It sometimes seems as if blogging is such a paradoxical activity.

For instance, it could be argued many of the personalitypes* who blog are introverts. Quiet, diffident, observerational types. But blogging demands that you put yourself forward, sell yourself to your readers - and that is so atypical of their standard (I hesitate to use the word normal here) behaviour.

Oh sure, there are lots of super-friendly, dance-for-600-people-at-the-drop-of-a-gramophone-pin people around, and they continue to talk away too - but then that's just as an extension of their usual personality. But bloggers who, offline, would tend to be shy, sitting-in-a-corner-with-wineglass-and-book, somehow get online and get social.

Yes, I get that the anonymity and lack of physicality may be the very things that encourage them to come out and find others of their own ilk and form groups about mutual admiration topics. But that doesn't change the fact that they still have to make that effort themselves. They still have to choose to create a blog, find other bloggers, keep commenting on others' spaces till they deign to return the favour, as well as keep churning out posts interesting enough to maintain the interest of such visitors. That, to me, is social behaviour.

So, paradox.

Which reminds me, does anyone know of any serious papers written on blogging? And no, SB, I'm not going to write one if there isn't.

* I'm not sure whether I love this word, or thoroughly dislike it. Sometimes, it seems so convenient and flowing-off-tonguey, but sometimes it just sounds pretentious and too cute for its own good.


Space Bar said...

I wasn't going to suggest it. How you malign me *sniff*.

And what word? There's only the one asterix.

km said...

My CPU just crashed. What's that footnote for?

??! said...

This is what comes of posting when sleepy. And an inane desire to edit all the time. Fixed now.

I have been banging on about that, haven't I? Sorry.

kya unkel-ji - OTP is the one in your computer, not me.

One Trick Pony said...

arre! random sledge which I don't even understand when I am sitting here quietly sipping my wine and reading my book.

Falstaff said...

It's only a paradox if you assume that people are 'introverted' because they're shy and uncomfortable sharing their ideas. They could be sitting in a corner with a wineglass and a book because they're just not that interested in other people. After all, selling yourself to readers is very different from fostering connections with new acquaintances.

It isn't just that anonymity and lack of physicality means that you have greater control over how much of yourself you share online, it's also that a. and l. of p. means that you can control what it is about other people that you engage with, in ways that are much harder to do offline.

??! said...

Because you is "teh loozer in his computer". Two-step connections. Keep up now.

One Trick Pony said...

i call shenanigans. total stretch that is.

??! said...

True. But the fact of reaching out itself is a way of being "people-sociable".

I wonder how many introverted people would open out as they do online, if they met up offline with the people they talk to on blogs? Would they then be more comfortable knowing that - as you rightly point out - that they're with people who know and understand them, and who they more or less like...or at least, tolerate? Or would they continue to be shy, while belting out words by the hundreds online?