Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Blogger's Revelation

July has been a very bloggy month. 

It started when I picked up the July issue of Little Rock Family and saw blogger Kyran Pittman on the cover.  As far as I am concerned, Kyran is Little Rock’s most famous blogger, and I’m completely in awe of her. As I gazed at her cover shot, I noticed another cover story headline floating above her head: “*13 Local Blogs You Should Be Reading.”  I quickly flipped right past Kyran’s story to the blog feature (some fan I am!).  By the time I got there, I had come to terms the fact that I would not be one of the featured bloggers, but my feelings were still a little hurt. I rationalized that most of the bloggers who were featured are leagues above me in their blogging “career”. The thing that did bother me a bit was that there were no guidelines as to how the blogs were chosen. Several of the bloggers work for the company that publishes Little Rock Family magazine. And that got me to thinking, Is blogging a popularity contest? What makes one blog better than another? Is it really all about who you know?

I ruminated over the 4th of July holiday weekend, and then jumped into my turn as “Managing Editor” (a self-assigned title) of the Arkansas Women Bloggers website.  I had two main goals: one, line up some guest blog posts, and two, visit as many blogs as I could and invite them over to join and enjoy the site. 

To add to July’s blogginess, my awesome husband began migrating my personal blog from a free wordpress blog to a self-hosted .com blog.  I anguished again as I watched him spend hours and hours doing battle with servers and files and domain names.  Is all his work worth it?  Am I a serious enough blogger for a .com?  What will happen to my stats and comments?  I hadn’t exactly asked my husband to migrate me.  I had simply mentioned a blogging project that I would like to do, but which would require me to be self-hosted, and he took the project and ran. I am super appreciative of all the work he did for me, but at the time I felt sort of like a student who had struggled to graduate high school and was being forced to go to college.

Meanwhile, I was still ruminating on the blogging popularity thing.  I questioned the time I’ve spent blogging and the value of what I get out of it.  Particularly glaring was the ratio of published, paid writing gigs to blog posts for the year, which is roughly 1 to 55, unless you count that one blog post that won me a non-cash, randomly-drawn prize.

As I started visiting blogs from all over Arkansas to invite bloggers to the Arkansas Women Bloggers Site, I was amazed at the diversity among these blogs.  I laughed and I cried. I heard some really bad “background” music and a few songs that brought back memories. Some blogs had layouts that were true works of art and others I nearly went blind trying to read. I learned about vintage high heel shoes, snagged a recipe that I’ve already made for dinner (a chicken enchilada ring), was inspired by a smartly decorated back porch, saw tons of kids enjoying summer fun, and got a hankering to add blackberries to my garden next year. I shared a few bits of knowledge where I could via blog comments, but I definitely reaped more than I sowed.

And then it hit me.  This is what blogging is about.  It’s about making connections with people you wouldn’t normally get to know and learning from one another’s experiences.  It’s about sparking inspiration and creativity, and sharing what is important to you.  It’s about expanding your knowledge through a network of information that you can customize to fit your needs thanks to RSS feeds and email subscriptions.  Blogging serves a different purpose to each blogger and blog reader.  It takes a certain something to want to put a little piece of yourself out there; that is the thing that links bloggers together.  I am super proud to be part of the blogging community, and I’m so excited to see the Arkansas Women Bloggers community growing. I don’t even care how popular I am.

Fawn Rechkemmer blogs about her sheer lack of domesticity and all the things she does to avoid washing the dishes at http://insteadofthedishes.com (thanks to her husband).

8 comments:

  1. I too love Kyran, but also agree about the popularity game.

    I love blog. Most all blogs. And I'm glad that Arkansas Women Bloggers recognizes all of us in our differences.

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  2. Just the other day, some of my friends (even a couple from the blogger magazine feature) and I were discussing how we felt about blog comments / the whole popularity thing. I was glad to hear that most of them, like me, like the comments because it means people are interacting and connecting with what we had to say. Comments, page views, etc. are nice as far as encouragement but when people use them to "keep score", I can tell they don't blog for the same reasons I do.

    And I really like what you're doing with this blog!!

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  3. Here here! Everyone appreciates comments. It's like getting mail. Well, for me. But it's not why I blog. I'm with ya with the popularity contest. And the lure of constant giveaways. Ugh. It's about writing, people.

    I am loving the posting on this site - keep it up!

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  4. Fawn,

    Thanks so much for compliment! I began to respond here, but it evolved into a blog post, so thank you also for the writing prompt.

    I don't want to appear pimpy by posting the link here in your comments section, but I think you know where to find me. :-)

    xo

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  5. Fawn,

    I am no where near Arkansas but came here via Kyran's blog. I really like the perspective you have, as it mirrors my experience of blogging, whatever the orginal intent might be.

    Great work!

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  6. Great thoughts here...I will be following!

    (And I thought I was the only one who blogged to get out of doing the dishes!!!)

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  7. Do you have to be from Arkansas to join? I LOVE to blog and have a blog on Bloggers. I'm from Arizona. Stop by and see my blog if you'd like. I really like your blog! Sincerely, Missy
    http://missyschranz.blogspot.com

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  8. I'm still not even sure why I write my blog; it helps me from going nuts and it replaces all those entries in my my journal that I keep intending to keep.
    However, I LIVE for comments on my blog. Being quite insecure, it validates my writing. Plus I'm shallow and self-absorbed.
    Cheers, fellow bloggers!

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