Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Who's the Best Blogger of Them All?

“What is quality blogging?” is a question that confounds most active bloggers.

To me, a blog is nothing but what its etymological base suggests: a web-log, or an online diary. Each person who maintains a diary writes whatever he or she wants to write about in his or her diary. Similarly, since a blog is just the online version of the diary, every blogger has the freedom to write whatever they want to in their blog. Some people use their dairies just to jot down quotations they read somewhere and liked, and some others use their diaries just to collect good jokes for the after-dinner speeches. Others write deeply personal thoughts in their diaries.

And so it is with blogs: every blogger has their own agendas. A lady blogger always posts her favourite poems – some her own poetry, others she read somewhere else and loved. Another blogger wants to share her darkest secrets, her most rebellious thoughts. As long as both are successful in their agendas, they are both quality bloggers for me, and I read them both with equal interest.

The other aspect of the weblog is that unlike conventional diaries, blogs are social, since they are meant to be read by others apart from the writer himself or herself. And so the good blogger is one whose blogs are understood and considered worthy of perusal by others. Good writing, as far as the language skills go, then becomes all about picking up topics that can be of interest to the most number of readers, or by the greatest variety of readers. Good grammar gets relegated to the background – if a blogger’s post is understandable, that grammar is good enough.
One prominent blogger’s level of erudition and his language skills are beyond most of us average bloggers, but he is read much less than another younger blogger, whose grammar may not be perfect, but is widely read because he posts stuff that is indeed very funny, and much easier to understand. I read both of them regularly, but for entirely different reasons – to learn from the older blogger’s experience of life, and to feel refreshed by the younger one’s uniquely fresh perspective on life and the idiocies and idiosyncrasies of his daily routine. Since most blogging is done on social networking sites, the most popular blogger will be one who will not only write to be understood by the widest variety of readers, but one who will always keep on thinking of new ways to involve the maximum number of other bloggers in “group activities”.
So who do I think are the best ? It has a little to do with my definition of quality, but a lot more to do with my personal tastes. I read someone for his imagination and another for his lovely use of words. I enjoy equally a male blogger's delicious political incorrectness and the bravura bravado of a female blogger's articulation. I adore the sensitivity of one, and admire another's command over the language. I venerate the starkness of one's prose and the lushness of another's poetry.

But my single favourite blogger is the one who is highly versatile, can write on all kinds of topics in all kinds of styles, has above-average writing and grammar skills, and is consciously aware of blogging as a means of social bonding. Who among the ones you read do you think meets these criteria?

Mirror, mirror in the hall, who's the best blogger of them all?