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A reverse approach to blogging

If that's the situation, a writer without a high degree of expertise in a certain field, or special gift in an unusual subject in which visitors might be interested, could probably be more productive by joining a community, a niche-subject social network, a discussion group around a certain topic, etc. than simply by writing a blog that depends on visitors somehow making their way there. That is my conclusion. Individual, disconnected blogs are becoming redundant.

The number of different networks I join seems to grow from week to week. I use social bookmarking, join book sites, music sites and niche-subject social networks. That means that I am writing and commenting in any number of places. My static blog becomes just a small sampling of what I am actually writing, and it is also probably one of the least visited places too. If that is the situation, it makes more sense to abandon the attempt to focus on the blog, and give more time to seeking and engaging in lively discussions on the subjects that interest me.

On the other hand, there should be a central place where all of these diverse blogging and commenting efforts are gathered and referenced, through RSS or even manual methods. A home-site where everything links back. It would also make sense to use a standard editor, such as MS OneNote or some equivalent, for blogging entries, so that one has a record of what one has written in diverse places.

It is possible to use a network like Facebook, Friendfeed, MyBlogLog or a Google Reader public page to gather all the strands, but all of these methods are either limited or have certain flaws. Facebook isn't open, Friendfeed concentrates on feeds, and the number of insignificant items, such as bookmarks,tends to bury the more significant entries. MyBlogLog concentrates on sources rather than feeds and, like Friendfeed, offers only a partial listing of possible sources. A Google Reader public page would be an improvisation, outside of its intended use. So it may be necessary to handcraft a home page with RSS feeds, manual entries, etc.

The paradigm suggested is actually a virtual equivalent of what happens in the real world. If you are interested in a certain topic, you don't write about it then leave the manuscript on display in your living room and wait for the world to come look at it. You leave the house and seek out others who wish to discuss it. Later, back home, you can assemble a record of the conversations in which you have been engaged.

Naturally, this approach is unsuitable for bloggers who wish to earn some money from their blogging activities, since whenever writing is done elsewhere, someone else is deriving an income from these efforts.