Saturday, October 24, 2009


Some months ago, Walt Crawford wrote a blog post that resonated with me. From said post:
You carefully prepare a series of cogent posts, important to the field, that should yield discussion. Nada.

You slap together a trivial comment on the spur of the moment. Whoa Nelly!

After several comments from bloggers indicating the same curiosity, Johnson suggested this (noting that his blog is The Blue Skunk Blog): "The Blue Skunk Rule of Comments: The more trivial the post, the larger the response."

I haven't noticed this phenomenon from my own blog because unlike Walt Crawford or Doug Johnson, my work scarcely receives any comments at all. But I will note that I have many more followers of my pithy personal observations than of the updates to my lengthy blog posts.

But I don't despair. Partly this is because I largely write for my own reasons (that and I'm fundamentally broken) and because I think I know why the reason behind The Blue Skunk Rule...

We don't need any more information in our lives. For every subject upon which you can throw your attention to, there is so much material available that now you also have to choose which point of view you want to go with it. And we don't need any more entertainment in our lives, either. Most people have a backlog of books to read, movies to watch, TV series to catch up on DVD or PVR, and games that they can't wait to play.

So we really don't need a/nother blog to read.

The 'trivial posts' of the microblogging set, are personal - easy to write, easy to read, and - most importantly - easy to respond to. When strangers meet, they talk about the weather. When you meet online, you make talk about Kayne or whatever. And over time, you get to know a little bit about each other...

What people need is something that makes them truly happy and that thing is community.

And that's why its more likely that people are going to choose to give virtual hugs of support to each other than comment on a long thoughtful piece of writing.

Like this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alright. You got me. I'll respond to you bc frankly my dear - I have no use for twitter or anything like it. Including the book of Face. Frankly, I am sick of reading things in bits and bytes - or in video form. I WANT to read long descriptions of someone's ideas and concepts. I don't understand why the world is hung up on texting communities. I got my own community going on - why would I want to be involved in everyone else's? It's too much work. It's too much effort! I can hardly keep up with the daily grind of my own family to worry about what the rest of the world is doing. Do I enjoy a little gossip? Sure! But not to the point of saturation! I have a friend that reminds me how important everyone else's life is except her own. Every time we meet, I live vicariously through her coming and goings with others. What's wrong with focusing on the self rather then what's going on around us? Maybe I'm one of the few but I want real, life, stories. Good, long, blogs - that make sense, that actually follow a thought from A to B and sometimes in your case, right down to Z. That's what I tell my students - the point of a University paper for example, is to focus on one thought and carry it through to an idea from point A to B. Amazing that this is a very difficult task. But hey - after twitter - I totally get it. So there you are Mita, a nice comment that will probably infuriate you and your community seeking followers. I'll stop by. Please - don't write.
KB :)