It's a rare thing for this particular blogger to be asked a question that has posting relevance and which requires an actual response from her readers; but today is such a day, and I hope you all (to steal an Americanism) step up to the plate and deliver your answers boldly.
This weekend I met up with eminent Oxford professor Kathryn Sutherland, whom I had first met some months ago. Amongst the many topics of conversation, the subject of the blog came up. Kathryn has recently co-authored a book on new forms of media, a chapter of which was devoted to blogs. She confessed herself disappointed, seeing in them only lazy writing and a group of readers who all indulged in the 'group hug' form of commenting. There was, she felt, no room for improvement in this style of writing. If no one was using the commenting tool for constructive criticism, then the writing would just stay dull and bad.
She had, I said, evidently been looking in the wrong place (which is, of course, not hard to do considering there are over one hundred million blogs out there, 15 million of which are active, and no guarantee of quality).
So, readers of my blog, here are some questions to contemplate and comment on:
- Can there be too much of a good thing in commenting in a supportive way on the blogs you read?
- Do you only comment if you have something positive to say?
- Does writing a blog allow you to be actively hard on yourself and your writing style?
I'd be really pleased if I got some feedback from this. I've realised that I have far more readers than commentators, and I wonder if this is because the readers don't have anything good to say about my posts, or simply that I've not written anything that they can use as a connector to a comment.
This is the time to make your views known!