Ten Blogs that Shook the World

I’m not sure I’m artciulating anything new here, but for me, reading some of the “high-profile” blogs feels a little bit like listening to talk radio: a charismatic figure stirs up people’s frustrations and fears by linking to a news article or bit of information. Then a feeding frenzy takes place, with dozens of other bloggers quickly linking to this story or adding their comments, creating the noise effect I was talking about yesterday. —Chuck Tyron
Ten Blogs that Shook the World (The Chutry Experiment)

I confess that I probably feel too much validation when I happen to blog something that I later see climbing the charts on Popdex or Blogdex. Often, of course, I have seen the link on Slashdot, Wired, Metafilter, A & L Daily, or some other well-read site, so there is little wonder that other bloggers will pick up an interesting link. It’s really far more satisfying when I find a gracious link on thinking with my fingers or MGK; these are people I’ve met in person (Torill was recently in Greensburg, and although Matthew probaby doesn’t remember me, long before I started blogging I met him briefly at a conference — probably the MLA, though I can’t honestly remember).

This blog entry is a bit more of a hodgepodge than usual, but just now as I was scanning the blog entry I wrote for Torill’s visit, I was reminded of Torill’s reasons for not permitting comments on her blog. My sister Rosemary (whose eagle eye often catches typos in my blog entries — thanks sis) told me that a comment spammer had struck my pointless Rainbow Hector Weblog. My journalism students are turning in blog portfolios, and one of the components asks them to reflect upon an entry that they wrote that generated good comments. Some students who haven’t been blogging regularly probably won’t get many comments on the blog entries they are feverishly writing the day before their portfolios are due. The artificiality of expecting students to write entries that generate comments leads to the following well-written, poignant plea from my student Shannon Gerstel, who uses images of nudity and shame to describe the way she feels about her blog in the hours before it is due.

I’ll be very interested to see how many of my student bloggers continue to blog over the break, and what they write about when they are no longer thinking about fulfilling the requirements of an assignment.