Six month ago, I was annoyed with the blogosphere. Bloggers were talking about their blogrolls. Who was on it. Who was not on it. Who was cool? Who was being followed? Some were busy promoting themselves or campaigning for meaningless blog awards. I started blogging to get away from that sort of crap. If I wanted to write in a competitive environment, I would write a book, a magazine article, or a screenplay — and get PAID for it.
Blogging was supposed to be something different.
To steal an idea from the recent BlogHer conference in San Francisco, the RADICAL part of blogging is that anyone can do it. Blogging was not supposed to be for the winners of the world, but for every other nutcase who wanted to express himself, for every frustrated writer too lazy to write a book. A place where I could write about anything, and no one could shut me up. That is as revolutionary as Guttenberg’s Bible.
“The Great Interview Experiment” was a simple idea. One person would interview the next person in the comments, creating a chain. The connections would be random. A-list bloggers would be interviewed by a newbie who could hardly string two sentences together. This would strip us all of any hierarchy. We would be celebrating the medium and our common bond — blogging about our personal lives. In the personal blogging world, we are all interesting, all worthy of being interviewed. The experiment did not require any conference panels of blogging “rockstars,” private parties sponsored by websites isolating all the “top” blogs from the run-of-the-mill ones, or closing keynote speeches by bloggers that everyone has known for years.
This was the other side of blogging. The one where everyone is on an equal playing field, and it didn’t matter who you knew, how many comments you had, or even how well you wrote. And NO corporate sponsors.
Although the interviews have slowed to a drizzle, there are still new people doing it. As for the rest of you…
Some have closed their blogs. Some have changed the urls. Some switched interview partners. A good many of you never got interviewed or copped out on doing your interview. I knew you would forget if I didn’t kvetch about it to you like a nagging mother!
If you still want to be interviewed, sign up HERE. If you never got hold of your interviewer the first time, and you still want to be interviewed, just email me and I’ll find you a new blogger
I really appreciate everyone who has so far participated. And there have been a lot! I would be lying if I said I read every one of your interviews. You’re all interesting, but not THAT INTERESTING. I hope the experiment has helped you realize how much you have to offer in your own “brand” of storytelling and experience.
As I mentioned, six month have passed since the start of the “Great Interview Experiment.” Do I still feel the same idealistic way about the blogosphere? Somewhat. I’m idealistic, but I also understand human nature. I don’t believe most of us truly believe that “everyone is interesting,” Or maybe that’s not the point. We tend to want to interact with others who can “help” us. We want “rockstars” to emulate and “losers” to avoid. We feel the need to segregate and isolate, to box things into clear-cut packages like “mommyblogging” and “Alltop (Does anyone really “love this site” who isn’t also ON the site? Reminds me of Amway)” so we can better handle the chaos of the blogging world… as well as make friends and connections, attract attention, build our egos, and earn some money.
I’m guilty of all of these myself. After a while, you being to want something more out of blogging than just using it as self-therapy. But sometimes, I like to me to remember what excited me about blogging in the first place. It was after my fourth or fifth post — and some guy in Ohio came onto my blog and commented on my lame post about the TV show, “24.” It didn’t really matter what he said.
“This is the coolest thing in the world.” I thought after reading his comment. “Some crazy guy actually gives a shit about what I said. I’m like Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes and I just got my first letter!”
After that, I was hooked on blogging.
I WAS IMPORTANT.
Here is an incomplete — and very inaccurate — list of everyone who has signed up during this time period, whether they did their interview or not.
(I moved the list back to the original post since it was so long)
The links to the completed posts are here.
P.S. — Do you think it is a good idea to get this interview experiment off of my blog and move it to a separate site? If everyone would agree, we could also collect all the interviews and put them on this separate site so it is easier to read through them? Then, I can plaster the site with corporate advertising and make a bundle off of you!