My community is the people whose blogs I read and communicate with. My community is also the people who read my thoughts on this blog. Some enter into a conversation through comments and trackbacks. Some are silent.
The people who I read and link to may be much more important to me than I am to them.
It’s a bit like the false intimacy we all feel with Katie Couric or Peter Mansbridge. They sit across the room from us every evening and project their personalities onto the world around us. We feel like we know them. But they know us only as demographics and ratings.
Celebrities have known this false intimacy for years in the people who walk up to them, address them by their first name and start to ask questions about the personal details of their lives.
The blogosphere is a bit like that. In the PR world, I regularly read Hallett, Holtz, Hobson, Israel, Eggertson, Jones, Baradell, Basturea, Defren, McKay, Cody, Rubel, Clarke, Jenkins, Papacosta, Demopoulos, Sansone, and Fallis. I frequently comment or trackback to their sites. Of course, I am only one of dozens of people who do this. So, if I asked these folks if they think of me as part of their community, I wouldn’t kid myself about their answer. Some would respond with “Who’s Joe Thornley?” Others might go so far as to say, “I know him. He comments or leaves trackbacks to my site from time to time.” Does this make me part of their community? Maybe. But very much on the periphary. Is this bad? Not at all. Community is built over time.
The traffic numbers on my site tell me that there are many people who read my blog, but who have yet to comment on it or link to it. I’d like to know who you are.
So, a request. Please help me to know my community better. Leave a comment on this post to let me know who you are, what part of the world you hail from and what you do. (e.g. PR, advertising, student, etc.) And if you have your own blog, please write a brief post with a trackback to this article. I want to add you to my blogroll.
Then, check back to see who considers me part of their community.