As I hop around the hocoblogs neighborhood, I see how each blog creates its own little island for commentary and discourse. And some days I wonder if perhaps it isn't about the blogs at all, but about the comments.
Why do some blogs produce good-natured give and take, while others bring out rude and ignorant trolling? Some blogs foster a gentle and supportive tone, some, a humorous one. And then there are the blogs which produce no...comments...at...all... (insert ominous music here.)
Is this something to be feared? Are comments the mark of popularity or influence? That's a matter of personal preference. But, if blogging is seen as an open-ended form of communication with the reader, then a lack of comments can seem like living in a ghost town.
Now, some bloggers take a blustery, pugnacious tone that may dissuade readers from making any comment. "Disagree with me? I'll bite your nose off!" But there are some blogs, and they can be quite good, that get little or no comment. Why?
I am beginning to think that readers may place a hierarchy of value on blogs, some perceived to be the "real stuff", others seen as "soft", not worth putting one's mark on. Could it be that the hocoblogs neighborhood has its cool kids, outcasts, wild ones, and "invisibles"?
In this world there are some people you want to be seen with, because their popularity just might rub off on you.
These are the people whose parties you want to attend, because something interesting is bound to happen. And you want to be seen with the "in" crowd.
I learn a lot from our local blogs and bloggers. And I enjoy hanging out in a variety of venues. I don't always enjoy leaving comments because the rules of engagement vary so widely. (I'm a lover, not a fighter.)
I guess I am asking: why do we promote whom we promote? And, why do we validate whom we validate?
What is the force at work here, and is it based on good writing, meaningful content, an engaging tone? Or, is it just like high school and the law of the lunchroom: in order for a few to be celebrated, many must be ignored.
You'll see I've added a blog list in the sidebar. It's time I shared the places I like to hang out in the neighborhood.