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Of Blogging Community

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I’ve been meaning to have a blog party for forever. It won’t be your drink-and-decorations kind of affair. It won’t even contain the only two reasons why I go to a party: food and dancing. But, it is a rather communal affair often hosted by bloggers, where they ask fellow bloggers to plug their blogs so that others can check them out. I don’t know why I am telling you about it instead of just asking you to share, but I guess it’s because this seems to be confessions week here on Of Opinions and I have to make yet another one – I don’t think I do much here community-wise.

Don’t get me wrong. I know my lovely readers here take me for a more-or-less nice person. I, myself, appreciate what a lovely community I am surrounded by. I see familiar blog names and faces pop up here and there on WordPress, and love catching up on those who are a little niche. We comment back and forth, give shout-outs once in a while, and it does feel like real people are involved, not dry, robotic interactions done on the basis of likes and re-blogs. But, I feel I don’t do much, both in terms of paying back, and exploring new.

There are two reasons for this. One, I am not very organised with my blogging. I don’t really plan, or set aside specific time for it. I do it whenever, wherever. I’ve been catching up on blog posts I missed in recent months due to various reasons by reading up specific bloggers one at a time (I think I’ve caught up with the brilliant, mathematically whimsical Stephen1001 by now). But, many of you, judging by your commenting in the community, have worked out a more integrated approach to blogging, where you can juggle all aspects of blogging without letting it take up too much of your time.

The second reason is that I emphasise most on writing. Yes, even if the average age for a published author seems to about twelve in this century, I still think I have time to make it. It concerns me more than community. Not very polite to admit, you might say, but I did call this confessions week. I am not very good at navigating people as a collective. I often don’t know what to say; which is why I end up saying too much (as demonstrated by my somewhat long comments). When I write a blog post though, I have ample time to brood and edit. I have my say, and I try to say it to the best of my abilities. Self-absorbed it may sound, but that is what entices me the most about doing this blogging thing.

However, I deeply appreciate whatever responses I get to my posts. And I know you appreciate the same with your posts. Which is why I don’t want to litter it with likes. Sometimes, you don’t have anything to say. Likes are fine then. But, putting something down makes you rationalize your thoughts about what you read better too. It doesn’t have to be impressive, a gold-star worthy comment, but if it adds to the discussion, why not? Sometimes, even if you want to say something, you can’t find the words. Maybe you process what you read at a later time, and you’re not sure if what you have to say then is worth being shared. I feel this the most when reading creative work, poems, short stories and such, where the best ones have a lot to chew on, and if I do come back with a comment belatedly, it will inevitably read like a boring academic essay.

I suppose my blogging community reflects my flesh-and-blood community. I have good intentions, I hope you believe me when I say I do, but I’m lacking in execution. Some of you share posts on your social media. Some of you collaborate with other bloggers. Some of you do round-ups, mentioning your favourite reads. I do nothing of the sort. Having said that, Of Opinions is reaching the 2000 followers mark, all thanks to you, and I hope things will be different from now on. I will give back more, I will explore new. And I will start right here, by having a pre-blog-party party, and ask you to share:

1) What do you blog about?

2) Any specific posts you’d like me, or other readers to read, and a link to it. If not, then a link to your blog should suffice.

There will be a blog party after I hit the 2000 mark, where I will do my best to bring as many people to the party as possible. By the way, guest posts are always encouraged, on which you can read more by clicking here.

I thank you again for making it all possible. Apart from my selfish need to spout opinions, you’re the only reason I keep coming back!

Author:

Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

35 thoughts on “Of Blogging Community

  1. Well I hit like to go along with my comments for people’s blogs. Though I appreciate that it represents affirmation of my work, and am mindful that sometimes it is a time thing for some, I also feel like someone just liking a post means that they like the title, or the image that shows up in the Reader, and not the post itself. I absolutely love that you are so good with your comments. Yes, yes, I know you are going to say, but I’m not really…blah blah. But you really are. I’ve told more than one fellow blogger that I have probably written another 200 posts worth of material with comments! Which feels right to me. I have also said that what I love about this community in general is that there are genuine conversations and dialogues happening unlike other social media.So whether it is a few wisely chosen words in a reply, or something longer such as I am typing right now, it is always appreciated! Which is why I have never been annoyed, or upset when you or other bloggers I care about don’t reply to everything I post.

    Anyway the blogging party sounds great. Here are my answers to your questions-
    1. I blog about the connection between my own photographs and the music I love, finding ways to give a still photo its own ‘soundtrack’.
    2.I’d like to link to a recent post that has become very important for me, and would like to see it get out there more. I don’t consider it political, but more about a serious cause. If you would rather not have it on your blog though, let me know and I will give you an alternate-the Living Music one or Vinyl Edition were two of my other favorites this year. https://robpatdoy.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/water-is-life/

    And thank you Amrita. I continue to be thankful that we came across one another!

    1. Beautiful post, Robert! You don’t give enough credit to your writing, but it is always lyrical. I do know about the drought in California, but I didn’t know other parts of the US were affected as well. I remember the ALS challenge made me uncomfortable. First of all, there are many people out there, in cold climates, who cannot bathe in warm water, acclimatising themselves to the cold water available to them instead. A single bucket of water can be a precious commodity to countless people. I have always lived in urban areas, but I’ve experienced lack of water several times in my life, and I simply cannot stand its wastage. People irresponsibly keep taps open or don’t fix dripping taps, waste water in the shower by keeping it on without using it etc. Forget clean water, water itself will soon become scarce the world over, where it wouldn’t matter after a while where you’re from. Music is a great way of reminding people (since public awareness advertisements sometimes don’t work!) and I really appreciate your associating that music to a good cause.

      As for comments and likes, I am very grateful for your always thoughtful and generous ones! I am sure all the bloggers you read are equally appreciative of the time and attention you pay towards their posts. That is why I take my time in replying yours sometimes – because the comment itself is like a blog post! But, I think I can confidently say I replied to them all, unless I missed any when I was sick for a while. What I meant to say in the blog post is – I wish to do more than liking or commenting. I have received a lot of encouragement from people as long as I’ve been blogging, and I wish I could do more in helping them out. I don’t aspire to become one of the Elders of WordPress (you know, like the Elders of the Internet from The IT Crowd!), but just do my small bit in favourite reads, shares, guest posts etc.

      1. Thank you first and foremost on the writing observation. When I’m really fond of the subject I suppose the words come out more lyrical. Other times I feel like for my posts the writing is an exploration, a search for the point while other times it is there. Everything you said about water issues I agree with and since writing this one I have tried to be more mindful of the little ways I can do my part. I am so appreciative of your comments on my posts. As you say I don’t want to be an Elder Of WordPress either 😄 butI like encouraging people and engaging. And that is why I like to comment on yours especially because it those elements defined!

      2. Elders of WordPress – I guess they are the ones who are on The Daily Post, or the Happiness Engineers (who told me I can’t buy my domain with a Visa card because India is one of the countries in which they don’t allow it. Make what you want of that but let’s keep it peaceful!). And I guess the Elders of WordPress, to continue with The IT Crowd reference, know who we are!

      3. Oh Elders of WordPress, do please let my friend Amrita borrow the ‘Universal Blog Device’ so she may spread her writing around the world! That is actually terrible. I have to admit not knowing the origins of WordPress (as in where did it start). I can’t believe the same rules don’t apply globally in terms of the domain. I”m sure there is a complicated answer for that, but it seems like it is stacked against you which is unfair.

      4. The complicated answer is fear of scams, though I doubt if any country is immune to that. WordPress originated and is based in the US. I feel it’s more secure to buy my domain from here, than anywhere else, though I don’t understand all the economic and techno-babble involved. It’s not so much of spreading it around the world, as it is telling people I know about it. They yawn if I say ‘blog’, but if it’s an official-looking website, they’re up for it. More of a respect and acceptance thing, than anything else.

      5. Right I understand your position. I don’t understand or really want to know all the techno babble either. I have some goals for next year. Well the first is a new job which is the most important thing, but second is to pay for my domain and make my site more professional looking, and three, get cracking on writing a book. I have decided that 2017 will be when I make this actually happen. And fourth is to work on an interactive art show based around my writing and photographs. The last one is maybe a time stretch, but its in my head. The book is what I really want to work on.

      6. Well, buying your domain should be a piece of cake, location-wise! Just kidding, good luck with your goals. In my opinion, your website is already professional enough.

      7. Well thank you, I do appreciate that. I like how my site looks, don’t get me wrong, but I have been thinking of upgrading to have more options more storage and things of that nature. I’ve had this discussion with many bloggers. In some ways its great, in some ways other than a change of theme every once in awhile to freshen things up, you may not have to do much.

  2. Gratz on nearly 2000 subscribers!

    I blog about everything from my life to religion and politics. I generally try to write about controversial topics.

    I have no particular posts I would like to plug. 😊

    1. Love your blog! Like how economical your writing is (especially for a writing blog, where many tend to ramble!). Congratulations on winning Nano! Also, is your computer monitor supported by a hardback book? I love details like that!

      And gorgeous pictures as well. I LOVED the calligraphy pic.

    2. Oh, and sorry for being late in replying. Life got in the way of blogging! Maybe I am missing something, but it would help if your blog had a Follow on WordPress widget. Usually there is a Follow pop-up, but I didn’t get one when I visited your blog. I ask, because I would love to follow it!

  3. Mathematically whimsical, I would love to have that on a business card!
    Thanks for the tip of the hat – admittedly, even 5 years in, I’m still figuring out how I feel about likes/follows and such.
    I’ve started to go with the (in hindsight, obvious) philosophy of ‘if I’m following you, I’m actually reading’ or if I like, ‘I’ve actually read and, well, liked!’
    Which is a philosophy that could cost me ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ I suppose but I’ll take quality over quantity.
    And you mentioned you don’t feel like give back? I’d say Your thoughtful comments on a post are the best way to give back!

    1. Aw, thanks! And thank you for joining my pre-blog-party party!

      I guess, because I don’t “verbalise the positive” as some people do (I’m sure I’ll be able to recall their name in a moment…), I don’t do my part in putting more positive out there. I was good with that, more or less, in my first year of blogging, but I’ve been too self-absorbed in recent times. I still mean every like, comment, follow etc (otherwise, why bother with boosting someone else’s stats in the hopes that it will boost your own), but I still have a long way to go to fulfil what this blog set out to achieve.

  4. I don’t know if you remember me; A long time ago, I responded to your call for a guest blogger and wrote a depressing post which you subsequently put up.

    I’m basically clueless when it comes to the matter of blogging. My posts are completely random, none of them decided beforehand or planned. I have a reviews of a few books and movies; I’ve rambled on about topics, the only reason for doing so being a desire to write about it and know what people have to share. I don’t have any specific post to plug, I look at all of them equally. I guess I’ll just leave the link to the post which I wrote for your blog, which is:

    https://ofopinions.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/of-being-a-pessimist/

    You can see my blog, The Lousy Design, here:

    https://thekeytotheuniverse.wordpress.com/

    1. Hi Vineeth, I do remember you, and I disagree, your post wasn’t depressing at all, but a refreshing point of view! Some people are cynical or pessimistic, but they also need solid reasoning to back it up. You did a good job, and you do a good job with your random posts!

      1. Thanks! I call it depressing because the people I know who read it found it depressing. I guess I took that as the general consensus, and I’m now thinking if I was wrong to do that. Anyway, it was fun writing that piece so, cheers!

    1. Thanks for coming to the pre-blog-party party! Much appreciated!

      151 books, that’s amazing! It’s a huge, and judging by the pictures of your bookshelves, and ‘heavy’ achievement! Congratulations!

      I am guessing your blog is in Latvian. Since I don’t know the language, I had to make do with looking at the pictures. Did I see a Christopher Paolini book and The Book Thief there? Especially like the last picture, where you can’t see the spines of many of the books. Also like the overall layout of your blog, as a I have a thing for neat presentation and minimalism!

      I used Google Translate to translate your About page. Does kriminalromanus mean crime novel? I don’t read much of those, but they are my favourite things to watch.

      1. You’re correct about the blog being in Latvian and kriminālromānus does mean crime novels. (:
        The Eldest by Christopher Paolini was horrible, but The Book Thief absolutely amazing!

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