Ilker Yoldas has created the Thinking Blogger Awards. I first read about it first on one of my favorite history blogs, Boston 1775, when historian J.L. Bell was nominated for this interesting meme. I started researching this a little more and writing this article, then I was nominated by Dana of huffenglish.com. It never occurred to me that anyone would think I was a “thinking blogger”.
It got me really thinking about the definition of a thinking blogger. What does it take to qualify as a thinking blogger?
According to the rules for the Thinking Blogger Awards, a thinking blogger is defined as a “blogger that makes you think”.
After you are nominated, in the meme tradition, it requires you to nominate five thinking bloggers and post links and badges accordingly. It still doesn’t clearly define what a thinking blogger is.
What is a Thinking Blogger?
Obviously, the patent answer would be “a blogger who makes me think”. If a blogger gets your brain ticking over, processing information, then that blogger’s writing has made you think.
Is that enough?
I find myself often intrigued by some very well written blog posts, often enough to write about them, but I find myself thinking more and more, “That’s nice. I’ll have to think about that more later.” instead of thinking, “Oh, wow! That’s incredible! I need to think about that now!”
I end up with a huge list of bookmarked posts to get back to “later”, whenever that is. So the definition of a “blogger that makes me think” isn’t enough for me. I need something more.
A thinking blogger could be someone who inspires me, encourages me to keep on doing what I do. They make me think about what I’m blogging about, thus getting me thinking. Do they qualify as thinking bloggers?
Maybe. I see them more as mentors and motivators, teachers if you will, guiding me along the path to be a better blogger, writer, photographer, or whatever. They make me think, but they make me think about me, my issues, my concerns, my ability, and how I’m going to work on “me”.
Would a thinking blogger be someone who makes me think more about myself and my abilities?
That’s still not enough for me.
In “Fortune Cookie Blogging“, I went on a rampage against all the platitudes I was reading on blogs. People writing fortune cookie blogs filled with middle of the road, “kinder and gentler” blogging styles, avoiding a serious opinion or stance on anything. Just regurgitation of the same old same old. Echo chamber. Hello! Anyone in there…there…there…there? Nope, no opinions here!
While writing my rant against pacifist bloggers, I remembered an old George Carlin bit:
…You know, morally committed people in South Vietnam knew how to stage a demonstration. They knew how to put on a protest. Light yourself on fire! Come on you moral crusaders, let’s see a little smoke to match the fire in your belly.
That’s what I’m looking for in a thinking blogger. Someone totally committed to their belief. It’s more than that, too.
It’s that fire in your belly, morally committed passion that leaps off the blog page.
You know it from the moment you land on the blog and read the first sentence. You know this person knows what they are talking about, how to talk about it, and that this is place to find the information you want. You know you’ve come to the right place.
There is no doubt. You know in an instant that this is someone who knows what they are blogging about.
That’s a thinking blogger.
One who not only thinks about their blogging, they know about that which they blog – down to their toes.
These are the bloggers who will keep me thinking about their words long after I’ve finished reading them. Their passion boils up through their writing to flow out of the computer and into my heart and mind. Two, three, or four hours, maybe a day or two, or even months later, their words will bubble up out of my unconscious like an old song I can’t get out of my head.
Their words invoke images, vivid thoughts, and possible changes of mind. Their words are food to my hungry spirit. I want more.
Their blog represents a body of work which creates a sense of trust and respect for their opinion and advice. I know they honestly know what they are talking about.
These are the bloggers who don’t need to brag, show off, or honk their horns. They don’t need parlor tricks on their blogs. They don’t need to. These are humble folks who blog about their passion and it shines through. It can’t help it. You know it, you feel it, you experience it effervescing from among the sentences on the page.
You know this person is living, and writing, their passion.
Most importantly, this kind of thinking blogger makes me want to tell someone about what I just read. Not later. NOW. And, without a doubt, they make me want to write about what I just read. I can’t help myself. I have to share the passion!
It’s almost a religious experience.
These are bloggers who don’t just make me think, they make me blog. They make me be a better blogger, and a better person, through my blog. Through their passionate blogging, they make me think beyond me, to changing the world around me as I blog.
Now, do I personally think I qualify under my criteria to be considered a “thinking blogger”?
Not a chance.
Then again, that answer might also qualify me as a thinking blogger. At least on the “humble” qualification. ;-)
What’s your definition of a thinking blogger?
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.