Reading Blogs Is a Time-Consuming Endeavor

Commentator David Weinberger takes blogging — and blog-reading — seriously. But he won't read your every word. He couldn't possibly.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

The blogosphere is exploding. It has been for a while. New blogs pop up at the rate of more than 100,000 a day. Commentator David Weinberger reads them. Maybe he's read yours or maybe he hasn't.

DAVID WEINBERGER: I don't know how to put this politely, but I'm not keeping up with your blog. Sorry, I'm just not. So when I see your new car and ask you how you like it, don't look all hurt and tell me, I blogged about the transmission falling out, dude. I didn't read that one. I'm sorry. Actually, I'm not sorry. It's nothing personal. I like you. I'm interested in what you're thinking but there are over 30 million weblogs so far. That's a lot of reading and there are gonna be 50 million at some point--a hundred million. It doesn't matter! A salad bar that's five miles long is as useless to me as one that's 3,000 miles long because I'm getting all the salad I can eat in the first 15 feet.

It's not that I never read your blog. I read it on occasion, intermittently, from time to time. It might be once a week, although it's really probably once a month or three months. And I skim to see what's important in your life and well, to see if you've mentioned my blog. But I still get a sense of what's going on with you. I just don't want to be quizzed on it. And no, please do not post on your blog that I'm disrespecting blogs.

If blog friendship, which I love, is going to last, we simply cannot hold each other accountable for having read every blog post, couldn't possibly. That's the sign of a successive blogs, long may they wave. Tell you what. I hereby officially release you from having to keep up with my blog. I promise I won't act all hurt if you don't know I'm very much opposed to certain international copyright extensions or that my back was acting up a couple of weeks ago or any other tidbit from the over 4,700 entries I've posted over the past four years, and I wish I were kidding.

So, you're free! Not only don't you have to read my blog, you don't even have to pretend you've read it. So, yes, I still read your blog. I love it! I love you! But I'm not poring over your every word and I know you're not poring over mine, so let's just admit it. It's okay. So, what's new?

SIEGEL: David Weinberger is a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for the Internet & Society and if you can find the time you might want to check out NPR's new blog, Mixed Signals. It's at our web site, NPR.org.

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