I am liable to be all over the place today. We spent a couple days visiting the triplets (oh, my, three six-month old babies at once!) this week and spend five hours on the road yesterday coming home. Then I stayed up until 1 AM watching assorted hockey playoff games go into overtime. Ah, this is the great season, multiple games on every night, tension, drama…but I digress.
Bloggers piggyback off each other all the time. You know how it goes, you’re planning a post but you read something on another blog and you just have to write about that same topic. It happens all the time. Or maybe there’s a rather newsworthy event that occurs so you, me, and just about everyone else does a post on the same topic. It’s bound to happen from time-to-time. I can’t quite figure out why it works on forums, though.
I am a regular reader and frequent poster over on Absolute Write (not as frequent as I used to be, though. I read it all the time, but I’m in a down-cycle when it comes to responding for some reason). This morning, after being away from the boards while I was away from home, I found a thread titled: “Which title should I choose?” This thread was started yesterday (4/12) .I knew I had seen something very similar recently, and poked back. Sure enough, on the fourth of the month, we had “Help me think of a good title”, and just six days earlier, we had “Critique my title.” Not all that long ago there were at least three threads that popped up at weekly intervals about ‘meaning’ and ‘theme’. These three threads asked pretty much the same question, and pretty much the same people wandered in to answer in pretty much the same way.
I don’t know if you see threads popping up on the same theme or asking the same question so frequently is the result of some sort of ‘group think’ that happens, or if people see one thread but don’t want to post in it because it hasn’t had a new post in it for several days (and who wants to get flamed for ‘necroing’? That doesn’t usually happen on AW, but I’ve seen it elsewhere). Actually, for the title threads I can understand it. I wouldn’t want to hijack your discussion on a good name for your romantic comedy with questions about what I should call my political thriller. It’s not polite (and AW is usually pretty polite).
I do have to wonder, though, when I see some of these threads. The internet should make us smart. We have almost-instant access to incredible amounts of information on almost any topic. And yet, when I see some of the questions pop up, I wonder if we’re also making ourselves stupid. Are we losing our ability to think for ourselves? People ask so many questions on these boards that they really need to answer for themselves: what should my title be? Should I give my main character a limp? These sites, these blogs, they’re great, don’t get me wrong, but I think they become too easy to fall back on. Instead of sitting back and thinking, too many people are just immediately going to the Answer Man.
Yeah, I’m chucking rocks perilously close to my own house of glass. Yes, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. Still, I’d like to think the times I ran back to my critters for advice came only after serious thought on my part. Some of those threads I’ve seen, I think they ask first, think later (if at all).
Yikes, I’m not sure how I got here. Happy Friday the 13th! Have a great weekend, all.