I must say I'm rather amused by the last blogosphere controversy which I awoke to rather late.
I saw the TOI report about the Delhi bloggers' meet the morning it was published. That is, I glanced at the headline, sulked out a thought - "Oh, there was a blogger's meet? How come nobody told me?" - turned the page, and went on scan the fine print for any news of real interest to me. Which, may I please mention (at the risk of adding to the unfounded accusation that our collective favourite pastime is MSM-bashing), there was very little of.
I noticed that the word 'flop' was used. I didn't pay any attention to the rest of the article because it was such a clear sign that the writer did not understand the blogging world at all.
Blogging is a virtual activity. Blogosphere is VIRTUAL.
It is comprised of people who sit in front of computer screens, hitting keys for the pleasure of it, or for a cause, or even for self-promotion of a certain kind. These people will read what other people like themselves are writing. These people will scream, rant, rave, stand up for each other, laugh when they receive legal notices, make fun of those who deserve it....
but these people may choose not to crawl out of the woodwork to say hello.
In any case, judging the strength of a virtual phenomena through a very real-world meeting is silly. That's like having a club of dedicated online gamers and judging their 'happening' quotient through their abilities on a grass court. That's a contrary, self-defeating exercise.
Speaking for myself...
Blogger meets: I've attended only one in the last one year and that was not an official 'blogging' event. It just so happened that Morquendi was in the country and some of us who knew each other only in blogosphere until then, decided to meet.
I'd attend a few, given enough notice, and assuming I'm in town. I like most bloggers I know and it would be a pleasure seeing them....
But I have a job. And some creative writing pretensions. I'm part of two active writing groups. I have friends who have nothing to do with blogs or media. I have more blogs than I know what to do with and they're all crying for updates.
Besides which, I do not have the luxury of blogging full-time. And to think that despite the fact that there's no money to be made, there are hundreds, thousands of bloggers in each city, blogging away like there's no tomorrow, or like tomorrow could be made different by all this blogging.... that does not sound like a flop show to me.
The fact that everyone wants a blog, regardless of whether they use it or not, is another indication of whether it's a hit parade or a flop show.
Besides, the writer assumes that there's some sort of show happening here. There isn't. Meets happen because bloggers may be so inclined. They aren't intended as a media circus, despite so many of us straddling that MSM-blog fence.
Speaking for myself, again, I would not want them to be. I don't want blog-meets to turn into Page3 events. I don't want my mug in the morning papers. And (don't kill me, fellow-blogozens) I don't even want blog-meets to be well-attended. I can deal with 5 strangers, 6 maybe, 8 at a cinch... Any more and I want to run, backing away from the crowd. After which I will promptly go and check a very crowded blogosphere, to see what I was missing...
I have a strong suspicion that I'm not the only blogozen who does this.
On the other hand, if there's a blog I really like, and it is not updated for a week or more, I worry. I wonder if something's happened to the blogger. I send (and receive) apologetic small-voiced emails enquiring after the concerned blogger's well-being (when I get these, I am very kicked, and promptly go back to posting with a real sense of purpose).
Again, I have a strong suspicion that I'm not the only blogozen who feels this.
Besides, look at my bloglines account. More and more people each week. I follow links and peep in, lips ever-ready to curl with contempt. But if the blog is consistently interesting, I go looking for its feed. And every time I add somebody, that's my way of opening the door to a blogozen, saying, 'Hey! Cool stuff... '
Which doesn't necessarily mean that I'll want to meet/hang out with this blogozen in real life...