By now, I’ve spent many hours in the blogosphere, writing my own posts as well as reading and commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s always interesting to see the multiple ways that others view blogging. One blogger said this week, “I blog, therefore I am.” It’s an interesting twist on the proverb “I think, therefore I am” by French philosopher René Descartes.
Another blogger I’ve read compared blogging to the book 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. In this book, New York writer Helene Hanff corresponded with Frank Doel over the course of 20 years. Frank Doel was the chief buyer for Marks and Company, a London bookshop that Helene Hanff used for finding obscure classic novels and British books not available in the U.S. (Amazon wasn’t around then, so people actually used — gasp! — snail mail.) Frank and Helene wrote witty letters back and forth, and Helene gradually became involved in the lives of Frank and the others who worked in the bookstore. Due to life events, Frank and Helene never got to meet in person, similar to us bloggers. (For movie lovers, the book was converted into a 1987 movie with Anne Bancroft as Helene Hanff and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Frank Doel. Oh, yeah.)
I have alternate views of the blogosphere. When I first started blogging, going into the blogosphere reminded me of the first time that I traveled abroad. You learn a foreign language (in this case, terms like pingback, trackback and Freshly Pressed) as well as the customs of the blogging culture. Once you’ve been there for a while, you adapt and it feels more comfortable. And when others ask you about the world of blogging, you translate the terms for them.
Going through the Reader is different. (For the non-bloggers reading this post, the Reader is a section of the WordPress website where you can read blog posts as they’re published. The Reader is organized into different categories such as Art, News, Books and so on.) When I explore the Reader, it’s as if I’m strolling along the main street of a small town, where there are shops offering their wares. Bloggers worldwide provide tempting blog posts to read as I wander down the virtual “street,” but I only stop at some of them due to time limitations. Write a comment or click on a “like” at somebody’s blog? Okay, I don’t mind if I do. And if I like the blog, I follow it to become a regular visitor.
Ultimately, I’d say that blogging is the ultimate version of the Algonquin Round Table to me. The Algonquin Round Table was a group of New York writers, journalists, actors, playwrights and other people who met daily for lunch and witticisms at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City between 1919 and 1929. The group included famous literary and theatrical people such as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and Harpo Marx.
I compare blogging to the Algonquin Round Table is that here in the blogosphere, it’s a similar situation. Each blogger has something to say and everybody interacts on an equal level, no matter what culture the blogger comes from or what age the blogger may be.
Most of all, I love the support that bloggers show one another by sharing information, educating each other or mentioning other bloggers on their own blogs. These helping hands from across the country and across the world inspire me.