A few weeks ago, I wrote about Jordanian blog tagging. Now I have been tagged–by an American blogger–and have discovered the American version of tagging.
When Jordanians tag, they basically answer social questions about another blogger. What concerns Jordanian bloggers? Where they met (in cyberspace, of course). Whether they are shy, outgoing, or a rebel. What TV character they are reminded of. What they would do if they were to spend a day together.
And what are American blog taggers concerned about? Thinking. Ah, how American. Ideas. Critical thinking. Expanding your world. And now someone thinks I’m a player in the great American thinking adventure. Cool.
So here is the Thinking Blogger Award, bestowed on me by Bob. I’m touched.
And here are the rules:
1. If, and only if you get tagged, write a post with links to five blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. (Optional) Proudly display the “Thinking Blogger Award” with a link to the post that you write.
If you will follow the link in Rule Number Two, you will find several explanations for the birth of the award. One explanation has to do with the criteria for Technorati rankings, which are based solely on number links. Technorati measures quantity, not quality.
In fact, there is a whole array of these commercial rating companies. One energy company has a blog with nothing but press releases–with a curious machine flavor to its writing–and an array of icons at the bottom of each “article” to click for the following social bookmarks:
del.icio.us, digg.com, furl.net, blinklist.com, reddit.com, feedmelinks.com, http://www.technorati.com, myweb2.search.yahoo.com, newsvine.com, ekstreme.com, ma.gnolia.com, stumbleupon.com, google.com, rawsugar.com, squidoo.com, spurl.net, blinkbits.com, netvouz.com, rojo.com, blogmarks.net, http://www.shadows.com, simpy.com, co.mments.com, scuttle.org.
A bot trawls the net and links their “articles” to real blog articles. Sooner or later some blogger–but not me–will click something on this robot-generated bank of social bookmarks and tell one of these commercial enterprises that someone is reading this non-blog. No one is reading it of course, but someone has figured out how to manufacture the appearance that someone is reading it.
The Thinking Blogger Award, then, is a grassroots attempt to select blogs based on interest to bloggers themselves, and not just the number of links or clicks measured by an impersonal commercial enterprise.
So here’s what I have bookmarked right now, and who I am tagging as Thinking Bloggers:
Islam: Pluralism and Interfaith Dialogue « The Moderate Observer-thoughtful articles on a variety of subjects by different authors
Online Education Free-online dictionaries, translating tools, weird stuff
About « Ireneo’s Memory-a collection of links to bizarre stuff, like how to use a condom to start a fire, or a vase made of honeycomb (before our cellphones destroy all our bees)
Organizations and Markets-academics talk about ordinary Stuff in an unordinary way
Jenn’s Sunday Sermon « The Lady Speaks-reflections on current events with a historical lens by a Christian, “a real one, not a Talibangelical.” They also spell the f-word and the s-word with lots of asterisks.
Tag, you’re “it”.
Besides these five Thinking Bloggers, I have to mention Bob (the one who tagged me) at Neither Clever Nor Witty and “Jim” at Irregular Times, which Bob already mentioned, both of which I read weekly if not daily. For me, thinking isn’t enough, it’s just the foundation. These guys both have an underlying dry sense of humor and an appreciation for the tongue-in-cheek.
Now I am remembering a warm, moonlit Jordanian night in the desert, at a house with grapevines lining the walk up to the front door. My little house-brothers, aged 4 and 6, were playing tag with the children at the house we were visiting. Jordanian children play tag exactly the same way as American children, except they count in Arabic. Why do the adults play tag so differently?