For the love of blog

Are you a blog whore?

The semi-coherent weblog Burning Bird defines “blog whore” thus:

wannabe Blog Diva. one who inveigle other bloggers to link to their blogs. Blogger that succumbs usually referred to as a Blog John (thus the blogroll)

However, a Google search suggests a much broader application. At least two other behaviors – quoting extensively from other people’s material, and leaving lots of comments on other blogs in the hope of attracting readers to one’s own – also seem integral to the blog whore gestalt. But wouldn’t that make virtually all bloggers “whores” in some sense? Let he who is without sin . . .

But wait! Is blog whoring actually considered a sin? Well, heck, nobody sins anymore. That’s just beyond retro, even. It’s hip to be bad, to push the envelope, to surf on the bleeding edge, to subvert the dominant paradigm. (I’m sure there are newer, hipper terms than these, but you get the drift.) My search revealed that in the vast majority of cases, “blog whore” is a status writers claim zealously for themselves. In other words, many, many people seem eager to qualify for the status of blog whore; few seem willing to extend this exalted status to others. In the highly competitive world of blogging, the feeling apparently is that if one can’t be a diva, one can at least aspire to whoredom.

Now, what are we to make of the fact that most of the bloggers fighting for the rights to the titles “diva” and “whore” are male? Is the so-called blogosphere actually modeled on a prison?

Perhaps my fellow bloggers are simply avid Bible-readers. Because, really, it’s the King James Bible that makes the most extensive use of the term “whoring” to denote any broadly transgressive behavior.

And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other blogs, and bowed themselves unto them . . . (Judges 2:17)

And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their blogs, and make thy sons go a whoring after their blogs. (Exodus 34:16)

And they transgressed against the Blog of their fathers, and went a whoring after the blogs of the people of the land, whom Blog destroyed before them. (1 Chronicles 5:25).


Well, Lord forfend! No whoring in this blog! Henceforth, when I “borrow” from others, and when I drop comments hither and yon, I will refer to it instead as cross-pollinating. Isn’t that a much more couth term than “blog whoring”? Yes, I think it is.

Cross-pollination: that’s what we’re all about here!

Of course, I am blatantly stealing this term from Gary Paul Nabhan, whose excellent Cross-Pollination: the Marriage of Science and Poetry (Milkweed Editions, 2004) I’ve just finished reading. But I’m sure Gary wouldn’t mind.

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