Tuesday, June 24, 2008

[blogosphere] mutual support and its possible limits

In March, this blog ran a post on the blogosphere to join the myriad other soul searching blogger posts and it focussed on how much we could achieve as bloggers.

There is a point to this post now and the difficulty is not to offend, particularly with fellow Brits [which statement in itself is likely to offend, I know].

The thing is, each blogger is essentially publicizing his wares and hopes that a great many people will stop by and read what he's written, perhaps even comment. Where he goes wrong is when he has other expectations of the process.

For example, the Usmanov and Darling affairs had much publicity and the blogosphere, by and large, rallied round and told those two where to get off. Rousing stuff and well done. I think most people are good natured enough to run a banner in support or even a post or two but what do we do when the question, say, of donating money comes up?

This was why I tried to resist putting a paypal or whatever during my recent troubles although I did bleat a fair bit, it's true. The resolution to the difficulty has been catalogued on this blog and it does show that things can happen for the good.

But what do we do when someone wants much much more?

When someone wants us all to lay down our lives supporting something he or she is into and when they draw it to a close, berates said people for not continuing on and on? Most people are too sensitive and tactful to say this but there are limits.

Similarly, when someone sees his blog as a route through which all other bloggers will come on any particular social issue, with all the aggregators and what have you collating the grateful bloggers' contributions or when a particular blogger sees others as paying for the use of his material and countless other schemes, I'm a little less than forthcoming, I'm afraid.

I'm aware that some will read these words and say, 'Oh, that's wonderful - look how well Higham has done out of blogging, swanning around Sicily et al.' Well yes, I am exceedingly grateful for what has happened but I really don't feel it's the same question per se.

I'm referring above to the expectation that other bloggers are going to tune into another blogger's schemes or devote part of everyday to that scheme.

I'm not explaining myself well.

I suppose the point came out of a discussion Welshcakes and I had earlier about different bloggers and expectations of how much time and effort can really be devoted to a cause when most of us are having difficulty even keeping our blogs up, answering comments and visiting our rolls. Of course we must not be selfish, of course any of us would welcome new ideas and help someone in distress but there are surely limits.

One point Welshcakes has just made is that of geographical location. Let's say there was a difficulty in the UK, for example. All right, we can write to our local MP but no MP in Britain will read a letter not coming from a resident constituent. There are, sadly, limits to what an expat can do, much as he/she might wish to help. Of course we'd do what we could from where we are.

We'd like to know what others think about this.

6 comments:

Book Owl said...

Exactly why I chose to discontinue pontificating at large about MS - spreading the word is one thing: expecting a reaction is another. I knew I was better to move onto other, less demanding, areas of interest and have a bit of fun too.

Calum said...

James,

I have a horrible feeling that I may be one of the bloggers to whom you refer. If I am I'd really appreciate your letting me know.

What do I hope other bloggers will do regarding my campaign for Mrs Carr?

Obviously I hope others will agree, from my description of events, that Mrs Carr has been treated appallingly badly. Our gripe is with NHS Lothian but I have few visitors from Scotland far less Lothian. Writing to NHS Lothian or to MSP's is pointless from non-Scottish resident bloggers but publicisng the campaign - even if abroad - can increase the spread of the campaign and increase the chances that UK / Scottish media and politiicans will pick up on the story in a way that I can't achieve on my own. I suppose this is viral marketing.

I'm sorry, James. I can't finish tis comment. I keep falling asleep.

CherryPie said...

Yes I think I know what you are saying!

My thoughts...

No one should feel a sense of duty just to join a campaign. Campaigning takes up a lot of time, energy and ultimately is very draining. I know all about this!

I blog about campaigns but I am just blogging about the stuff I am involved in and just raising awareness of why it matters to me. I don't expect anyone to join me in the campaign.

As to the other point you mention, friends are friends and will always try and help each other out xx

Nunyaa said...

Think most become involved in campaigns/ideas etc because they share similar beliefs. Those who do join any particular following and do not have a genuine interest or really care, move onto the next thing. After all, why do most people blog? If no one wanted traffic to their site, why bother to have site meters, Its about advertising yourself, your ideas and most would make the most of opportunities to have your posts out there. It is fair to say, not everyone is the same, lots are genuine, some too full of their own importance and then those who do enjoy the networking of the blogosphere, appreciating and respecting differences of opinion.
I need a glass of water after all that, LOL.

Colin Campbell said...

I think that we all just want to be loved and appreciated in a virtual sort of a way.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

I do not wish to go further than this, if you don't mind. It was a general point being made and how we saw it in a discussion we had. Let's not personalize it here.