Wednesday, October 27, 2010

taking you and me to the next level.

I'm not supposed to be thinking about the readership chapter-that is supposed to be in the 2011 study schedule and I am still working through the 2010 one. However. Ideas rarely accord to plan and articles rarely have just one thing to say. So this article I'm reading now argues, among other things, that a blogger and their reader/s have a personal and emotional relationship (because they connect through the sharing of personal information which is received at an emotional level on a personal device) which only becomes active at the point that the reader responds by commenting.

I disagree. I feel like an active participant of the blogs I regularly read yet I rarely leave a comment. And, having kept this old rag, I know that many of you guys click over from time to time yet the majority of you dematerialise back into the ether without leaving word- and I still think of you as active participants on this blog because you come back.

I'm not saying this is true of every single reader but based on my experiences which are surely not isolated, the relationship is enacted through returning and reading; with continuity. I may not know any (!) of the bloggers whose blogs I regularly read personally and yet I feel like we do have a relationship of sorts. Ours is one of me being interested in what they have to say, who they are and what they have been up to (whilst wearing what?)
I return, and in that action, reconnect with an invisible community of equally curious readers. I feel like I know the bloggers in some way and I don't need to write a comment because even reading over their work makes me feel like we've caught up. I don't think that this is vastly different in nature to the relationship between readers of other kinds of personal communications like published diaries and journals, either- it's just more continuous.
Also, as a blogger, you know that people are reading what you're writing so if someone makes a 'real-time' (ha!) remark to you about something you wrote, it's not a huge surprise that they have been able to access that information. You assume that people are sharing (in whatever capacity) by the one act of publishing information.

But this is just me and my thoughts- what do you think? This would be the time to try commenting- I have a privacy check on them so I read each comment before it is published, so if you want to share your thoughts about this but don't want anyone else to read them just write DON'T PUBLISH at the beginning of the comment and that way I'll be able to read it either way. And for those of you who are shy- a pseudonym can be a wonderful thing. It would be so great to hear what you think.

So, to condense the question: do you think your relationship with the bloggers you read is active (ie. reciprocal in some way, and acted upon)? Do you think you have to comment to be an active reader? Don't let my opinion blinker yours- debate away, you know I love a rigorous chat. And if you didn't know that- now you do! Let's go.


  1. Not reciprocal, no. But certainly active, in that I will take from what I read and it will inform something that I think/say/do in the future. So, I take and use, but I don't give back. Hrm, I suppose an abusive relationship is still a 'relationship' in the strictest sense.

  2. A reader need not comment to be active.
    I feel that I actively participate in a relationship (albeit in a one sided fashion) by reading a blog consistently, as you said.

    However I also think that often it seems vapid to comment on a fashion blog. In relation to blogs such as Cupcakes and Cashmere, or The Glamourai a quick browse of the comment section and I have a laugh to myself. The comments are usually along the lines of: Where did you get that top/shirt/dress/pair of shoes? and Please follow my Blog.

    The reality is that especially with more 'popular' bloggers they don't have the time or inclination to respond. This can make the action of commenting quite unappealing. In those cases especially it is hard to classify a commenting reader as an active one.

  3. In some ways I'm most interested in the blogs of people I actually know because I struggle with a complete void of reciprocated interaction.

    There was one personally unknown blogger's thoughts I used to read, that I would often comment on as the writer had such a similar way of viewing the world (from what I could ascertain), but I grew tired of not really being able to interact fully with that person. It felt like they never responded to my letters, so I almost stopped reading entirely. Then one day they responded and that sparked my interest again, for a while.

    I think relationship is about dialogue not monologue, unless it's abusive as Melissa states, and I hope that doesn't make me too demanding? Perhaps old fashioned?

    So on topic, I think for relationship to apply, it has to be active, otherwise it's just readership.