Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Difficult Definition

What's the definition of an independent blogger?  I find it difficult to define.  From the Free Dictionary:

1. Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing.
2. Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant: an independent mind.
3. Not determined or influenced by someone or something else; not contingent: a decision independent of the outcome of the study.
4. often Independent Affiliated with or loyal to no one political party or organization.
5. Not dependent on or affiliated with a larger or controlling entity: an independent food store; an independent film.
a. Not relying on others for support, care, or funds; self-supporting.
b. Providing or being sufficient income to enable one to live without working:

The vision I have is a blogger similar to myself - a member of no political party and completely self-reliant. But in truth I'm not, because I have the background support of the delightful gentleman OldRightie, who has been my guardian angel since a distressing episode some time ago. Both of us are of an independent mind yet it is possible OR could be member of a political party.  Does that make him less independent than me? I think not.

In the past year or so group blogs have popped up all over the place, some having a few regular contributers and others having regular posts by a multitude of authors. Few have profiles of their authors. Are they independent?  It's certainly much easier to keep a reasonably high profile in the blogosphere if you have a pool of authors but it raises the question of whether it's the blog or the blogger(s) who are independent.

Some bloggers are professional journalists/writers.  Are they independent when they write on a personal blog?

Like most bloggers I have my regular reading list and I have only two standard rules.  If a blog doesn't have a visible contact email address I don't read it.  Not that I intend to bombard fellow bloggers with emails, but a contact address shows me that the writer is open to his/her readership.

Another rule is I no longer comment on blogs which do not interact with their readership.  Why spend time writing a comment in response to what is a thoughtful post only to wonder if it was even read.  When I began it was my decision to acknowledge every commenter at my place.  Little did I realise how time consuming that would be, even for a small blog, but it's the very least I can do to acknowledge the time my reader has spent composing their comment and I consider it common courtesy. 

That apart, are those independent bloggers truly independent?  I suggest not because we partly rely upon each other to provide links to posts which have relevance to their own.  However that doesn't affect each and every one of us having a truly independent mind does it?

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