Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. (from “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray)
There are certainly many excellent established blogs out there. I love to read them. But I also like to scour the blogopsphere for hidden gems.
The great blogs are great by consensus and I respect the opinion of the large number of readers vetoing them. But I never know what may have slipped through the lenses of these discerning readers in the complex system by which blogs acquire good karma.
I trust my own opinion the best where understanding which blogs would suit me the most is concerned.
Excellent quality: There are some blogs out there that are just that. Excellent. For some reason, they don’t get much attention, sometimes because the writers don’t put as much effort into networking in the blogosphere. Often it’s just a case that their content doesn’t have mass appeal. But if I’m one of those readers who is interested in that kind of content, it’s a great read for me. As a reader, I often have to dredge through hundreds of blogs to find these. It’s always a pleasant corroboration of my good readerly instincts to find that a blog I have been following for a while suddenly gets a lot of recognition.
Hard work: The not-so-well-known-yet blogs show a lot of hard work and persistence. It’s relatively easy to keep going when one is receiving encouragement from many readers but it shows real dedication when one continues writing even when there aren’t so many people reading. I find that kind of dedication inspiring.
Fluidity, lack of complacency, openness of voice: This is a major refreshing difference between new, upcoming and relatively obscure blogs and the established ones. The not-so-well-known blogs take risks with their voice, points of view, subject matter and layout in a way that already established players don’t. Perhaps the established players feel like they have too much to lose should an idea not work out. The blogs with fewer readers seem less predictable and more “honest” somehow. There is always a surprise element involved. I never know what I could discover. That’s why I like browsing these smaller blogs.
The sheer number of such blogs provides me with a sense of a multiplicity of voices when I browse them together that I never get reading a selection of established blogs. It feels like there are a lot of people interacting in an everyday sort of way. I like that feeling.