The Welter of the Internet #1: Bloggorhea and the writer
August 18, 2009

I have a confession to make: I follow very few blogs closely anymore.I mean, I look at some occasionally. I click on links that people send me and read swell interviews, or industry news, or just look at Strange Things that make me laugh aloud. I do that. But the dedicated daily reading of the blogs in my RSS feed reader? Not so much.I used to follow something like sixty blogs via my blog reader. I would quickly catch up on Read Roger, Maud Newton, Galleycat, Alice's CWIM blog, Fuse #8, and other publishing focused blogs, sure, but ... Do I really need to catch up on the Sartorialist? (Probably not, even though I love looking at the pictures of well-dressed people on the street.) And the Daily Howler and other political wonk blogs? Or the many awesome blogs about design? Or the hilarious Goths in Hot Weather? Or blogs by my clients and friends or about copyright theft or even just the tremendous Boing Boing or—well, you get the picture. Whenever I open my RSS reader, I end up reading much more than just the obligatory industry blogs. Because while I enjoy keeping up with book business scuttlebutt, I enjoy even more other people's playgrounds. You learn such weird things there!Skimming all of that takes time. Even boiling them down to a dozen or so, the reading of my blogroll still took too much time. So I've slacked.But does this mean that writers out there—new or established—should share my digital anomie? Should throw up their virtual hands and head to the beach? Of course not. It may be hard to keep tabs on this modern world, but keeping yourself involved in it is another thing entirely. We don't want to mistake one thing (who has time to read all of that?) with another (who is going to read my rantings?).I'm not sure what, in the end, my point is here, except to say that (a) yes, the blogosphere can be exhausting; and (b) I still think we should dive right in.Readers and editors and industry big mouths and, yes, even agents, want to be able to find you, to learn more, to ask you about that book you've written. Internet fatigue or no, it is where we turn first when we have a question about anything. Even if you can't follow all the blogs you'd like to, shouldn't you try to contribute a verse? Isn't the idea that sooner or later, someone may want to listen? Do you all feel that without immediate rewards for blogging that it isn't worthwhile?