Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 22 October 2006

People who write blog posts beginning "I've got a post up at ..."

You know one of the things that has bugged me about blogging for a long time is the self-important tone of some of them. And one thing that particularly irritates me is to read regular posts at certain blogs which start off "I've got something up at [name of blog] on [subject matter]"; in my early days of blogging I did occasionally follow some of those links and in a very few cases found a blog I was unfamiliar with which I discovered made worthwhile reading and which I have gone back to without further prompting (aka 'plugging' - Ed.) by some of the contributors in their own blogs at regular intervals whenever they have contributed something to a particular 'group' blog. Even more irritating is a blogger who rushes to tell us that some other blogger (who has his/her own perfectly good blog) has a post up at a 'group' blog in which they are participants, too.

There are some successful 'group' blogs (a few of which are in my blogroll, representing quite different political perspectives) and generally these don't require constant 'plugging' by people who instinctively, in my opinion, realise that without their incessant self-publicity very few people will ever visit them and indeed many such 'group' blogs have come and gone over the years after only a very brief period of activity. My basic premise is if people have got something to say then they should write it in their own blogs - quality writing will attract its own audience. On the other hand if they are contributing to a 'group' blog then by all means do so, but don't bore me with constant self-important reminders of the fact whenever they happen to write something new for that venue - a mention of the 'group' blog in question in their regular blogroll is quite adequate.

There is another kind of 'group' blog that I find novel, though, and which I think seems to work at least for brief periods. This is where a blogger invites someone to be a 'guest' blogger, often when the blog-owner is going to be away on holiday or on a business trip and won't have time to blog, or ready access to the internet, or simply wants a period of 'down time'. Often-times the 'guest' blogger has his/her own blog which they either continue with in parallel or, occasionally, put into dormancy for the period they will be 'guest' blogging. I've found a few interesting new links that way. I would have no objection, personally, to being an occasional 'guest' blogger elsewhere, or indeed to having one in my little blog from time to time and for brief periods; however, my little blog has never pretended to be anything other than my own 'witterings', a sort of electronic 'mimd dump' for me - I am always grateful to those who visit and comment from time to time in a rational way.

However, and back to the main topic of this post, be aware that constant plugging of having a post up in another blog by some bloggers tends to make my eyes glaze over; not only do I now very rarely click on the [inevitable] link to the other blog being referred to, but I tend to reduce my visits to the person's own blog, a process made much easier and more stream-lined since the advent of the pretty-universal use of RSS feeds and aggregators a few years ago. I regard such circular self-publicity as the blogging equivalent of onanism.

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