On the Internet, as in life, people tend to form opinions about people they don't know in various ways. Two immediately come to mind.
First and foremost, people size up other people by their behavior. As a general rule, behavior is a keen indicator of character although by no means flawless. Carefully crafted speech and actions are the lifeblood of con artists and sociopaths, not to mention toxic acquaintances. One would be wise not to judge a book by its cover unless, of course, there isn't enough time to browse the dollar bin.
Assessing the reputation of friends and associates is another way people decide who to befriend and who to keep at arm's length. Birds of a feather do flock together, meaning, migratory creatures with little in common won't fly south for the winter in a congenial V-formation, and are more likely to peck each others' eyes out if they so much as glance at each other the wrong way.
So too goes the blogosphere.
Blog design and article quality are a reflection of a blog's behavior, so to speak, while links and communities are the friends and associates component. Well-maintained blogs attract more attention and are more likely to build followings than blogs which are difficult to navigate, poorly written or rarely updated. Similarly, blogs which lack meaningful linkage tend to rank poorly on search engines and readers tend to snub sparsely populated communities. A certain pack mentality influences the selection process, much the same way night clubs with longer lines attract more patrons not less. Logically it should be the reverse, and yet some people can't resist joining the herd.
What does all of this have to do with a tribute to actor and professional photographer Dennis Hopper who recently passed away at the age of 74?
Very little. In fact nothing, unless you decide to read Dave's Daily T-Shirts #90 post. Finding Dave's blog was like stumbling upon the smell of budding cherry blossoms in the Spring, a true delight. Dave deserves props not only for creating an original platform to share interesting tidbits about his life, but also, inventing a clever excuse to hangout in slacker wear.
Please don't judge me.