You've heard of a circle jerk, right? Everyone gets their happy because everyone has their hand in the ... er... pie. But, while being satisfied themselves, they are also required to satisfy another. If you don't, you're breaking the circle, and that sort of thing can leave you, well, unsatisfied.
It's the same in the blogosphere. In order to be noticed you must stroke the ego of another (link, comment, squee) and hope, pray, obsessively check your stats, that they will stroke yours.
I appreciate the incestuous nature of Romanceland. I can get to almost anywhere within six degrees of separation. But that doesn't mean I want to be so easily influenced myself. I am happy to read other blogs. I have learned way more than any book checked out of the library. I am happy to comment others' blogs, because I'm a bigmouth with an inflated ego and somehow think others will care about my two cents. I am not happy to come here and name names or self-referentially link back to all of the places I read something somewhere at sometime by someone.
See, I'm new to blogging. Though not to the net, or the (necessary) LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME nature of the net. I'm also new to being an author and the tenets of self-promotion. Again, I seek to bite myself in the ass with another Not Nice post. Far from being a rebel, maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't want to play that way.
When we create these links--even ephemeral Internet links to someone else--there's an implied relationship to the reader. And I don't have a relationship with any of these people. I'm not touching their 'pie', as it were, and they aren't touching mine. I may earn the right to those links, they may earn the right to mine, but as it stands, the relationships don't exist. And I don't want to give the impression that they do.
Yes, I will respond in my own space to a thought someone expressed in their own blog. Usually it's tangential, not a direct point/counterpoint, and I don't feel the need to give attribution to what sparked my idea. Oftentimes, the thing that pushes me into commenting is merely the straw, while the camel's legs have been bowed for weeks.
For example, I'm finally going to post this tonight, but I started the post five days ago. It was something I'd noticed months before that, found the words for weeks before that and finally felt things coalesce in my brain five days ago. But I still didn't have all the right words until I read this post tonight. (Irony, you like that?) So now the rest of what needed to be said is coming out.
There's more to this topic for me. Things I think I should say up front so people know why I don't do things the same way they do.
why I rarely post pictures
why I admire bloggers who go their own way
why I don't review (on here)
why I try not to name names
my inherent anti-confrontational nature
my ego that allows me to say what I think and let it end there (or, why you won't catch me in a flame war)
and the joy of shooting yourself in the foot.
I won't mention all of these things now. After all, I heard that one of the things blog readers like least is having to read, and my fingertips can run on like nobody's business. So I'll stop for today with those few points and may be back to shore up my defenses at a later date.
Currently reading: Just The Sexiest Man Alive
Just about to start: B is For Burglar