Lately, I have been thinking hard about what blogging encompass, and how it can be compared to various natural phenomena. While relaxing at the Botanic Gardens and admiring the trees, it hit me that the blogosphere is kind of like a tropical rainforest.
1) There are many different voices and incessant chatter occurring throughout the day and night. The forest never sleeps. Neither does the Internet.
2) You get all kinds of forest dwellers – the high flying birds, monkeys swinging from tree to tree, and tiny ants crawling on the forest floor. That’s not including the thousands of different plant species and micro-organisms. There is just an amazing diversity. Similarly, the blogosphere is full of blogs, podcasts, vlogs in all shaes and sizes, many which defy description (and often belief!).
3) You can’t harvest a rain forest simply by targeting a segment or area. The only way to do this is to either unleash massive destruction (ala the haze-inducing illegal loggers and shifting cultivators), or to painstakingly do it one by one. Similarly, trying to market to a “segment” of bloggers using a blunderbuss approach will usually get you nowhere.
4) A rainforest is constantly evolving and changing with time, but it still sustains itself overall (unless man intervenes). The composition of the biomass changes as a forest matures from early successional species to late successional species. There will also be minor disasters – falling trees, termite infestations, random fires etc. Likewise, what may catch technorati’s fancy today may be stale news tomorrow. Blogs do come and go, but overall, there will be content generated at a relentless rate from all over the global digital village.
5) There is a high degree of inter-dependence in the jungle. Its denizens interact with each other as part of the ecological food web and food chain. They also depend on each other for sustenance. In the same way, bloggers usually do not exist in isolation. They tend to feed off each other, and ideas, discussions and content flow quickly through digital wires and waves.
So what’s the moral of story? Well, if you want to be successful in riding the social media wave, you need to get out of your padded comfort zone and go live in the forest, mingle with the monkeys (ha) and be prepared to be stung by bees!