I thought I was the first to use the word, “interblogging.” Then I discovered it had already been thunk up by a bunch of other people. The Urban Dictionary defines “interblog” as something of a portmanteau, used by those who haven’t a clue about blogging and the internet.
Interblog: When discussing blogging and the internet to a much older person, who knows nothing of the web, they get confused and combine them.Urban Dictionary
To cover up my stupidity, I came up with my own definition, which I think is much more sophisticated. I now define interblogging as the involved interaction that occurs between bloggers, mainly in the Comments section of their posts. And really, that’s what I’ve been thinking the whole time I’ve used that word.
I like my definition, because it makes me look less stupid. But more importantly, it puts a label on a netherworld of blogging that exists just one level below the surface of the blogosphere. It refers to an inconspicuous passage that bloggers can travel through. A wormhole of sorts. A hyperlink, that leads to a speakeasy world of free-form forums and direct interaction.
Some bloggers just seem to be putting out their message, without interacting much with the public. They’re what I call “broadcast bloggers,” engaged in one-way communication. Some of these broadcast bloggers can be popular. They have hundreds, or thousands of followers. Some also receive a large number of complimentary comments to their posts.
But their responses seem taciturn. They say stuff like: “Thank you.” “Thanks for following.” “I appreciate it.” “You’re nice.” I wonder if they copy and paste some of these remarks. It seems obvious they’re not looking for a conversation. And maybe that’s because they don’t have much time for chatter. They’re too busy posting.
Then there are the interbloggers. When you check out the Comments, it’s like opening the door into some sort of wild party. Well, not always so wild, but at least something less tame than an empty library full of cobwebs.
The commenters are doing a whole lot more than just complimenting the post, if they’re complimenting it at all. Hell, they could be insulting it. But mainly they’re offering their own profound insights and experiences, debating issues, making smart-alecky remarks, telling a joke, or just shooting the shit.
And the author of the post is often responding with thoughtful or unthoughtful remarks going well beyond a two or three word sentence. It’s an actual conversation. It’s involved interaction. It’s what I call interblogging. At least now I do.
I’ve been interblogging for over six years now, thanks to a long-time blogger named Cranky Pants. Six years ago she had a blog called Gibber Jabberin’, and the interaction that occurred on her site was the quintessence of interblogging, in my view. Gibber, er, Cranky, inspired me, and so I shut down my broadcast blog and began a new one, called Golden Daze, where I put an emphasis on interblogging.
But the theme of Golden Daze didn’t quite feel right to me, so after about a year I shut it down. Exactly five years ago, on January 25, 2016, Chasing Unicorns was born, and I’ve stuck with this blog ever since. Today is Chasing Unicorns fifth birthday. And after five years I’ve managed to almost reach 1,000 followers (994, at latest count). It was up to 999 a few days ago, but I think I might have pissed a few people off. As usual.
Yes, I realize that 95% of my followers are just trying to sell me something, but I’m still proud of my illusory fame. And yes, I’ll admit the growth has been slow, but I don’t follow other blogs just to get them to follow me back. I follow them because I genuinely want to try reading them for awhile. And that doesn’t happen very often. Even more rare is me continuing to follow a blog. I’m very picky.
Most of my followers don’t interblog much, if at all. But a few do, and they’ve made this endeavor worthwhile. I appreciate the friendships we’ve developed. And I invite anyone who’s been reading from the sidelines, and who’s interested, to join the fun.
I think interblogging is the most enjoyable way to run a blog. I’m sure I would have given up on this shit a long time ago if all I did was broadcast blog. Interblogging brings blogging to life. It turns it into a human experience. And it’s a lot more fun, with all the smartasses that leave their smart-alecky comments. I’ve made good friends from interblogging. And a few good enemies.
So thank you to all who follow my blog, and who put up with the smartass remarks I leave on your blog. Thank you for the good badinage and the bad goodinage. You make it fun. I wouldn’t do this without you.