Earlier this week, I ran across a new book called Blogging Heroes.
And no disrespect to any of the bloggers profiled or the author, I am appalled at the title of the book.
In fact, disgusted.
What appalls me? The use of the term hero.
The book profiles 30 high-profile bloggers. Whether we need yet another book profiling a few top-ranked bloggers, I’ll leave to the market to decide.
But the bloggers profiled aren’t heroes. Blogging PEOPLE, in the sense of the gossip magazine, or Blogging Superstars? Sure. Those are already trivial terms and seem eminently suitable for this "literary" work.
But to call them heroes trivializes the term.
And that really offends me.
The folks profiled in the book have done a great job building and promoting their blogs. That makes them interesting, and perhaps good, examples. But they aren’t heroes.
Blogging heroes are people like Susan Niebur of Toddler Planet who has used her own diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer, a very rare form of breast cancer that is not diagnosed from a lump in the breast, to spread the word about IBC. To the point of giving up her anonymity in the process. That’s a hero.
And not just Susan. Many, many people use their blogs to chronicle their battles against life-threatening and fatal diseases. To help others. Stricken with the disease or simply trying to support someone who is. They are heroes.
Milbloggers. Young men and women thrust into a war not of their making, but determined to serve their country. I don’t necessarily share their politics, but I have no doubt that bloggers like Chuck, who blogs at From my position on the way and who was seriously injured in Iraq last year protecting a fellow soldier, or Jean-Paul, now in his second tour as a Guardsman, are a lot closer to a hero than some business blogger.
Parents, lovers, partners, friends, children, siblings. There are examples all over the blogosphere of people sharing their sadness at the loss of the loved one. And chronicling the process of healing. Sure, sharing their own pain may be in small measure cathartic, but to do it so publicly? That’s heroic.
And we haven’t even touched on the political. Dissidents in politically oppressive regimes who use the blogsphere to spread the word. At great personal risk. Native reporters in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan who continue to dig for news, at great personal risk. Sometimes death. These are heroes.
Everyday, people put their hearts, souls and beliefs online. And not for link rank. For love. For a cause. That’s heroic. Because it just might help someone else. Whether it is someone the person knows, or someone she’s never met… it doesn’t matter.
So, count me offended at a book called Blogging Heroes. Because somehow, no matter how highly ranked, how popular, how famous…
They aren’t heroes.
At least not mine.
[Bonus Link: Scott Baradell is equally unimpressed.]