I was originally going to comment about Steve’s take on The Point Of Blogging, but once I started writing my comment I realized that I had a lot to say, specifically regarding A-List exclusivity and the roots of blogging.
I’m currently reading an old book about the roots of blogging called We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs are Changing Our Culture. It was written during the beginning stages of blogging and really gets at the origins of blogging through some of the original A-List blogger’s posts that popularized the format.
My understanding is that one of the fundamental components to blogging is community, and community by definition is exclusive. In blogging it is typically a set of people with certain similar tastes, preferences, locations, or hobbies, etc. That’s pretty exclusive. Steve posts about Apple Computers which automatically excludes me from his community because I don’t own one, never have, and I’m not incredibly interested in them (sorry Steve).
But I’m tied to his blog for other reasons: he’s a close friend, he lives nearby, we share other interests, etc. I think the thing that defines blogging is how open a particular community is to newcomers. In the case of A-List bloggers it seems tough to become a part of that community. (When was the last time you got tagged for a meme from Derek Powazek?)
The size of the A-List community is my second problem. According to We’ve Got Blog, a blog was intended to be a filter for the web. In essence, a mini-web. Blogs like Boing Boing and Signal vs Noise certainly filter the web but the sheer amount of content and the vast amount of people involved sort of kill the community aspect for me. It’s just too big.
Lastly, if the spirit of blogging is community+filter and the problem with it is that it has become too big maybe the solution is to start a new community—like we’re doing here and on Steve’s blog.