someone far removed from one's own life, is enough of a thrill to keep doing it again and again, day after day, with dozens of different individuals.

Some voyeurism is almost definite. In the illusion of anonymity on the internet, a reader can look into someone's life, peek in the window and see all the blogger's faults, all their failings, all the real weaknesses that aren't discussed verbally amongst the "real" people of the world. And perhaps feel better about themselves?

Blogs are entertaining certainly. In the reality show mentality of the day, maybe this is just another way of getting the fix that can be so readily found on the television or in People Magazine. This drug is more personal. With this dose, the reader gets a response from the star, something not available in most other media formats.

Growth is a sort of cop out answer, isn't it? Has a reader really become more than he or she was before the blog was discovered, before the thousand words or so a week were consumed? Maybe, but probably not.

Consider the power. Consider what could be accomplished if more bloggers stopped focusing on themselves and started focusing on the world. Maybe nothing could be accomplished. Maybe no change would come.

Maybe, just maybe, then the power would be lost. No one would read it.

It could be that precarious, that ethereal and that temporary.

Just something to think about.


(in honor of the focus of this blog, no personal reference)


  1. Many people see blogs as self-therapy. If I weren't so lazy I'd probably elaborate on that further.

  2. I think there are all sorts of bloggers and all kinds of blogs. The popularity of a blog is an extra dimension, but it doesn't automatically make a blog or a blogger inward facing. I agree - blogging about blogging isn't generally to my taste, though I have fallen into the trap of doing it myself from time to time.

  3. Blogging about blogging? I think I did it a couple of times but that's just it.
    Blogs can be a powerful tool. For example the most popular local blog here belongs to our ex Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, once the most powerful man in Asia. He commented on many issues, and even after leaving the government, still advise from afar.
    I love this man, a great visionary, and he had theatres performances about his life, when STILL living! :)

    I am a negative option guy, but that does not mean I seek black-hearted bloggers for read.

    It's all entertainment in the end.

  4. well... different strokes for different folks..:-)

  5. I am so guilty as charged. I LURVE blogging about blogging. But I also get on my soapbox and have rants about issues close to my heart. Basically, I think I'm doing it wrong. xx

  6. I run across what I consider "popular blogs" with hundreds of comments for each post. The number of followers or comments does not woo me. The substance of the post is what I look for. And some blogs I read regularly have posts that I like very much so I comment and when I comment I usually put some work into the comment. Not just "Really good" or some such meaningless comment. I personally like when a blogger writes a post showing the reader some strong feelings the blogger has about a particular subject.

  7. My problem is blogging about a lack of blogging...I am guilty as charged. Also, I am learning to not blog just for the sake of it but to do it for the reasons I started in the first place ( to explore writing & photography) and to enjoy all the international connections it brings. So, lovely meeting you Casey!


  8. This has been a subject of discussion in modern literature also, with author's like Tom Wolfe decrying the modern novel as navel-gazing, without the depth of such 19th century novels written by Charles Dickens, etc., which dealt with societal issues along with character and drama. People will write what they want to write. We live in a very personal-oriented Oprah-watching society, and sometimes the personal -- mothers talking about child-rearing openly -- can be as political as writing about Congress.

  9. i will have to disagree. suggesting on what to blog about? i do think in the REAL world people should start getting more involved and have more opinions and face their communities and worlds, but the blog is personal expression, one's own little space to do what ever they want. we need to encourage people just to express everything, not direct what they should say.

  10. This post confused me. I think I need to read it when I am wide awake and can focus.


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