I read a lot of blogs, and I read a lot of blogs about blogging (or having an ‘online presence’). The blogs about blogging talk about how it is important to be part of the online community, joining in on the discussion people are having. But then I go to the other blogs I read, see a post that has a lot of resonance for me (mostly the ones about weddings, graphic design, and…child-rearing) and there’s already over 150 comments! Who is going to read mine? NO ONE. And it doesn’t really matter, because most of what people are saying in their comment is their own two cents on the matter, not any kind of actual dialogue (me included). I don’t read more than a few comments down, and doubt anyone else would read comment #163. So is this really a community?
The only blogs on which I feel like I would actually be part of a conversation is the snarky blogs, but then I am too intimidated- and feel too guilty about talking major trash on someone I don’t know- to comment.
I’ve never really been good at forming superficial relationships, like friendships made at camp or conferences, and I feel like most online relationships are pretty superficial. I think the dynamic between blog author and blog reader is just a bit odd. As the reader, I feel like I know the author so well. I read about her life every day, maybe see pictures of her kids, know how she feels on a range of issues. But she doesn’t know a thing about me, so the relationship is lopsided. Kind of like celebrities, only even more intimate. But I have also read posts by authors talking about their great online friendships they have made, so apparently it happens. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong.