My post yesterday -- that added three transitional forms to the taxonomy of blogs -- reveals my favored approach. I've found that each of my many taxonomies in this blog work best as "learning curves". They offer a map for the movement between initial and highly evolved stages of development. The taxonomy gets used to see the value in each stage and the challenges involved with growing into the next phase. Here's the way I see each kind of blog supporting a phase of personal growth:
Silenced -> voice: Controls freaks and conformity pressures have a silencing effect on us. We lose our outspoken voice, awareness of what we're feeling and permission to be our unique selves. While silenced, we presume that we have nothing to say or that we dare not speak up. We outgrow being silenced by finding our courage and self confidence. We get in touch with what we are feeling, what we really want and how we really see things. We transition from "saying nothing" to "saying anything". Distraction blogs, with their socially insignificant archives, are a perfect vehicle for this personal growth.Illegitimate -> Legitimacy: The next phase of development cultivates "having something to say". We search for content that is valued by our world. We want to say things that are useful, significant and valid in other people's experience. We may venture into this legitimacy by sharing links and quoting news items. We move from purely subjective self-expressions to more objective solutions, methods and analyses. We morph from being loud-mouthed to gaining respect as an authority. We adopt the role of an author and knowledgeable expert. Archive blogs with their persistently useful archive provide a wonderful means to this end.
Aloof -> Interactive: Having a lot to say may come across as distant and controlling. The words "talk at" our audience rather than "talk with" them. Our expertise becomes over-bearing. We need to soften our voice and see other points of view. We transition from a "sage on stage" to a "guide on the side" that serves others' journeys and self realizations. We may tentatively explore this development by making "fan club" comments on other's blogs. When we become fully engaged in others' thinking, our minds go through remarkable changes. Conversations have transformational effects on our identity, perceptions of others and ways to make a difference in the world. We interact with other outlooks in ways that "burst our bubbles" and expose our shortcomings. We learn a staggering amount of insights and perspectives that differ from our own expertise and subjective awareness. Conversation blogs prove to be an ideal vehicle for joining this larger community.Abstract -> Actionable: This final phase of personal growth gets down to the business of changing the world. We get our bearings in the panorama of conceptual possibilities before venturing out into the dysfunctional systems. We may cross this threshold by reporting on incidents in the world and alerting others to actual changes. By previously developing a deeper sense of the challenges in abstract, we now handle them competently when they get in our way. Rather than get stuck in the idea stage of idle speculations, we enter the entrepreneurial phase of strategy formulations. We launch ventures, experiments and prototypes to discover what works, endures and catches on. We engage others in projects and collaborations that get results and meet objectives. Democratic blogs contribute to the ways that things get done among us as we create a better future.