You hardly talk to me anymore
When I come through the door
At the end of the day
Ah yes, the deep tones of Neil Diamond and a recent email prompted a touch of reminiscence. You see, back when I started blogging, it was a different world. Blogrolls were important. They were a recognition. A mark of respect.
And a link! Well, linking to someone meant something. It was far more than a cursory tip of the hat acknowledgement. It meant more than a tweet. Sure, there’d be traffic, but there was something more involved. Something greater than just one blog linking to another blog, one writer doffing the hat to another. We were building communities. We were creating trust. And we were learning with every word, link and click of the mouse.
But then a funny thing happened. The community exploded. We stopped our childlike exploration of everything and anything. We narrowed our vision and our attention to those who reciprocated. We sharpened our word axes and dialled up Twitter. Some of us fell out of blogging – or just became too busy with the business end of this new social world to find the time to write. Communities and constituencies had formed and moved.
Even in my own writing I link less than I did. I riff-off others far more infrequently. It’s not that I don’t still read the folks in my blogroll – like Olivier Blanchard, Drew McLellan, Neil Perkin, Mack Collier or David Armano – it’s just that they are in my RSS reader (and yes, I still use Feedly). And it’s not that I don’t watch CK’s video on innovation or dig through Julian Cole’s Facebook stats and insights. It’s that this social world is a whole lot bigger now.
And while there are still some very big fish in the pond, it seems we’re all now swimming in an ocean. Try boiling that!