Blogospheric Navel-Gazing

Anyone else notice the tendency of some bloggers to anthropomorphize their blog? — By which I mean something like if I would write, “Masson’s Blog wonders if anyone else has noticed the tendency of some bloggers to anthropomorphize their blog?”

To me, it seems to be a stylistic tendency drawn from editorial pages where the editors write in the name of the newspaper. “The New York Times endorses . . .” And, I suppose on blogs where one or more writers is/are writing on behalf of the entire organization after some sort of collaboration, that makes sense. And, I certainly have nothing against bloggers using pseudonyms. But, individual bloggers writing as if they were an organization seems a little off somehow.

Not a big deal by any means. Just something that occasionally distracts me while I’m reading various blogs.


  1. says

    Nah – that goes under pseudonyms. Now if you constantly referred to yourself as “Blue County in a Red State,” that’d be different.

    Love the Bob Dole reference.

  2. Thomas Kemp says

    Kemplog agrees that this is a major annoyance. I think is is also used to state things that you might not feel comfortable saying on the net. It’s weird seeing it on single author blogs, and I’ll wager I know a primary user of this form you have in mind. . . .

  3. says

    There was a Seinfeld episode about this phenomenon: The Jimmy.

    I have to admit to using the royal “we” when writing certain blog posts since it seemed to make the point better than just having little old me voicing the opinion.

  4. says

    Another thought regarding the royal “we” –
    I remember someone in my eighth grade English class getting chewed out a bit for making some kind of complaint phrased in the terms of “We thought” or “We” something or other. The teacher chastised him for using “we” because all indications were that he was speaking only for himself.

    Apparently that left an impression on me.

  5. Branden Robinson says

    The ILB does it, and I don’t mind.

    If any Indiana blogger has earned that editorial conceit, Marcia Oddi has. She is relentlessly professional.

    When people strive successfully to compartmentalize their editorial voice in their blogs or other presentations, I think the anthropmorphization is warranted. When you don’t, as with many bloggers but also Bill O’Reilly, Joe Scarborough, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Chris Matthews, and so forth, it’s not. It is pretentious and deceptive.

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