Over the weekend, I was trying to clean out my Google Reader and Twitter list. I know it’s a necessary evil for everyone sooner or later, but especially for people like me, who tend to hit the follow button faster than your brain can register what your hand is doing.
What can I say? I love blogs, I love to meet new people. People, who live a few miles from me or halfway across the world. I am intrigued by reading about their lives, their ups and downs, their hopes, and dreams. I figure, I can always “delete” them again later.
So, this weekend I spent a lot of time clicking on links in my reader of people/blog names that I added at some point, but hardly remembered, having this “a-ha moment” when I re-recognized the bloggers blog layout and remember why I started following the blog in the first place. It’s really a funny thing, those subconscious factors that make you go back to a blog or not.
Sometimes I would spent quite a while on someone’s blog, browsing the archives, trying to justify to keep it in my reader or delete it. I realized, sometimes one single post can totally intrigue you and you start to follow, but than the rest of the blog doesn’t live up to this first initial post that you read. It made me wonder, if sometimes I equally dismiss someone’s blog that I visit for the first time because the first post that I read doesn’t draw me in and I miss out on an otherwise awesome person and potential friend. I mean, not every blog posts can be a master piece, right?
I also ended up clicking on links and then on more links and then more links from there and ended up in places that I thought nobody had ever ventured before. But there were those really cool blogs with hundreds of followers, people I had no idea existed. (Ok, confession here: I have a really hard time wrapping my head around numbers bigger than let’s say 200 people and the sheer volume of potential blogs is quite overwhelming). It made me think about how many parallel blogospheres must be out there. You know what I mean, right?
Doesn’t it seem like a lot of the bloggers you read know each other as well? It’s like a IRL community where a lot of people know a lot of the same people. I personally think that’s the fun of the blogosphere…. there are “groups of friends” that don’t live anywhere remotely near each other (only sometimes they do, and those people are lucky!) and still know what the other members of the group are up to on a daily basis. Amazing stuff. But, considering the vast amount of blogs, there must be a parallel blogosphere with a completely different community of people, right? And I wonder how do these two (or multiple) communities overlap?
I only read a handful of German blogs, for example. I think the whole ” blogging thing” is a fairly new thing in Germany (I personally don’t know any IRL friends – besides Kim, who I although met online though – who blog). But by now, I think there is a whole German blogging community out there; a parallel blogosphere, so to speak.
It’s mind-boggling to think how many people are out there (that you don’t know about!) chronicling their lives on the Internet, who make friends and build communities beyond the circle of online friends that we’re personally aware of. But with a click of a finger we can tap into these communities, become part of them and make friends in far away places.
It’s a small world after all!