The Great Interview Experiment

interview2.jpg

Note:  If you are interested in the 2009 version of the Great Interview Experiment, please go here.

This was V-Grrrl‘s recent comment on my last post about blogging awards, blogrolls, blah blah blah.

i am nobody
who are you
are you nobody too?

I know she was riffing on the somebody vs. nobody idea that I was writing about in the post, but I’m sure a lot of us think this way. For me, the Blogosphere was supposed to erase this old school, hierarchical type of thinking. It’s the reason I started to blog. I’m not a nobody online. The minute I posted my first post, I was a “published” writer. Even if my writing sucked. Even if my audience was one crazy guy from Ohio and my mother.

Gimmicks like Blog Awards are fun because it gives people a chance to socialize with each other, but the concept is mostly for old farts. It is as meaningful as the Oscars, mostly good only for self-promotion. The really best blogs will never be nominated because you don’t even know they exist. Besides, blogging is so much bigger than that, and works on a whole different level. The fascinating part of the medium is that I can write about my talking Penis and have some guy in Iran read my blog, and soon his Penis wants to talk, too! And then, his wife, hearing the sound of love, wants to overthrow the government! And because of one blog post, the whole world is filled with freedom and love and happiness! Now that’s inspiring. I’m all for your personal blog being all about you. That’s how I view my blog. But blogging is more than your own blog. It is the thrill of the freedom of expression, and the random and unlikely connections that we make with each other. And who can forget the importance of comments? Comments alone can MAKE a post interesting.

For two years now, ever since my brief stint writing about personal bloggers on Blogebrity, I’ve been complaining about how a combination of hierarchy, elitism, advertising, and plain old human insecurity will make the internet a less interesting place, especially to be a personal blogger lost in the loudmouth world of politics, celebrities, and product placement. Of course, as the blogosphere matures and becomes fragmented and cliquish, it is a losing battle. But, like the last Spartan warrior, I keep on fighting.

Did you ever notice that whenever some expert is being interviewed on Oprah or the Today show, the person just happens to have a book coming out the following week? It’s as it wasn’t important to tell us the cure for cancer until the guy’s book comes out, and then they don’t even tell you the cure so you have to buy the book. I’ve seen some bloggers being interviewed by other bloggers. It’s usually the same as it is on TV. Those interviewed are persons deemed “worthy” of being asked important questions about the world. They have a popular blog, a project coming out, or a specific expertise. We instantly find these people even MORE interesting because someone took the time to interview them. It’s like Obama’s campaign didn’t even start until Oprah sat down to talk with him. All of a sudden, everyone went, “Wow, she finds him interesting. He MUST be interesting.” I know most of you won’t agree with me, but I think anyone who decides to write about their life online is interesting, even those who may not do the best job yet of conveying that on paper. We all should be interviewed, at least once.

Here’s how it is going to work. The first person who comments on this post, will get interviewed by me. I will read the person’s blog, then email him ten or so specific questions, hopefully more about his life (what makes them tick) than their favorite blogger (too obvious! — me). I’ll give my interviewee as much time as necessary to answer the questions, but hopefully he’ll finish it by next week. There might be a back-and-forth if the person feel uncomfortable with a question, etc. or if I want to explore a topic further. Finally, when it is all written up, I will polish the draft, send it back, and the interviewee can proudly publish the interview on their own blog.

It doesn’t end there. While I am interviewing the first commenter, he will be interviewing the second commenter. The second commenter will be interviewing the third commenter. Each person should then put their own interview on their own blog, or on the interviewer’s blog, or both (your choice!), answering the questions as openly and honestly as he chooses. Not only will this give others a new way to know you, but we will sabotage the idea of an interview only being for “somebody.” Everyone is somebody.

Update:

If you leave a comment, you’re in…

I will keep on adding to the list of interviewers/interviewees. Theoretically, the list can just keep on going perpetually… There really is no specific deadline. Just think of me as the Jewish mother who will guilt you into doing it ASAP, so as not to be rude to the next guy.

Email me with any questions or if your interviewer flakes out, so we can re-assign you.

Here is a list of the completed interviews.

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