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Has Blogging Lost Its Relational Focus?

Today I want to talk a little about bloggers working together – to talk about the importance of it and to reflect upon whether the blogosphere has become a less relational place.

“After years of being in an offline business I’ve recently decided to start an online business that will include a blog. However as I research the topic I notice something about bloggers and how they relate to one another that confuses me a little – they link to their ‘competitors’. I’ve always kept an eye on my competitors in the past so that I could gain an advantage over them but bloggers seem to be doing something that is counter-intuitive to me yet it seems to benefit them at the same time. I wonder if you could write something on this topic?” – question submitted by Gerald.

Thanks for the question Gerald – you’ve picked up on something about blogging that is actually very important and something that I’ve always enjoyed about the medium.

Rather that write a full post on the how and why of working with other bloggers today I’d like to simply point you to a series of posts that I wrote on the topic back in 2005. It all started with a post called – ‘Blogging in Formation – Lessons from a Goose‘. In it I share why Geese fly further in formation and how as bloggers we can achieve more with a similar approach. I then followed it up with a number of other posts on building blogging relationships.

I do think that being relational as a blogger is an important aspect of blogging successfully.

Have Things Changed? Are Bloggers Becoming More Selfish?

This is a question I’ve been asked a few times lately and one that I’ve been pondering quite a bit.

You see when I first started blogging (it’ll be six years ago later in the year) there was a real community spirit among bloggers and the idea of bloggers helping bloggers was something most people seemed to embrace.

The blogosphere is a different place now in many ways. For starters there are a lot more blogs. There is almost a bigger focus upon blogging as a business tool and the idea of making money online in general.

As a result I do think there’s probably been a shift (a smallish one) to some degree in the ways that bloggers look at and treat one another. For example I hear people talking about their ‘competition’ a lot more and see some bloggers link out to other blogs in their niches less. I also see bloggers developing relationships more out of strategy rather than just because they want to connect.

However if you scratch under the surface you do find many bloggers working together in mutually beneficial ways. Behind most successful blogs you find a network of relationships and stories of blogs getting their breaks out of such relationships.

I don’t think that relational blogging is dead at all, but perhaps it’s just a little harder to find? I suspect this is more the case in some niches than others as I do see some fantastic communities of bloggers in around some topics.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this

Is connecting with other bloggers important to you? Do you think blogging has become more or less relational?

UpdateI’ve updated this post here.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Darren,

    Great topic to blog about!

    Indeed as you have stated, commenting on other blogs is a
    very important way to connect with others and start new conversations.

    Compared to a year ago, I see that many bloggers now combine various platforms for facilitating their online conversations: blogs combined with micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter, FriendFeed and others.

    I use WordPress.com hosted blogging, which poses a limitation on effective integration of FriendFeed (i.e. it is not possible to embed a FriendFeed widget on my blog that contains the complete FriendFeed structure of the conversation).

    Bottom line: this way of facilitating conversations works for me. What are your ideas on this trend of combining blogging with micro-blogging?

    Regards,

    Jeroen de Miranda

  2. I’ve kind of been confused about this phenomenon, but it makes sense. Blogging about blogging is one of the more social niches you can get involved in, and since everybody wants traffic I think they figure a link back to a “competitor” will eventually come back for as a link for them. Especially smaller “competitors” just starting out, you leave a comment on their blog, or link to one of their posts from your blog, and you have a good chance of recruiting a new reader (or readers) to your blog.

    Just like with any niche though, as it grows more people will influence it. Getting greedy might be one of those things that’s changing, but I have no reason to bogart outgoing links as long as the content is relevant to mine.

  3. Great post, Darren. I think for some bloggers it has become less relational. One of the big changes I’ve seen in the last several years of blogging is a greater focus on original content (like much of what you do here) vs. linking to other posts and commenting on other bloggers. Although I think original content can often be more valuable than simply linking to something, it does lead to blogging that is a little less relational.
    But I also think that working together and talking to one another in the blogosphere is still important. It’s silly for any of us to think that “my blog is the only blog my readers look at.” Of course they’re reading others! Let’s acknowledge that and facilitate that. And let’s facilitate the cross-blog conversations that ultimately can lead to better insights and more value for readers and bloggers.

  4. I think blogging has just changed in the way exposure is shared.. I think a lot more bloggers are using guest posts than previously. I see people using the traditional shout-outs a lot less. This could be because people are worried about diluting their page rank. But, whatever way, I dont think you can ever take the community out of the blog-o-sphere. Some other things that are effecting the amount that people are linking out in posts might be sites like twitter..

  5. From what I’ve read, there was a sense of pioneering in the earlier days of blogging in which bloggers wanted to reach out and help build the blogging community with teamwork and the free flow of information. As the formulas for “how to blog” become easier to find and monetization increases, I think the interaction can become more focused on business instead of relationships. I would hope the “old school bloggers” like yourself can keep the spirit of community alive through leadership, just as your posts keep the spirit alive when you give your knowledge freely and when you mentor the rest of us on how to interact and how to write with a passion for our subject instead of for just the money.

  6. I question whether blogging has ever really had a relational focus. There are just so many people I’ve talked to who don’t understand, nor want to try, to link to each other, or even comment on each others blogs from time to time. I set up a group on Facebook so people could share their links, and of all things people seem scared to even list their blog, in case someone else “doesn’t like what they write”. Isn’t that odd?

  7. I think the “spirit” of blogging is like a big party. You start up lots of conversations, you mingle, meet people and introduce yourself to others. I think linking to other blogs and leaving comments is very important.

    However, not everyone who has a blog is a blogger. Many people are using the blog platform to create their web presence. They are not interested in joining the party, but want to be “online” and voice their view. It is more of a sermon than a conversation.

    So, if you look at all the “blogs” out there, it seems as if bloggers have become less social. However, in my opinion, a lot of the people with blogs are not bloggers… so the perception is distorted.

    I think true bloggers still recognize the value of being social and interacting with others.

  8. No man is an island right? I really think this is the most important part to become a successful blogger.

  9. Relational blogging will never be completely dead. Although there are loads of people out there who are just using blogging as a way of making money…not a way of making a community. In that sense it can kind of lose its community identity.
    But a blog doesn’t exist without a community. Well some wacked up kind of community.
    I think blogging is now becoming more about the reader connecting with the writer rather than the reader connecting with other readers.
    That’s my two cents

  10. This is a great topic. I attended a lot of success seminars in my day and it was not uncommon to leave with several of the speakers programs.

    Now when you break it down, the speakers are in competition with each other but they are talking about a common theme and have some sort of different take on the same subject.

    Both takes are valuable and you may resonate with one more than the other.

    Darren, Keep up the great work!

    Here’s to your LifetoSuccess,

    John Clark
    http://www.lifetosuccess.com

  11. I think people who take blogging seriously and not just as “another next big thing” still use the media to create connections, establish relationships and linking out is part of it.

    I personally not only enjoy linking to someone many would consider my competition but actually love to do so. Blog is a “personal” media and while me and someone else might cover same topic – we provide different personal perspective and that is what counts.

    Alex

  12. In the areas of e-commerce and business blogging this may be the case. However I’m not so sure this is happening in other areas of the blogosphere (commentary, arts, politics, etc.).

  13. disappointed that my comments are not accepted :-(

  14. disappointed that my comment is not accepted :-(

  15. Blogging for me is absolutely about making friends and relating to my community, where my community is other bloggers and (non-blogging) readers. At our core, blogging is really about writing, expressing ideas, and building on ideas through group thinking. Probably a good 75% of my content is spurred by reading someone else’s post or a link to an article.

    The commercial aspect of blogging requires that energy and focus goes into moneymaking, but you still need your community to flourish. It’s hard for me to envision a blogosphere where networking goes away completely. Who wants that?

    Also want to say that I’ve made some amazing friends and contacts via my blog…in fact, in this regard, my expectations have been far exceeded.

  16. I’m in my seventh year of blogging, and I wholeheartedly agree.

    Ever since somebody found out you can make money from text links, people have been a bit apprehensive with giving them out. I’m guilty of this too. We have got more selfish about this, but this really shouldn’t be the case.

    Links shouldn’t be the case of you losing readers, in fact, you are adding value to your blog in my mind. If you link to something you like, and your readers like it, they’re more likely to subscribe as they’ll find you a useful resource.

    Look at some of the biggest blogs out there. Things like Lifehacker. They link excessively. You shouldn’t be preachy to your readers, you should be conversational.

  17. Hm, interesting. I wonder if it depends on the niche of your blogging. I’m in a fairly small niche (Chinese medicine, natural medicine) and I feel like it’s still very much about relationships for those of us in the group.

    I think it’s possible to have a focus on making money and still be relational (as you do, Darren). But, I do think that the more people that come forward JUST wanting to make money, the less relational blogging will be.

    However, I feel that less relational bloggers are probably less successful – so…

    Eric

  18. Thanks for this great post! Yes, Blogs are using its relational focus because:

    1. a lot of people are using it just to earn money. When money is involved, some people get more competitive and selfish.

    2. there is also some professional jealousy from the newbies who don’t want to link to the established ones.

    3. On the other hand, the established blogger don’t have time to link to other newbie blogs because most of the time they are not remarkable.

    4. It is easy to get lost now in the blogosphere. So people just tend to focus more on their blog.

    5. The sense of one big community is evolving to cliches or creating their own network.

    The Old generation of Bloggers have a responsibility to bring this back by fostering again a sense of community and selfishly linking back to other blogs.

  19. This is a juicy subject indeed. Sun ripened oranges come to mind. Blogging.. Well.. communicating and in particular using the blog platform is not something to scoff at… It is many things to many people. Yes.. it can be as simple as an online diary.. or as feature filled as the entire Fox Studios pre-production list. There are most definitely different genres of bloggers. And the professional and more serious kind most certainly use the medium to connect.

    There was this caption floating around up until a few months ago that states that “content is king”… Yeah.. Nice One! Hmmm… I got to pondering the first time I heard that one didn’t I. So here’s another derivative to add to the list. Ready?

    “Intel reigns supreme.”

    My point here is… That as more and more people become bloggers… as better and more powerful applications are released. The web. And the community of people that use it (in our case.. the blogosphere) have a more intuitive and pliable experience… The more fluid it becomes… the greater our ability to promote new ideas… share our thoughts and in that process fulfill that very human need for expression. And in that.. privately notice that it’s all about the collective.. “us”…

  20. Indeed as you have stated, commenting on other blogs is a
    very important way to connect with others and start new conversations.

    Compared to a year ago, I see that many bloggers now combine various platforms for facilitating their online conversations: blogs combined with micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter, FriendFeed and others.

    Bottom line: this way of facilitating conversations works for me.

  21. I really see it almost impossible to get a successful blog going with out developing some blog relationships. If you are unwilling to build relationships with the blog, how can you expect readers to want to build a relationship with you?

    I think it may have a lot to do with the amount of blogs out there, and it might be that the mass amounts of blogs are mildly successful and they can get to that point with out relationships.

    The blogs that are really making progress and gains are the ones who have found out that relationships are the way to get there.

  22. I believe that people are honestly getting greedier to some extent when it comes to their traffic finding other great writers. This does not really benefit the blogger as many of us will simply not make reference to these types of blogs.

    Blogging is about community and we all benefit from helping each other grow both as writers and in terms of viewers. Not every blog meets the needs of every reader each and every time. This is why it is so important that we help our readers find the information they need when they need it.

    Our readers will appreciate us more for helping them find what they need and thus return to us again. They are also more likely to recommend our websites based on the help we gave them.

  23. Connection is very important for me, even selfishly important. I’m a travel blogger and my site is better if I know what’s going on. Ideally, I’ll find 10 to 20 travel/food/beauty bloggers who will be regular guest bloggers and get some fresh insights like these …

    http://thingsyoushoulddo.com/category/z-guest-authors

    In the last couple weeks I’ve asked about 6 bloggers to write something for me and all have said yes — the difficulty is having them find the time to do it. Everyone’s so busy.

  24. Blogosphere has always been known for its link love and the brotherhood among the community. Since the day I started, I have seen link love to be one of the best ways to attract new readers and attract new backlinks.

    I don’t know if the bloggers now are getting selfish because even to this day when I dislike some bloggers, I link to them. Whether it is in a good occation or a bad. I try to cite all the sources that I got my information from to make my blog post credible.

    As of competitor question, the idelogy in the blogosphere works a bit different. You have to comment on your competitors blog. Yes you will be helping him out by increasing the number of comments on his blog, but you will also be helping yourself out. First many of your competitor’s users will see you and click on your name to see who you are. Second you will be gaining multiple backlinks from your competitor’s site

    Last but not least the biggest advantage of that is that you will always keep track of your competitor.

    Being Selfish in blogging will not get you anywhere but will throw you down a toilet bowl.

  25. The realization that there is money to be made in blogging has naturally shifted the focus of blogging. Although it may not have changed the intent of folks who would be blogging regardless of money, it has brought people into the blogosphere that would not naturally be there.

  26. I think the idea of making money from a blog has definitely pushed the blogosphere in another direction. Of course, the rise of the corporate blog hasn’t helped the situation, but it’s not as though all of these blogs cannot co-exist.

    As with any marketplace, there are many different niches and within each there is an ecosystem that works for that niche. Sometimes a market will try to shake things up and try different strategies.

    Blogs have gone through one shake-up, and I believe we may be on the cusp of another as bloggers mingle about and grasp for the “next big thing”.

    Then there are those who remain true to the “traditional” form of blogging and continue to use it as a social tool. I like to reach out to other bloggers. If I read their blog on a regular basis, I like to keep open lines of communication.

    I am sure there are others who are the complete opposite, but I think blogging has become more relational. The purpose of those relations, however, is anyone’s guess.

  27. It’s true that the money aspect has brought more bloggers into the niche. On the other hand, it is this same idea which will cause them to leave early.

    We are kind of in the middle of a blogging bubble, there will be a shakeout soon.. don’t worry ;)

  28. Several good points have been made in the comments so far, but I think the main difference between the early days and now is, that more people are now starting blogs for the wrong reasons.

    It used to be that only enthusiasts with something to say (and the occasional diary-lover) would start blogs and join the community as a way to get seen.

    Today, there are stories of blog celebrities, moneymaking bloggers and so on, which draws in people who blog for that purpose only. Add to that spammers, corporate blogs and you start seeing why the blogosphere has changed.

    The communities are still there. They are just muddied up by wannabes, businesses and spam. Luckily, the internet is big enough for all of us, and in the long run, I think the serious, well-written, community-driven blogs will prevail.

  29. I think bloggers have a great community right now. I believe that if people want to newtork, then the opportunity exists. I also think that too many people try to network with “popular” bloggers for the wrong reasons. There are plenty of opportunities for bloggers to interact with other bloggers. The problem is that most people don’t want to put the time and effort into developing a relationship with someone who doesn’t have a top 1000 blog.

  30. I am still fairly new to blogging…So can’t really say how it has changed. I do link to other blogs…And I think competition is a good thing…A bigger market.

  31. Has Blogging Lost Its Relational Focus?

    Yes.

    I have a book niche blog and belong to a blog team of published authors, editors and agents, and we rarely visit each other’s blogs. I was guilty of it myself. But this summer I decided to change my mindset about who my blog belongs to. I am the owner but the blog belongs to my subscribers and the writing community.

    So I use Darren’s Speedlinking idea every other Friday to link other blogs who are having conversations about Christian Fiction or Christian Books. I still ask other bloggers to come on and guest blog. I belong to a book tour blog alliance of 150 bloggers, who blog about the same book on the same day. I comment on many of those blog sites during the blog tour. I have encouraged them to follow me on twitter. now we are on twitter doing book chats and crazy things. Someone introduced me to ning, so i started a social network based on the blog. I have 40 published authors in this network we feed off each other post are favorite blogposts in the network. Last week I began using utterz to host author chats on their and link them to my blog and then share it with my blog buddies for cross promotion. i am on blogtalkradio. I don’t have a show, but i hack other radio shows ;)) and talk about blogging.

    Since I’ve been playing around with other forms of social media that i can feed into my blog it has kept things interesting and i share these applications with the writing blogging community.

    I agree. It’s easy to go into your own bubble and create compelling blog posts to find noone is reading. Then you goto your blogfriends blogs to see no one is reading there either, because everyone has a blog now. But rolling back and remembering why blogging was fun back in the day gives you the juice to get creative and back in the game.

    My stats have jumped up and so have my pr clients as well. I’ve even been approached by three lit agents and a publisher. Thanks Daren for keeping rich content and opening up problogger for others to share and communicate.

  32. Obviously, I’m a naive dinosaur.

    Or perhaps simply just plain naive. :)

    I’ve always linked to “competition” because the Internet is just sooo huge…there will always be room for everyone who wants to offer their unique and valuable insights.

    People choose their favorite blogs generally because of their personal *choice* … that’s something I myself cannot directly influence. Either I appeal to readers or I don’t…same thing with every other blogger.

    So…if I can help out by telling people where else they can go for topnotch information, I’m always happy to do so. It all comes around.

    Data points, Barbara

  33. My original intention was to start a business that helped people understand complex literature. My friend pointed me toward blogging and I set up my business as a blog. I was amazed at the communal nature of the blogosphere — however, I started to feel guilty that my site was a business, too, since most lit blogs are not. I’ve struggled to balance the two, psychologically. So, I have not seen a decrease in the communal nature of blogging, but most blogs in my niche do not try to make money, either. I would like to get to the point that I do not feel guilty about getting paid for my skills, but also do not alienate other blogs in my niche…

  34. I think you’re right on with your assessment. I have a small group of bloggers that I work with….but more and more of them are keeping things close to the vest in an effort to stay on top of the group….I think it’s a good and bad thing.

  35. I started blogging in 2003 – then no one I knew ever thought they’d make money from it. Linking was much more free spirited. Now as I look for good people to align with – stories I can link to, people to put on my blogroll – I find many of them are part of a network, like b5media. It changes the dynamic.

  36. I think the blogging community is great and is one of the reasons why I recently began blogging. I vary my posting style…some of the posts I’m preparing are longer text-based with few links while others are quick posts hosting a video that another blogger has posted. I will link to any blogger who’s information or ideas I find interesting and relevant to my post, whether they be a blogging “celebrity” or someone writing their first post.

    I enjoy the community concept of the blogosphere and think that it will continue at its core. Of course, you will continue to have those that will be on the outskirts of the community.

    -Justin Levy

  37. I really hate all this ‘politics’, about competition. I sell jewellery at craft markets, and it always amazes me how clicky people get about other people selling jewellery. In fact one day last week I went to another jewellery store to have a chat and look at the ladies work. She was so rude to me from the start. I told her I sold jewellery too, and she said, “so i noticed”, with a kind of gruff voice. Anyway she was selling silver which I actually needed to buy. But because of her rudeness I didn’t buy it. Is there a point in all this rambling. Well, I guess I’m trying to say, is that not everyone is the same. Just because you may have competition, doesn’t mean you are identical. Most likely there is some point of difference – whether that be your unique ‘voice’, your style, or a more refined niche. Also your competition may even be worthwhile to you – If the lady hadn’t been so rude to me I would of bought items of her.
    I think it is really important to be nice to everyone – including your competition.

    jess

  38. Perhaps other kinds of businesses would do well to follow the blogging model.

    My understanding is that it’s well-known in retail that having competitors nearby helps businesses e.g. if a shopping area has 3 kitchen shops, a person shopping for kitchen items will more likely go there than if there is one kitchen shop. Helping competitors is common in the music world – if you can’t do a gig you ring around to find someone else to do it, rather than just say you are unavailable.

    Apart from the obvious benefits of connecting with and helping other people, I think it’s something to do with “knowing” there’s enough for everyone – perhaps this translates to actually getting enough yourself.

  39. I enjoy the collegiality of the blogosphere.

    I think this is much less so for those focused on Internet Marketing. In this part of the blogosphere the dollar seems much more the focus.

    I’ve only been around for a year and have always hoped to make my income from blogging. I think linking to others means more value for my subscribers (which is likely to benefit me too).

    My take on this so far is that with my blog my goal is: to become wealthy by making friends and providing great value.

  40. Hi Darren,

    At this moment I’m in the SFO airport waiting to fly home after a weekend of doing nothing but hanging out with other bloggers at the BlogHer conference. I can say with certainty that relationship-building is alive and well. There are certainly those who don’t mind stepping on others in attempts to be ‘big’, whatever that is. But there are many, many bloggers out there who still think that the best part of the blogiverse is its rich web of connections.

    Mary, who has about 100 new blogs to check out once she gets her kids and hubby hugged and gets caught up on her sleep.

  41. Great topic.
    One of the reasons I started blogging was because of all of the great things I’ve heard about the blogging community. I started to blog to practice my writing skills (in order to become a freelance writer) and as an accountability measure for losing weight. Over the past 20 days since I started, I have received nothing but positive and encouraging feedback. It’s been awesome.

    I think the community that you find in the blogosphere is directly relational to your intentions as a writer. For instance, there are a hundreds of blogs that talk about monetizing, SEO, etc. but I keep coming back to this one because I actually feel like you’re trying to help me, rather than just promote your own business.

    Win-win.

  42. Interesting that you should post this today as today marks 6 months of the Aussie Bloggers Blog & Forums being officially launched.

    As one of the Admins at the forums, I think one of the best things I have seen happen during the last 6 months is watching the community develop and seeing bloggers connecting with each other. The majority of the moderators on the forums read the blogs of the members – and vice versa.

    While it does mean that I’ve had to let go of some of the blogs I used to read from the US and other countries in order to keep up, the benefit of adding so many Aussie blogs to my reader is worthwhile. It is so cool to be reading more Aussie content these days because we do have so much in common.

    Two of our bloggers met last week and one of the bloggers commented on their blog afterwards that they were surprised how many of the same blogs they were both reading. This did not come to me as a surprise because I found the same thing at the two official meets I attended.

    We’ve now had two official blogger meets as well as a lot of unofficial ones (where someone posts I’m going to be in this state, anyone want to meet type stuff) and certainly will be planning more meets for the future.

    I do think that it is a lot harder to make connections with other bloggers via commenting and linking out than it ever has been before – but maybe that is simply because I tend to make those connections via Aussie Bloggers these days and it is a lot easier for me than commenting used to be, and I honestly am not commenting or linking out as much as I used to.

    Each “wave” or “generation” of bloggers has their own way of doing things. The first generation generally all linked to the same people (Dooce for example) but that has never been seen again in any other generation. In some cases this was not a truly fair relationship because the bloggers they were linking to had never heard of them at all.

    My blogging generation had a lot of mutual respect for each other. Even when we didn’t agree on things, we did appreciate well thought out opinions and posts, and would often link to great posts even if we did not agree with the content. And often those links would be returned back to us when we wrote something great.

    These days there are so many great posts – bloggers are getting better and learning more about how to make their posts excellent, in part thanks to blogs like yours. It makes it difficult to know who to link to when all you have in your reader are posts that are worthy of a link.

    I don’t know that bloggers have become more selfish, though I can see how it could look that way. I just think bloggers know how to promote themselves better than they ever did before. They’re not shy about doing it either, and that is ok with me because it makes it easier for me to find their excellent content. ;)

  43. Darren,
    I’ve noticed the same trend, but what I think remains true is that online influence seems to be the greatest among people who are most generous to what they give to their communities. When you take that a few steps, you find the parable of the company that is the most generous to blog visitors, has a killer competitive advantage.

  44. It seems the beginners have a “selflessnish” with each other that maybe the old timers don’t have. But all in all everyone has been really helpful. Especially here at Pro Blogger. Thanks for another great post!

  45. Heck I need other bloggers. I am new to the blogging game and been studying this website and the ProBlogger Book.. But haven’t had time to actually get out there and search blogs of like minded people. – I’m to busy setting up blogs or blogging myself…

  46. I think it’s just natural because there are more bloggers nowadays. In a small town, everybody knows everybody. In a big city, there are more people. You could know even more people, but these people are less likely to know all each other. This can be the same with bloggers connecting to each other: they are still connecting, but where the links are going are a lot more chaotic than ever.

    I had a flat tire a few days ago. I went to my Toyota dealership to get an estimate, and then I went to American Tires to get another estimate. Neither of them has the tire in stock, but the American Tires guy pointed me to the Firestone shop (their competitor!) and said if I’m in a hurry, those people might have stuff in stock. I was really impressed with the honesty and helpfulness. Though I ended up getting my tire changed at Firestone, American Tires had certainly earn my respect and future business. In the blogging world, I think i would have more respect for a blog too, if it can point me to useful info instead of pretending that it’s the best source for everything.

    I like to connect with other bloggers of the same niche (puppetry). There aren’t as many of us as the make-money-online bloggers, and many of us read many of the same blogs. I certainly like the willingness to connect to each other.

  47. Great comments all – thank so much for the rich conversation.

    Mark – yes there have been a real emphasis on original content recently. When I first got into blogging there was still a lot of original content but perhaps posts also bounced off what others were writing a bit more. ie blogger A wrote something and blogger B, C and D all wrote followup articles linking to Blogger A and the other three…. and then others followed up with theirs…. etc. This still happens but less than i remember.

    Ryan – yeah I think it’ll never die (relational blogging) either. It’s like anything – it can be used in different ways depending upon people’s priorities.

    Jeroen – patience friend, some posts get queued for manual moderation – but they get posted eventually :-)

    Rhys – great reflections

    Anton – like your comments too – some good reasoning there.

    Shel – agree with that – while many are less generous it’s those who are that are the ones kicking goals.

  48. I started blogging in November 07, so I’m still a new kid on the blog. When I first started, I couldn’t imagine getting to know other bloggers. It was as if I was blogging all alone in a little cyberbubble.

    I started off transferring ideas from the business world, so I initially saw other bloggers as competitors.

    How wrong I was!

    I found to my delight that the blogosphere is quite different. I’ve made many friends and we help each other out. In fact, we help each other succeed. It’s like we’re growing as one plant with many branches.

    It’s something I treasure about blogging!

  49. I’m very new to blogging and have really enjoyed leaving comments on others blogs and having the blog owners respond to my responses! I’ve found it to be way more fun than I thought it would be because it’s so relational. Maybe I’m still too new to have seen the competitive nature of some, but for the most part, I’m having a good time meeting so many different people from all around the would.

  50. I am new to blogging for the most part so I can’t tell you whether it is more or less relational. I can tell you that I do have a regular group of bloggers I talk to on a daily basis thru an online forum. We offer advice and ask for advice when we need to and it’s freely given.

    I have a couple of bloggers that I am becoming friendly with that I met through blogging but it’s to visit their blog and commiserate on what we have in common (kids and husbands usually).

    There are a few bloggers that I don’t have a relationship with that I subscribe to (like you, lol) because I find it very informative.

    I think the nature of some bloggers (introverted) crosses over into their blogging. With others, they find blogging freeing and their normally introverted nature in real life doesn’t play a part.

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