Questions for Bloggers:

Every now and then, I have a good conversation about blogging with another blogger. And we talk about the bog that our blog is on the log with the frog and how we are feeling agog.

Say, “Blog, blogger” 20 times and you’ll feel like you have mucus in your throat.

I’m actually currently having a good conversation… and some of the questions are really interesting.

I thought I’d throw a few out there for you and if you have a blog you can answer. Actually. If you do not, I’d love even more to hear from you. I think the reader has more insight sometimes. (What does the home-life look like from the angle of the therapist- kind of a deal.)

But ok, here are my thoughts for bloggers.

~Why do I blog? Which one is the primary reason?

Creative, social interaction, affirmation, hobby, writing, money, to give life significance, documentation, or bragging?

(ha! I added the last one because I think a lot of non-bloggers think it’s the last one.)

~ Do I feel an obligation to readers to keep current content on my blog, even if I am not getting paid a dime?

~ How much are comments a compelling factor in what/how often/if I write?

~ How am I coming across?

I think sometimes bloggers get faulted for being too subtle, or too “life is perfect here and artsy all the time”– I can see why that is. From a bloggers perspective, you can only be so “real”. Real is awesome and people love it, but it can really be invasive to your friends and loved ones. (Ex: I just wrote a blog-post called “Love is different than I thought it would be” and it made G cry in a good way. But he thought it was too personal to us– and I never posted it.) For that reason, bloggers are subtle, NOT because they are trying to use their blog as a great face-saver or “my life is awesome” poster, BUT because they see their blog as a scrapbook, not as a toilet. I think that’s true for the most part anyway.

And I’m not even sure how to say this because I mean it in an uplifting way… but from knowing pretty many bloggers- I would say their (mine too!)Β  lives ARE hard– just in ways you just don’t see.

If it bothers you (the perfectness) rest in that, my friend.

Another thought that goes along with the whole “real” thing: WHAT is it that makes you strong enough to post some real things (if you do)?

My answer is easy: I do not post unless my husband reads my post. If he likes it/is okay with what I shared, by dolly, I could care less what happens after that. If the Dalai Lama sitting in a tent in Tibet, happens upon my blog in wild Google search? Go ahead and read, Mr. Lama, I’m ok with that.

~ Have you ever been hurt in the blogging world? How do you handle “mean” comments? Or don’t you get any?

My worst experience– was one time I read a negative comment naming my blog in another person’s comments. It was more weird than hurtful though, so I cannot complain too much. If you want to hear what it was– ask me in person. haha, it’s kinda funny.

Another thought to chew upon… I just read that writers tend to be the most critical of each other of almost any occupation. Interesting!

My theory on this is that– no two people write exactly the same… and so everyone is either same-ish, better, or worse a writer than yourself.

I wonder how this applied to bloggers? And also, why is writing such a close part of a person’s identity? I will say, my writing is very personal to me. Not sure how to expound on that at present.

Do you feel an emotional or a practical approach towards your blog? The thought is: that those that write for money feel free to promote and link-about. Those that blog in a more personal way–Β  can feel like it’s so much self-promotion and may feel shy to link-about etc.

You?

Yeah, well, this was all very rambleyΒ  bambley. I’d love for you to throw it around. For I like a compelling conversation. And remember, you can post anonymously. I don’t care!

jenny-o

~~~

I found this very fascinating: The Evolution of Bloggers.

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14 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    “By dolly” had me giggling. πŸ˜›
    My blog is a “we went here and did this” type to keep our family and friends updated about our overseas adventures. I love comments, and they are a big incentive to me to keep blogging. I don’t know how I’m coming across on my blog . . . maybe I should ask my readers. I know I keep it light and shallow most times because of fear of what people might think. :S

    • Jenny says:

      Jennifer,
      you said,
      I keep it light and shallow sometimes… yes, i do that too. πŸ™‚ it all depends on what is really going on/what i am in the mood for.

  2. Marilyn says:

    So here’s the opinion of a “blog stalker.” I like the inspiration, artsy, light-and-fluffy attitude of a blog. I do like some real life because I find comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one that has issues and that life IS hard for others but that gets me down in a hurry if the blog is all about that. I like blogs that give me a breath of fresh air when I’m done reading them. And for the record, I don’t know that I’ve ever thought people were bragging on their blogs. Not any that I follow anyway. πŸ™‚ So, keep posting all your cute, creative things that you do and know that in my eyes at least, (for what that’s worth!) you’re not bragging.

    • Jenny says:

      Marilyn,
      “I like blogs that give me a breath of fresh air when I’m done reading them.”

      amen!

  3. Hope says:

    Oh, I love this post. My Dad jokes that my blog is my ‘brag’ page. I simply blog because I have a passion for cooking and with just two of us eating- I like to share our meals/recipes with other folks. Some people I meet say, “oh, i read your blog you need to update- I’m tired of looking at doughnuts.” My thoughts- my life should not revolve around blogging- my husband and housework come first, if I am busy for some unknown reason, folks can wait. Also, I try to keep it somewhat personal but like you said- no one wants to see your toilet. I enjoy your blog. I have followed you for years, even back in the xanga days. I love your thought provoking posts.

    • Jenny says:

      Hope, yeah i love your blog! The pictures are pretty enough that I feel inspired to “do”- even though i hate to cook!
      and yes, i have gotten teased in all manner of ways about my blog too. i think some people think it’s a weird thing to do. ha

  4. Bevy says:

    Yeah! a bloggy conversation. You know what is funny. My MIL (bless her heart!) calls my blog – “you’re blah-b”. She’s probably more right on than I care to admit.

    I do not blog for money. Nor do I advertise on mine. But one thing I do want to do more, on my blog, is to be more “REAL”. By that I mean by having a genuine, heart-to-heart, an “at home” sort of feeling that comes across.

    I guess I also think about my blog as if someone were coming into my home and how would I express hospitatility to them? It’s a very real question to ask. Practice hospitality – it says in Romans 12. What does that look like in blog-land?

    Comments. A great way to express hospitality is to comment back – making a newbie feel welcome if they’ve stopped by and dared to comment, or if they’ve recently became your newest follower, ect.
    I want people to see Jesus on my blog. And. Perhaps I may be the only JESUS that person will ever know or get a glimpse of. (just a thought). I do have a few qualms about some of my followers but again… I pray for them. And ask God for wisdom and discretion about them…and whether or not they should be blocked. (this a whole nother conversation for another time)

    One thing (being vulnerable here) that I do need to grow in – is my balance. One where my family and home comes first. That is very hard, for me. Basically because if I have something to say and it doesn’t get “posted”… I feel really “behind”… like I can’t ever catch up and then I feel like I’ve wasted time. (that is my issue – something I need to figure out and work on).

    Secondly, I feel like I want to blog (almost every day) – for that commorodity effect of being accountable to other mom’s out there who are walking the same road I am. I often feel lonely at home – I’m a natural introvert… and so this is one way of really being encouraged, challenged and inspired. Kindred spirit(s) abound…and it is true BLESSING.

    Especially when it goes both ways. In a couple of days were taking a family vacation and part of that means meeting someone (and her family) I’ve met through blogging – for the first time. SO EXCITING! This is what one the true beauties of blogging is all about. Building a sense of community and (sometimes) you can establish a true, real-to-life relationship through it. It’s a risk… but worth it.

    This is one of the ways I so appreciate your blog, Jen. You’re very real. funny, encouraging and inspirational. You’ll say it like it is. I certainly have felt a kindred spirit in you. So – keep it up. I always smile when I see a post from you pop up in my reader. It always makes my day. πŸ˜‰

  5. Aug says:

    This is a super interesting discussion and I liked the questions you presented. Mostly what I found myself thinking about is this: Just like in real life not everyone will like everyone…I need to know and accept that not everyone will like my blog. I have my own style, so do you. I can only just be myself and try to be open and honest as I can and if my blog is not fluffy enough or is too crude sometimes or whatever, then some people might choose to not read my blog. And that is OK.

    I blog because I LOVE to write and also because of the social interaction. Yes, comments do mean a lot to me and I get a little discouraged if a post (or two or three) doesn’t generate many comments. I also know what you mean about often things being too personal to write, not so much always because of myself, but because of other people and their feelings, etc. That can make things a little touchy. Jeremy doesn’t read my blog posts first, but I usually know what he is OK with. Only once did I write a post that offended him! (That I know of.)

    • Jenny says:

      Cough- would love to know what this offensive post was, Aug! Just Nosy Netty asking…
      and, I was happy when you commented, when I wrote this post, I thought, “I wonder what Aug would have to say about it all.” πŸ™‚

  6. amber says:

    oh, goodness! you know i love talking all about the frog on the log in the middle of my blog!!! πŸ™‚ i find it fascinating when other people are passionate about the same things as me.. and i like to know WHY! just like all these questions you posted. which now. i can’t remember them all, and it’s late and i should be sleeping. but.. usually this is my reading of blog time.

    but anyway. hmm.. the ones i do remember, and i’m suddenly thinking i have a message from you in my message box that has something to do w/ blogs too.. i’ll have to check that. been a little behind here after getting back home yesterday. okay. rabbit trail. πŸ˜‰ but. i was going to say i blog because i love to write. for me. that’s the motivating factor. even when i’m not blogging, i’m always jotting something down in a journal or notebook lying around here.

    i’m just ocd enough though to like the neat and proper format of a real live blog. to be able to post pictures w/ the click of a button vs. fumbling with photo glue and tiny stickers and trying to make my scrapbook all pretty! πŸ˜‰

    but. i do often ask myself why make my “online scrapbook/ journal” public. for me it’s two reasons. i just love a good conversation. which is what comments and participating in other blogs {reading them. keeping up w/ someone’s life} feels like to me. and also. to maybe help others feel less alone in their journey’s. those are the things that touch me most~ those type of posts. i love a light and airy post too. but the more serious, deeper ones are just what hits home with me it seems. and i think i tend to write more that way too… though sometimes i wish i could have the humor of PW and make everything funny. πŸ™‚

    i try to not put alot of stock in comments. basing value on number. but it does bother me when ppl read and never comment. i think if you’re a regular reader you need to kinda introduce yourself, atleast once. πŸ™‚ AND. my number one pet peeve/ confusion over blogging are those who comment like on every single post, then suddenly, fall off the radar. you see them still lurking/ reading. but never hear a word. my insecurities can’t help but to wonder if i offended them. or after all that time they just decided they didn’t like me or what. the whole silence thing gets me. just because i’d rather know why. but.. that’s the love/hate relationship of communication on the world wide web. we can be as visible or invisible as we want.

    i usually have shayne read everything i write before i publish it. especially if it’s about us. πŸ˜‰ i used to care alot more about how things were perceived by people. i think i’m getting grumpier in my old age and just not caring as much. either that, or maybe finally learning.. those who want to see/ find the negative, will no matter how careful i try to word things.

    okay. this is probably a ginormous comment. you know us bloggers. just always so much to SAY!!! πŸ™‚

    would have loved this conversation in our pj’s, sitting up late at katie’s house.. next year! next year for sure!! πŸ™‚

    • Jenny says:

      i never thought of it this way:
      Amber, you said:

      “i’m just ocd enough though to like the neat and proper format of a real live blog. to be able to post pictures w/ the click of a button vs. fumbling with photo glue and tiny stickers and trying to make my scrapbook all pretty! ;)”

      i never thought of it that way before!! yes, yes, i think that might be the essence of “it” for me. hmm… pondering.

  7. Luci Martin says:

    Somehow I’ve been missing your posts. I like them all. The one your husband wrote for you is the sweetest thing ever.

    And this one is really fun. I have been blogging for two years now and it has opened up my world so much. I blog because it’s the outlet for all the stuff that once just swirled in my head and drove me crazy. But I really have to watch it that I don’t “let it all hang out” too much. I have this honesty thing where I feel guilty if I write (for instance) about all the fun we had planting garden and don’t include the argument I had with one of the children and the fact that the soil was really clumpy and not very nice to work with.

    I like what you had to say about the toilet thing. SUCH a good point and one I want to remember. I get brave about being real because someone usually identifies…or says they do ;). And because I cannot bear to put on something that I’m not. But it’s easier to think of people I don’t know as well reading the real stuff than it is my mother in law, for instance. Dan doesn’t read all of my posts, but I try to make sure that I consider his wishes when I write.

    I love comments and am embarrassed to say that I would probably shut down my site quickly if they stopped altogether. However, I’m becoming okay with writing a post because it just feels good to write it and realizing it doesn’t mean that I’m weird it there’s nothing to comment on. And it feels so freeing to just let it go.

    Writing about blogging makes me a little uncomfortable because I don’t want to sound like I’m ‘up there’ with the big girls when I just have a little blog where I do my thing.

    I totally believe the truth in writers being critical of each other. Not that I consider myself a writer. πŸ™‚ But I’ve sure got it in me to critique everyone else’s work.

    Just so you know. Aug and I had coffee together at Christmas time and we discusssed bloggers a lot. I told her that if I could write like anyone, it would probably be Jenny K. You have such a gift for being original and funny and graceful.

  8. Rachel says:

    I wasn’t going to respond to this, but then I realized that one of the primary reasons I started blogging was because of what other bloggers meant to me. When I first started reading blogs like yours and Dorcas Smucker, smilesbymiles (can’t think of her name right now), and others, I was so inspired by the realness and the honesty that was there. This sounds mushy mushy, but honestly reading others blogs made me feel better about myself, made me realize that we all have messy imperfect lives and that sometimes we should just embrace them anyway.
    And I thought that if these ladies inspire me, then really, blogging can be considered a ministry of sorts, and therefore important. Well, maybe that last line is how I try to rationalize it to my husband, who thinks it’s not so important. πŸ™‚

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