The Devouring Blog

In natural ecosystems there is always an energy balance. Nature is always trying to keep the system in check. If there are a lot of rabbits – in come the coyotes. The coyotes then decrease the population of rabbits and increase their own population. But since there are no more rabbits, the coyotes face starvation.

Similarly, too many snapping turtles and there are no baby goslings.

Humans think they can manipulate this energy balance. We live in civilizations now, and we horde food. We sustain ourselves through hard times by this food supply. But we are now finding out that our energy sources our finite. Growth cannot continue forever.

Our economic systems reflect this philosophy. We have something called “progress” and “economic growth.” We tend to forget that things rise and fall and there is no possible way that they can continue forever. So we delude ourselves in thinking they can. But we are always feeding off of something, and sooner our later the supply dwindles: the dinosaurs that are the oil that greases the great capitalistic wheel are gone now. The oil is drying up and soon the great wheel will creak and falter.

In nature, things do not grow forever. There is a natural culling back. That is why there is fruitfullness in the summer, and a die back in the winter.

Do blogs follow this natural cycle?

I started this blog to showcase my words and pictures. I knew I would evolve within my blog, and I thought it would turn into more or less a business venture than anything else. It turns out that no editors are knocking on my door asking me to write for The Nation, or provide photographs for National Geographic. No, I have to go out and hit the pavement for work.

What I have found that as I started writing I got a few comments. A few baby goslings. Then, I ventured out and gave my baby gosling comments to other blog sites. A community was created. A small ecosystem. You feed it, and it in turn feeds you. We watch out for snapping turtles and take care of eachother.

James Chartrand, of Men with Pens, discusses this energy balance in Running with The Wolves as Nature Intended. He references the blog post by Michael Martine of running with a pack. A pack of your own size, that is. Because it’s natural.

But it is also natural, at least with wolves, for someone to try and become top dog or alpha male. If someone gains authority, people will always follow. People see it as an opportunity to have the shelter or expertise or knowledge of a large pack headed by the great alpha.

I suppose you have to ask yourself what your goals are. And who gains from it all. People are happiest when they get something from their relationships. It has to be a reciprocal group, or people will wander away to find another group where they feel supported.

And relationships take time. They don’t happen overnight in some big Twitter or Authority Blogging Pack Factory.

I believe that James is right because if you have a smaller pack or association of bloggers, you will find commonality of interests and ideas. You can then group your energies together and work on projects. For instance, I met Sandi Law of Geeked Off! over at Men with Pens and then found out via her blog that she is interested in food systems. So now I’m collaborating with her on an article about genetic modification of our food – something we know very little about in the US, and I think it’s important.

No, I’m not going to win a Pulitzer for my investigative journalism, but the article will be published and I’m sure many people will read it. And that’s important to me.

After all, I’m in the business of disseminating knowledge through words and pictures. I’m not interested in becoming top dog of the blogosphere.

What do you think about all this? What are you trying to do with your blog and your blogging relationships?

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