Colin of Free PC Security has graced me with a Community Blogger Award which means a lot to me. I am a firm believer in the value of blogging for community building. This award celebrates people who reach out and makes the blogger community a better one.
It also underlines the importance of a blogs readership community, one of the most rewarding parts about blogging. It’s the people that come back to comment, adding to the conversation, making you feel like someone is listening and interested.
The social networking aspect of blogging has always been there, long before the more recent phenomena of such applications as MyBlogLog. Certainly, external communities bring people with similar interests together but on a larger scale and their emphasis is on 'networking' rather than 'social'. You can build closer, more personal communities, from them but this takes time and effort and the larger they get the more impersonal they become.
You are then more inclined to join micro communities (eg one based around your city, or topic area). Nothing wrong with this of course but diversity tends to be lost. We end up classifying ourselves, identifying with certain aspects of our life rather our whole person.
This happens in real life too of course; more so in large cities. We get together with work mates or those in clubs and organisations we join. Cities can be lonely places.
My blogging friends are diverse. They are ones that have tended to come about more naturally, from people who have visited my blog and those who's blogs I have been interested enough in to leave comments. From there I have met others, blogging friends of blogging friends. They come from all over the world, their blog topics vary considerably but I feel some sort of affinity to them for one reason or another. In 'real' life my closest friends are those who I went to school with. They were made before we had categorized ourselves by what we do for a living, what our hobbies are etc. They are a diverse lot, spread all over the world now, with vastly different experiences, different careers, different interests.
There is talk of blogging dying, being replaced by applications like twitter. Maybe this is true to an extent but I don't think blogging, because of its social and community building value, will be replaced by less personal applications. Twitter may inform me where someone is going for lunch or what they are doing today but it does not tell me who they are, only how they have defined themselves in life. This is often because of necessity rather than need. I believe blogging does satisfy our needs, creating communities of like minded people. (There are always exceptions to the rule of course - I think Facebook may be one of them. I think I have just led myself along the path to another post with that thought.)
I got a little carried away in thoughts with this post but back to the award itself. I have decided to pass this on to bloggers whose main purpose is to create a community.
Captain Lifecruiser whose lively community members, the team cruisers and swab team, get together to share and enjoy cyber travel. The Captain really gets into the spirit of things with her current blog template dedicated to things spooky. Lifecruisers Halloween runs from 23-31 October, with a spooktacular Halloween Party the 31th!I will add more when I have had time to think about it in relation to the criteria I set for myself! Perhaps you could help me out here. Do you always pass awards on to your contacts/readers or are there times when you will give them to those who do not really know you although you admire their blogs?