Bannerman uses SharpReader for all of his RSS needs. It’s a sweet little program and it’s free. Certainly a major selling point. On the subject of selling, this brief but pointed post takes aim at something which has come to the B-man’s attention, courtesy of SharpReader. Several posts in one or two blogs promoting what a small sector of the OzBlogosphere thinks it’s doing for said ‘sphere.
There’s the genuinely funny Flute with his UnAustralian Awards. Bannerman believes this IS a positive use of the ‘sphere as a cynical yet pertinent finger-pointing exercise in levity generation. Well done, Flute!
Then there’s the ubiquitous, and supposedly annual – although Bannerman suspects it’s more likely bi-annual given how often these things tend to lob up, Australian Blog Awards. Bannerman has a distinct problem with such ‘events’ given that the OzBlogosphere is much like Hubble’s Universe. It’s expanding rapidly and all the inhabitants appear intent on moving away from each other. These awards, conducted by the same central repository each time, play host to a very small part of the overall ‘sphere and a rather exclusive part at that. Unless you nominate yourself, it seems, you’re not in the running, much less considered a part of the overall ‘sphere. The same bloggers are nominating the same weblogs each and every time. To the Bannerman, it’s much akin to a game played by fourth formers in the male urinals. Just how far up the wall can one piss in one go. It’s equally futile, as the mark one makes soon evaporates.
This ‘galactic neighbourhood’ syndrome is no more evident than with those who write for and promote a collaborative weblog entitled “Club Troppo”. The master of ceremonies, one Ken Parish, sometime beak and lecturer at a far northern educational institution, has gathered a collective of like minds who blog in a vein not dissimilar from Bannerman’s Mum’s rice pudding. Gelatinous, voluminous but bland in and of itself. ‘Troppo’ has taken upon its collective self to conduct a Best Blog Post of 2006 competition. Again, it’s another of these neighbourhood events whereby being postcoded by Troppo will undoubtedly get you a guernsey, but if you don’t rate according to the collective, you’re not in the running.
These small issues, and they are small issues on the whole, tend to leave Bannerman with that feeling one gets leaving the cinema after watching a good flick. It was enjoyable – sort of – but realising that it just didn’t come up to the expectations created by all the reviews read before hand, tends to leave one feeling cheated. Why is it that the ‘sphere, and it is supposed this happens globally, tends to sideline itself in eddies while the main stream flows on by? Just what IS a good blog post? What does it consist of? Who is best qualified to judge same? Is there any real need to do so? Who get’s the biggest buzz? The blog poster or the individual(s) purporting to know more than the community by hosting/administering a ‘best of’ event? B-man suspects he knows the answer to that last, but shan’t venture it here.
To the Bannerman, blogging has always been and will always be a singularly personal undertaking. One writes for ones self, NOT for the critique or praise of others. Were the latter the ultimate aim, the writer ought to be looking further afield for self-aggrandisement. Scribbling on a tiny piece of the ether isn’t likely to deliver sufficient ego boosting kudos. Although it is quite obvious that the small eddys do tend to become quite content in their isolation, if not just a tad arrogant about it all. A pertinent comment was noticed this very morning. The writer reckoned that he wrote for himself and if anyone didn’t like his blog or what he wrote, then they were the one with the problem. Bannerman, quite frankly, can’t agree more.