Virtual-Doug posted a very captivating piece on relationships in Vietnam, based on a series of dialogues between buyer and seller. Doug's point was that commercial relationships in Vietnam (and the prices you pay) are based on repeat business and tending of the personal knowledge between the buyer and seller -- health, weather, family, etc.
I know that most of the readers of this blog (family and friends) don't normally read blogs and may not be familiar with the click-throughs necessary to get to deeper levels of the discussion. The comments at the bottom of each posting are an opportunity to either contribute your insight to the discussion, or read the contributions of others that enhance the ideas in the original posting.
If you click on the comments button under Virtual-Doug's posting on relationships, you can see that the discussion went off in two or three directions based on his idea of relationships, moving towards "cultural capital" and "community". Doug's insights on relationships were thus enhanced by others' contributions. These comments also provide important feedback to the blog author, resulting in new ideas and inspiration to continue blogging.
What arises in the give-and-take of blog postings and comments is the development of "community". This is what I am most thrilled about as I continue posting to my blog, reading other blogs that influence me, and especially, contributing comments to other blogs and receiving comments on mine.
I may never meet personally most of the bloggers in my new community (and that community is constantly morphing into new sizes and shapes), but for fleeting moments, I feel a very direct relationship with each of them as I read and contribute to the discussions in this community.
I encourage my family and friends to follow the links to other blog postings and try contributing a comment here and there. I believe you will be quickly drawn into this community yourself -- it takes a lot of time, but it is worth it. Send an email to me if you need any help with posting comments.