INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Attention Matters, or Does It?

Enjoyed lunch with Maria Benet a couple of days ago. It was great to re-connect and share impressions of the state of the blogosphere and our relationhip to it. It seems that we're both experiencing some difficulty in generating the kind of momentum we had in the old days--although I have to say that she's doing a better job of it than I am.

I'm thinking of putting a book together, plus I have my wife's business to promote. Maria has her own projects and wish lists. Without the buzz and energy and cross-talk of the earlier period, it's hard to get very involved with this medium any more.

Or so it seems. Maybe I'm just kvetching and need to get off it. E.g., there's the comment from Jeneane last month, telling me not to worry about my recent absence from the blogosphere: "it's not like the old days. no one pays attention anyway anymore (HEE!) Well, cept frank. ;-)"

It doesn't seem to bother her one bit. She just keeps cranking it out, as always (you're a phenom, Jeneane!) Me, I'm not so sanguine about the new atmosphere.

OTOH, Frank, Tamar, and Winston had a little exchange about it around a month ago, and they all were pleasantly surprised to find that people actually were paying attention. So maybe I'm just being a closet misanthrope. I can hardly bitch about lack of notice if I'm only posting a couple of times a month.


  • I enjoyed our discussion over lunch about the state of blogging these days. Seems that bakc a few years ago, we were driven by a need to connect and communicate ... and now, so much of blogging seems to be a grab for attention, doesn't it?

    By Anonymous maria, at 12:53 PM  

  • Had a big deal conversation about aggregators and RSS feeds today. Doc Searls was all on about them as saviors of the planet, and Kevin Marks was similarly if less effusively positive. I think that I'll always be a surfer, checking in on people I enjoy and clicking through if there's nothing new.

    Blogs are journals we share online. I kinda like fedback on some of my stuff, and there are a few people around happy to check in on me and provide feedback, so life is good.

    By Blogger Frank, at 2:05 PM  

  • Oh, I'm sure you have more readers than you think you do. Probably more than some people, like me, who do post every day. (I do not count weird google searches as actual readers.)

    By Blogger Sya, at 10:41 AM  

  • Tom, I am definitely feeling a lack of attention. It is disconcerting, to say the least and although I keep cranking out stuff, I have to talk myself into it. Once I thought that blogging just for me was the only thing that mattered. Now, I am sure that isn't so.

    And so, I am not sure how long I will continue with the "new atmosphere." By the way, thanks for the link. I appreciate it very much.

    By Blogger Tamar, at 11:40 AM  

  • Attention only matters a little. You have to know your friends are out here reading, but not get too hung up on writing for the ages and for the masses. My opinion...

    By Blogger Frank, at 8:20 PM  

  • Wait, is this my third comment on this post or my second? Attention is a two way street! if you're gonna turn on moderation, then darn it -- moderate!

    By Blogger Frank, at 8:21 PM  

  • Yes, indeed attention matters. We really need to get everyone noticed our existence especially with the person closest to us.

    By Anonymous tina110, at 2:24 AM  

  • Perhaps you should be a fully fledged misanthrope, like moi.

    Stay on Groovin' Safari,

    By Blogger TOR Hershman, at 11:31 PM  

  • People's comments may not be showing up. This is a test comment to see if the damned function is working or not.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 1:38 PM  

  • Tamar wrote a blog post last week in relation to my post above. Got 26 commenters! A week late, I tried to put up my own comment, but so far it hasn't taken. She said she had tried to comment to this post and it didn't take. I wonder if there's some communication problem between her computer and mine? Sure hope not. Did anyone else try unsuccessfully to comment here?

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 6:16 PM  

  • I left a comment, too ... but can no longer recall what I said. I did notice that it never showed up!

    By Anonymous maria, at 9:59 PM  

  • Ktlutz that I am, I forgot to disable comment monitoring. Problem solved, I trust.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 10:50 PM  

  • Ok - good to see you're back and commenting! Am testing to see if my comment "takes." Gee I would hate it if there was some communication problem between your and my computer, Tom!

    By Blogger Tamar, at 4:31 AM  

  • I left a comment too... then I left a comment about comment monitoring. Now I'm leaving this meta-comment.

    By Blogger Frank, at 5:49 AM  

  • Hm, I left a comment as well. I'll post another one once I figure out what I said before.

    By Blogger Sya, at 12:06 PM  

  • Thanks, sya! Looking forward to it.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 1:01 PM  

  • Okay, here it goes. I think this one has the general gist of my original comment.

    I think people are paying attention. It just doesn't seem that way because people aren't commenting and e-mailing or maybe they're all reading the feeds so they don't show up on site tracking. It's the inertia problem. Maybe it just seems like it's too much work to leave a comment. Or people feel like they'll leave a comment that might be branded as stupid so they don't leave a comment at all.

    Then again, I'm somewhat of a pessimist when it comes to site visitors. They're either all coming in search of bdellovibrio pictures or someone from real life who's just snooping around.

    By Blogger Sya, at 7:06 PM  

  • Yeah, Sya, feeds are probably part of the problem. People race through them, and if they haven't bothered to subscribe to your feed in the first place--which not many have in my case--you're relegated to oblivion. Oh well, there are still some good folks like you around, so all is not lost. Good to hear from you!

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 8:35 PM  

  • 12/15 - may be time for a quarterly update, Tom. How's life where it's naturally warm?

    By Blogger Frank, at 8:31 PM  

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