Sunday, December 14, 2008

Linked Together

Is it just me and the places I visit, or does the blogosphere seem sort of slow lately?

I find it fascinating that something as chaotic and uncontrolled as the internet manages to ebb and flow in such discernible patterns. Each individual person, acting as a free agent, manages to blend and mingle into a greater whole in ways that can be surprisingly predictable.

Having been part of online communities for many years now, I do understand some of the reasons for this. For one thing, much of the content on the blogosphere is part of an ongoing conversation. A post by one blogger sparks a conversation, and other bloggers write new posts both in response to the original, and as part of new thoughts on related subjects. More and more blogs become linked together by the synergy of these multiple ongoing conversation threads. Eventually there is some sort of consensus or equilibrium reached with the original conversation, but others have arisen to take its place.

When many of the prevailing conversations have run their course, and some sort of saturation point across the whole of the hive has been reached, things quiet down for a while. Because we just completed an election cycle here in the United States, it's possible that a certain level of fatigue has set in. Everyone expressed his or her opinion, poured their passion into the process, and is experiencing a bit of a lull or letdown now. I don't necessarily mean a letdown in the sense of being sad or depressed (though I'm sure some people are), just in levels of passion and desire to express strong opinions about many of the issues that were hot topics a little over a month ago.

It's also possible that the time of year has something to do with it. Perhaps people are busy shopping, or spending time with family and friends. Maybe some are suffering from season-related depression, which unfortunately, is fairly common this time of year.

Ultimately, I'm not sure if this slowdown is real or just anecdotally perceived. And how can something be called "real", when the entire framework and substance upon which it is based only exists in a virtual way in the first place?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I've been posting less the last few weeks. For me it's a combo of the season and work going crazy. I'll get back to it as soon as I can exhibit some semblance of control over my life again.