The Awesome Sound of Sleat, from  'Glencoe' above Armadale.

The Awesome Sound of Sleat, from ‘Glencoe’ above Armadale.

WordPress has a charming habit of selling-up – or should that be sending-up? – when it comes to ‘liking’ our blogs.

Not for we wordpressers the mundane, damned with faint praise, ‘like’! No, we are told that whoever it was that clicked the ‘liking’ button thought our blog was ‘pretty awesome’! Hyperbole rules OK? Or perhaps even, hyperbole rules awesomely!


Awesome is an interesting word, more common, I suspect, in American than English english. It’s in a traditional mould: fulsome (wasn’t that a prison?), lonesome (I remember a group called The Lonesome Travellers and still regret the loss of their LP, The First Tramride), winsome, lissom (lissom you guys I’m twying to tell you!), handsome….

Awesome makes me think of ‘awe’ – no shock there – and of awe inspiring. Sunset over the desert, sunrise over the sea, moonrise over the mountains and such stuff seem to me to be the stuff of awe inspiring, seem to be awesome.

But blogs? Really? And what if we do just ‘like’ it. What if it’s simply likeable: useful, interesting, informative, good even, but not quite on a par with the wonders of nature? Then again, what if it really is ‘awesome’? How are they to know, when all of them seem to be?


Perhaps being told we’ve written something awesome is what it’s all about and we should be happy with that, but sometimes doancha, doancha just want to ask, which particular bit of it did you think was awesome? Which particular piece did you think was OK?

I’m perswaded (I like to spell perswade with a w…. I know I shouldn’t, but what the heck! Even Samuel Johnson had soul, as they sing) that there are computer programmes out there that spend their life-bytes looking for particular tag-words and ‘liking’ the blogs they find to have used them. Imagine! Computers that think your blog was ‘pretty awesome’! How cool is that? Cool enough to freeze your effing fingers off! And why would they do this? Could it be to tempt you, in a fit of gratitude, into ‘liking’ the blog whence they came? And if you could identify such questing programmes, could you set up your blog to automatically like them back? Now there’s a thought. All those blogs, not being read by anyone, but being ‘liked’ by other blogs all over the bloody blogosphere – which would free up the writers among us to actually read, and like, awesome or not, each other’s blogs!

Blogs are a peculiar type of communication. A mostly one sided conversation they do allow ‘comments’ (see last week’s posting), and counter comments – or even under-the-counter comments, but the blogger gets to vet them. An example of the media being the message perhaps. But a version of other conversations too, that aren’t really conversations at all. Take the interview. Here we have an interviewer whose job it is not really to converse with the interviewee, but to draw out of him or her the comments that will make them appear ‘good’ in the eyes of the audience (or bad if you’re Jeremy Paxman interviewing someone who has been democratically elected!). Real conversations ; staged conversations. The former don’t guarantee that no-one will  be excluded. The latter presume an audience that won’t, can’t in fact, take part.

So, here’s a plea, for comments, awesome and otherwise…….not to mention mere ‘likes’….