Thursday, January 21, 2010
Is it me?
I am perennially interested in how things change, and especially in how things subtly, over time, change in ways that are fairly imperceptible at the time but when you look back you think -- yeah, wow, right! things really are different now!
I was thinking about this on a recent trip around blogland. I was thinking about how you really couldn't manage to blog not all that long ago without being tagged to do some kind of meme involving a list about yourself. I think at the time it was the collective realization that: ok, I'm here, I'm blogging, but I don't quite know what to say or how to say it. Being tagged to write a list both gave a sense of community AND something to write about (or at least a legitimate excuse to reveal things about yourself as a way of introducing yourself to so many strangers).
And then bloggers kind of collectively found their voices, and found how to reach out and maintain friendships without tagging, and here we are now with nary a tag in sight (or award? those seem to have gone by the wayside too). I think this is growth, I think it is good -- the other way was a good way to start, and now we've grown.
I've also noticed that bloggers, especially the big-time ones, seem suddenly much more thankful for their readers. I'm perceiving a shift from short of an expectation that "of course you're here and fascinated with what I have to say, although of course you also understand that you can't possibly expect me to respond to you" to "I realize how deeply grateful I am to you for being my audience, for helping me publish books/pursue a career/find my voice." I'm expressing this in an extreme kind of way to make my point -- but do you know what I mean? It seems an even kinder and more genuine community now than it did just a year or two ago.