On.. Weblogs, community and being in school

So I thought my first post should cover weblogging and the weblog community and the nature of that.

I’m finding myself thinking of having a weblog a lot like one might think being the new kid at school. No one knows me, and there is a pressure to be popular. Do I look right? Will people care what I say? Will anyone take any notice of me? What am I going to learn?

If you take the analogy further it still works, there are the popular people and the must read weblogs. There are the obscure strange ones in the corner that occasionally get ridiculed. Of course there are a lot of quiet ones that just fade into the background.

Like school there is the thought that what we are doing is important. However I always judge things by the mum & dad test. My parents are computer savvy retirees who use the net regularly, they are not regular weblog readers. It feels like blogging has achieved a mainstream integration because there is an awareness of them, what blogging has achieved so far is a main stream awareness not so much an integration. Its the difference between being aware of hybrid fuel cars and actually owning one. You might think they are a good idea, but you still don’t utilise it. This is the point I think blogging is at in its maturity. It is feeding the media, it is feeding publishers, it is even feeding Hollywood. Right now though it isn’t passing the mum & dad test, because they aren’t regular blog readers.

Bridging this cultural gap is going to be interesting. Forums and discussion groups have passed the mum & dad test as they have read and contributed to them. I think the signal to noise ratio on blogs may not be helping, after all it is the cheapest vanity publishing on the planet. Right now I’m contributing and if you are interested in what I have to say then it could be considered signal, but for everyone else it is noise. There have been attempts to make it easier to find what you want in terms of blogs however a lot of them still feel very techy, because its techy people that want to aggregate the information. Do we need to do anything to encourage more people to read weblogs? Do we want to? I don’t know, I’m just the new kid…

I’ll keep you posted on the mum & dad/blog interface situation, I’ll not push them towards it because I want to see how long it takes to happen naturally.

There we are, first day at school.


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