5. Blogs as Clubhouses

Obsessions can be lonely. Finding like-minded souls who share and fuel our passions has always been a challenge. Today, however, fellow obsessives are finding each other via enthusiast blogs that document, catalog, and celebrate their pet topics. Far-flung communities of interest are growing up all across blogdom. What distinguishes the best of these blogs and allows the authors to assume a place of influence within their affinity groups?

If you’ll indulge one of my own obsessions—etymology, the study of the roots of words—I think we might be able to elicit the answer from a surprising source: the critics of these enthusiast blogs.

Some dismiss the authors of these blogs as “dilettantes.” This sounds like a negative label ...

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