Friday, March 03, 2006

The Search

"...blogs are personal statements by individuals, digital declarations of who they are and who they wish to be in the searchable world. Together with the system of links, both inbound and outbound, which grow around the specific site, the blog becomes a very nuanced... statement of individuals' social standing, relationships, interests, and history." -John Battelle, The Search


I recieved an e-mail today in which the writer expressed a sense of unease about "lurkers" on his blog, a feeling that many of us who write regularly can emphathize with. With a site meter, one can get a rough idea of who's visiting, the trollers that are just passing through give me no cause for alarm. It is the regulars, that one in Maryland, or the person from St. Louis, it's those folk that come again and again, yet leave no comment or e-mails; those are the ones that give me second thoughts. Who are these searchers? I'll grant you that FITK is not the most tightly structured epistle. But there are recurring themes, and some posts are better than others. What do these people want? Perhaps some of the lurkers aren't people at all- just web-bots tabulating keywords?

I consider myself fortunate in that I've usually had very positive experiences with my readers, and with those I've contacted as well. I'm always amazed when I receive positive feedback from readers in ways I've never expected. But I also understand that many people are shy, or afraid of writing. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, and also the time to overcome their fears. This blog thing is something big, to be sure, but it is also profound- a change in human consciousness that may affect our search in ways unforseen.

By Professor Batty



3 Comments:

Blogger JB said...

My personal favorites are the ones who found the blog by Googling my name: people who clearly had some past knowledge of me or connection with me. They come back day after day, gobbling up blog posts, but never dropping a comment or an email to say, "Hi, Jared, we were in capture-the-flag class together, it's nice to have found you this way. Keep writing!" But instead, they take the voyeuristic route and lurk away. I like the idea of believing that they're really machines...

On the positive side, I think you are dead-on about the unknown future social impacts of blogging and other new means of connecting and building communities online. These are powerful new social forces and it will be fascinating to see what transformations come of them.


Blogger Lady of the lake said...

Professor, I have wondered the very same thing. Who ARE those "regulars" to my blog site but never comment.?Hmmmmm............


Blogger Georgias Maximus, Feline Esq. said...

You have a keen eye and a classic way with words, most days. Rarely do your words fail to stimulate thought. Often your insights are uplifting, encouraging, or pleasantly nostalgic. When you rant, your rage resonates.

That's why...

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