Note: Well this post got a little crazy. I could A) revise it so that it flows logically down the page and makes some sort of sense. B) Post it as is and go and do something else.. hmm, tough call. You can have a read and figure out what I decided to do. :)
Yep, there it is, an article from Wired titled Warning: Blogs Can Be Infectious talks about how well known bloggers relay things from lessor known bloggers.
Of course they do. As if one person could pump out enough useful or informative 'creative content' by themselves. Creativity and knowledge are two totally different things, and people tend to need knowledge. The part that interested me about the article is that 'they' are watching. I knew they were.
In my life I've independently concluded many things, but in the end I've always discovered that someone else already had prior art on the idea or concept (not that I was interested in patenting it, or even taking credit for it, but I still consider it 'my idea', even if others had developed it further than I had a few thousand years ago). The thing is 'no man is an island', so anything that I think will be influenced by what I see or hear. Of course, not having a TV and spending most of my time alone, most of the ideas that enter my head are from someone's blog! (or more usually from google). I'm glad popular bloggers form an 'echo chamber', I can just join in at the points that suit me, and figure out what the best ones are for me through natural selection.
Anyway, the sociologists are finding the points of influence. Man, we are going to be so well controlled (as if we aren't already). I bet the media is quietly spewing about this, I'd rather read some little dudes blog and make them famous, than read your lowest-common-denominator popular misinformation.
As for attribution, I still think that's a tough call. I really feel like a wanker when it seems like I'm name dropping (even if I'm not). I don't want to do something that a mindless groupie would do, the other thing is that who I heard it from isn't really relevant, if it's an idea or a thought or a fact then it just is, it's the fact that I'm interested in, not the person that told me (usually, unless it has some bearing). On top of that is the time and effort factor. Further, the person who let me in on it likely only heard it from someone else, etc.
For me, the thing is that my blog is about nothing more than 'what I know', and 'what I am thinking about' and 'it is about me, and for me'. That's about it. I don't think the fact that I share what is going on in my head, in whatever confused half-expressed, half-considered manner that I like is a problem. There will always be omissions, mistakes and silliness, and generally most of what goes on in my head will have a direct tie to something that is going on in someone else's head too. I dream about having everything that I've ever considered, known, experienced, or seen in my blog - I'm working on it.. ;) But from a 'social' perspective, I don't even want to have my blog (or me) counted. I'm invisible.
Picking a person to give credit for something is kind of stupid, dated, and elitist in many ways. Even great authors probably got their best lines, or most famous quotes from someone else's insight.