Social blogrolling – controversy on MyBlogLog
There’s been a bit of a tempest in a tea cup over a new feature of MyBlogLog — the ability to send messages to all one’s community members.
Some, like Meg in Australia, have complained that it is spam, but it seems that those who are complaining have joined hundreds of communities that they have no real interest in.
And I disagree. I think being able to send a message to all one’s community members (provided it is not overdone) is a good thing. Perhaps some will abuse the facility by sending spam, but then the answer is simple — leave their community. But a message once a quarter or even once a month should not be a problem.
I think “community” means that one desires to interact with others in the community. If people join communities on MyBlogLog and similar social networking sites, they ought to be interested in the topics of the community and in interaction with the members. If they do not want to communicate, they should not have joined the community in the first place.
In my blogs I have tried to make it clear what I am interested in and what I blog about, and I do that in MyBlogLog too. I hope that people who are interested in similar things will read my blogs and comment, and join my communities in MyBlogLog so we can keep in touch, and so I will be reminded to look at their blogs occasionally.
But some people seem to join communities just to see how many they can collect. I have difficulty in understanding the motivation for joining a community where one has no interest in anything the community is about. If you join a football club, and have no interest in football, why did you join? If you then object to receiving the club newsletter, don’t complain to the post office about the club sending you the newsletter, just resign from the club.
I have the same problem with people on social networking sites like MySpace, whom I’ve never heard of, saying “I want to be your friend”. If they’ve read and commented on my blog, or we’ve discussed things in a newsgroup, or exchanged e-mail or snail mail, or communicated in some other way, fine. But just to be a “friend” with no discernable common interest with me makes no sense.
One of the problems of electronic networking is that it can lead to communication without community. But the sudden demand from people on MyBlogLog for community without communication is far more difficult to understand.