Over the course of my time in the blogosphere, I’ve noticed a weird phenomenon.
It seems that people don’t understand what blogs are, and what they are not.
Partially, I think this is driven by the fact that the most successful blogs are written quite differently those like Halfdone or Homepaddock or coNZervative or NZConservative. Instapundit is an extreme example of what I’m talking about. Up to hundreds of posts a day, from someone who is continuously onlike. Kiwiblog is (or was) much the same – someone who is always online, always publishing, always in the political zone. Back when I started this blog, I was able to do that for a while, and since then I’ve been trying to find a balance.
But most blogs are written by people who have real jobs, jobs that don’t allow them to publish 24/7. And it’s not only publishing either. People can only spend so much time reading emails, comments and news that they might want to post. Blogging is a hobby, and hobbies can only take up so much time.
The other side is that, given blogging is a hobby, the whole point is that it has to be interesting and fulfilling for the author. Blogs by definition, are about what interests the writer, less so the readers, who self-select blogs that they find interesting. There’s literally millions to chose from after all.
So with this background, I point out the weird phenomenon. Criticising bloggers for not blogging on something.
I’ve noticed this in the past on Keeping Stock, a blog somewhat like my own (right-leaning political, christian etc). Inventory2 would post on something, and immediately would follow a chorus of cries about how he had not covered a particular story, usually one that put the Labour party in a good light. Problem was, often Inventory had posted on the topic, but the post either hadn’t been published yet or had been overlooked or hadn’t said whatever the trolls were demanding it should say.
I know for me, there are a number of polical stories that simply have not interested me. The Kim Dot Com saga I just can’t find the time to be interested in. Let’s face it, here’s a fat German who made a lot of money in not particularly ethical businesses. Yes, the case has implications on various things. But frankly, I have little time for people who are that full of themselves. And the coverage of it has been out of all proportion anyway, driven largely by the fact that “Dot Com” actively courts publicity.
You really can’t say very much about someone not blogging on something. But I’ve often seen people try to draw conclusions from that lack of blogging, and usually this is unfair.
Ele at Homepaddock recently had a problem with this too. Over on this thread, Robert Guyton repeatedly asked why she had not commented on the discovery of the maggot-ridden goat’s leg in a shipment of PKE. (That’s Palm Kernel, it’s imported for feed after the oil is extracted. I’ve blogged on the stupidity of some of the protests about it here. )
Ele has responded here.
Every now and then you get your knickers in a knot over what you regard as my failure to react in the way you want to an issue.
The most recent example is over the animal limb found in PKE.
I posted on that on Thursday, linking not only to the media release from MPI but a story in Rural News which gave background from Federated Farmers.
Later that day I linked to a media release from Federated Farmers in the Rural Round-Up post, and when you questioned my apparent lack of interest at 10:45pm by copying the whole release I responded when I saw it at 7:15am next morning:
That’s the media release I linked to in the post above and of course I’m concerned about FMD. Any New Zealander who isn’t doesn’t understand how serious it would be if it came here.
I didn’t respond to your other comments yesterday because I didn’t have the opportunity.
Ele goes on to explain that she’s been rather busy recently.
That’s what happens sometimes when you’re a solo blogger.
New posts appearing doesn’t mean I’m sitting at my computer. I usually write most posts in the evening and time them to publish throughout the following day.
As it happened I’ve been having one of those fortnights this week dealing with the impact of the weather (including leaks inside), major alterations (builders, painters, fire installers), a major mouse invasion requiring extensive and time consuming cleaning, and travelling – to Christchurch then Wellington on Tuesday (for a meeting all day Wednesday) then Havelock North (for a funeral on Thursday), then Townsville yesterday (to visit my brother and his family while my farmer copes with the snow and rain at home).
Then there’s security concerns – a very real problem for someone who blogs under their real name, and lives in a remote area.
Call me paranoid if you will, but I rarely mention when I’m away – and did so now only because my farmer is still at home. While even when we’re both away there’s staff who aren’t, and the chances of someone who stumbles across the blog working out where we live and taking the opportunity to rob us is remote, I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell the world my every move.
To get back to your comments. Two posts and a response to your first comment at the first opportunity I had seemed like enough.
Thank you Andrei, Mr E and Tracey for defending me.
So, to review:
- Most blogs are the personal hobby of the writer. They post things that interest them. If you aren’t interested in them, there’s probably one out there that does cover what interests you.
- There are a wide variety of reasons why a blogger might not cover something. There is usually very little you can read into that.
- If you think a story might interest a blogger, you could email them. I’ve had tips and contributions posted in a number of other blogs.
- If a blogger takes an angle that you disagree with, you have comments to make your case. But make your case, don’t insist that the blogger has to agree with you just because you think differently to them.
- Don’t assume the blogger is online, just because things are being published.
- Don’t assume that your comment, email or other response will be seen in a set time-frame of your choosing. The blog is public, generally speaking the day-to-day details of someone’s life are their business – unless of course they chose to blog or tweet about them.