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)