Sunday, January 18, 2009

I can dream

This post is not in the nature of a whine or anything. I have grown comfortable with the idea that Androcass (the blog, not the person) is not taking off in popularity. Whether because of content or style, there remain only a few who come consistently. If there are visitors, they have tended to drift off, leading to a very spiky result set of readership statistics. And that's OK. (I am still pondering some changes as a result of this, perhaps drop my level of posting, maybe coalesce around fewer topics, split into multiple blogs, but those are not decisions I've made for sure yet.)

But that doesn't mean I can't have some regrets about what I miss by not having a larger community. There's obviously a downside to that, given the trolling and spamming that afflicts larger blogs, but there's also a loss of that exciting give and take that occasionally emerges on the higher-traffic sites. All too often, I end up having a conversation with myself.

Moreover, I miss the chance to do what some of the other bloggers do, which is to solicit topics or opinions. Yglesias will ask his readers to suggest ideas, which seems like a cheap way to avoid coming up with stuff (partially kidding), and other folks will ask for input on things like books to read or movies to see or blogs to check out. I certainly wouldn't mind getting to make those kinds of requests, but I am limited by the size of the readership. That's too bad. (That said, anyone who is reading can feel free to make such suggestions, and I'll be thrilled to get them.)

This is yet another reason I find so much of the Web 2.0 commentary to be so overblown. At its very best, maybe there is a real online community that comes together, and synergizes, and creates an emergent consciousness (or whatever other buzz twaddle is propagated by the marketeers). More often, we're just people lighting matches in the darkness.


2Truthy said...

Blogs are like high school:
The smartest people in the room are rarely the "popular" ones, and the popular ones are too often horribly overrated.

Anonymous said...

Get a LiveJournal and post to communities. I agree it's hard to be popular, and also dubious. Still it's true you don't get a whole lot of responses. You and the crew form a curious blogger ecology that I have enjoyed watching, perhaps especially because I consider you misled as a group, but also because the passion is there. LiveJournal just makes conversations grow more easily through notification and threading features and communities carry a pre-established audience. I'm sure other sites have such features by now. But there's something sorta isolated and stillborne about the blogging software you've chosen, as participation goes. It's among the weakest platforms for building broad-based community participation, though obviously many still do it.

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