Spoiler Alert: I may be about to step on some toes, including my own!
It is an award that you give to other bloggers whose writing makes you think. So, it is an honor to have received the award (thanks, Lyn!), yet for me it also brings up a very serious question:
What are my readers doing with those thoughts?
What do you want your readers to be doing?
Now that question I have an answer for: I want them to be consciously creating the life that they want to be living.
Now, ask yourself that same question about your own blog or website: What do you want your readers to be doing?
You may find that the answer comes very easily, or you may discover that you really don't even have an answer! You're just blogging and having fun, and you aren't really that worried about the big picture.
Kudos to you! Keep having fun if that is your goal.
However for people such as myself, I'm analytical by nature, and I want to know that what I'm doing is having a positive effect. In the case of my own goal (readers consciously creating their desired lives), I have made several large strides toward making that happen:
I am not bragging in any way. In fact, this post is quite to the contrary! The question I am asking now is:
What is the next step?
I am not speaking just of my own blog, but rather about the blogosphere in general. Are we all just going to keep writing content and reporting the news, effectively turning the blogosphere into a giant interactive online newspaper?
Yes, there are original concepts that are written about around the blogosphere. I write completely unscripted (or un-copied!) myself, and I see original quality whenever I visit the likes of Steve Olson, Edward Mills, Lyman Reed, Rick Cockrum, Dave Olson, Christine Kane, Jonathan-C. Phillips, and many, many others (you know who you are!).
However, I am not asking about the quality of content that is available now, but rather about how we are going to take it to the next level.
But is that enough? Will you be content to just keep coming back to this blog and your other favorite blogs to see the latest content? What about your own blog? Will you be content to just keep writing content indefinitely?
Personally, I see a "cap" on the blogosphere as it exists today. I think there is a critical mass that will be reached where just reading and writing will no longer be enough.
People will want more out of the blogosphere, to the point where it will probably transmute into some other Web 2.0 or 3.0 entity with some other fancy name.
I don't see that happening soon, but I do see it happening eventually. And you – dear reader – are in a position right now to start shaping the way the next generation blogosphere is going to look!
What thoughts do you have about taking things to the next level on both a personal as well as a global scale? Here are some ideas that came to my mind:
Bridging the Gap: Right now, the only real connections (that I am aware of) between "standard" websites and blogs is search engine traffic and word of mouth. Although there are many sites dedicated to expanding the blogosphere such as MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, and Technorati, those sites are populated by bloggers. What about everyone else?
Group Interaction: Commenting is standard fare on most blogs, and there are even technology toys that will allow you to track your commenting conversations all over the 'net. That's great, but with 50,000,000 blogs out there, shouldn't there be a better way for that community to grow and interact?
Taking it Outside: Go out in your neighborhood right now and ask 20 people if they know what a blog is, or better yet, ask if they have one. No, don't go asking your online friends, go ask your neighbors. What are we doing to close the divide between the online world and the 3-dimensional world?
Those are just a few things that popped into my mind, and I'm sure that you have ideas as well. Do you have any thoughts on the 3 concepts that I mentioned? Do you have any ideas of your own?
If you are a blog writer or a blog reader, it is in your best interest to consider concepts such as these, and to think about how they will affect you on a personal and/or a business level.
Let's have a chat about this in the …umm… comments section below!
p.s. – With regard to my thinking blog award? Congratulations, Lyn. You made me think! 🙂