I've been hopping around reading more blogs than usual and find they sort into categories. Each of these has at times engaged, annoyed, edified, moved and perplexed me. Some days I'll gorge on one type of blog, other days I can't give it two seconds. But I always respect this is someone's voice, someone's very public offering.
1. C'est Moi!
About the minutiae of the blogger's life, whether that life involves what she ate watching the SuperBowl or which designer she wore to Mick and L'Wren's party. A blog type hugely popular with women.
Pros: Lots of intimate details from a life you'll never lead; often hilarious, insightful or touching. I connect and truly care.
Cons: Can't believe I'm spending the limited moments of my life reading someone's latest Starbucks order and the route she took to drive there.
2. Moi, Doing This
A sub-set of C'est Moi blogs: me traveling through India, me volunteering at a community for the disabled, me working at Google.
Pros: An inside view of a life experience you're curious about; perfect for armchair travel, career exploration or vicarious thrills
Cons: Can lack focus, devolving to the rambling, lonely-backpacker-writing-in-internet café syndrome.
Blogger seeking advice and support: coping with financial crisis, writer's block, landlord from hell, or parent of three teenagers.
Pros: Because it attracts others going through the same struggle, there's a trove of useful advice and soul-nourishing empathy
Cons: Sometimes excessive sympathy is given when person might benefit from some straight talk like 'Stop blaming your parents; grow up and pay your bills'
4. Passionate Interest
Explores a topic (e.g., politics, food, style), with only occasional references to the writer's life. May also be concerned with a cause, e.g., Fat Acceptance, living with autism, community gardens.
Pros: The best-written are educational, entertaining, and stimulate me to 'think different', as the Apple folks say.
Cons: Sometimes I read 190 comments - why?
Ostensibly concerns a topic but is actually a shill for advertisers. For example, a jewelery blog started by a well-known Canadian fashion journalist who does not say anything critical about the brands featured on the site.
Subset: Faux-Moi, where the blogger writes about her life but the real purpose is to showcase her product or service.
Pros: You can still learn something
Cons: Trojan-Horse: Genuinely talented people begin to look sleazy. Faux-Moi: Pitch fatigue.
I'll read any of these types; for the C'est Moi, I have to be in a certain mood, kind of like spotting your sister's diary open on her bed.
Trojan Horses elicits tart comments along the lines of 'I see what you're up to, sister, and that Tiffany dog tag is butt-ugly'.
I enjoy and appreciate this online cornucopia of thought. And if I don't, like radio (remember radio?) I can turn the dial. When I'm really old, I expect to be less mobile, and this blog world offers a marvelous way to connect with so many minds.