Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thoughts on Blogging

A stream of consciousness (or as Honna likes to say, a scream of consciousness) led me from a comment on my most recent post down a twisty and turny pathway.

The commenter, Louise (who I don't know and who apparently wishes to be unknown judging from the sparseness of her Blogger profile), posited that I wanted only Democrats to read my blog. Hmmm.

I started blogging a few years ago for no clearly discernible reason, with no specific agenda, and with no particular audience in mind. I'd always enjoyed writing and this idea of a web log of my thoughts, a sort of a journal, was appealing. The idea that it might be read and commented on by others was kind of the icing. And so "with just a bit of trepidation" (as my blog header initially stated), I plunged in.

It's been grand. Still with no particular audience in mind, and with an agenda that has evolved to include mostly family, quilting, and thinking, I'm well over 700 posts into my experiment. And show no signs of letting up. The reason for blogging now is the community aspect of it. The "meeting" of other people through reading their blogs and through the comments they leave on mind has enriched my life in a serendipitous way. I enjoy it all so much!

I think there are no universal rubrics for blogging. My own personal ones include:

...I don't leave negative or unpleasant comments on another person's blog.
...If I don't agree with another blogger's viewpoint, I don't need to tell her/him so.
...If I don't like someone's blog, I generally go away quietly; I don't see the need to petulantly announce to the blogger that I'm not going to read it any longer.
...The quantity of readership I have doesn't matter to me.
...But, conversely, I check my stat meter every once in a while and am always amazed!
...When I have a give-away, I don't give extra entries for publicizing my blog.
...I read every comment.
...I don't respond to every comment. I try to respond to a new commenter.
...I delete comments that offend me; these include racist remarks, speculations about my sex life, and marketing ploys.
...I exercised remarkable restraint when I didn't blog about Michael Jackson.
...I link to other blogs when I have something positive to say but not when I feel critical.
...I think the old conversation rule about not discussing religion or politics doesn't apply to blogs. This is my space. I'm a liberal Democrat and a fervent Lutheran with some interspersed Quakerly leanings (huh?) and these are important pieces of who I am, just as being a wife, mother, friend, and quilter are. Those subjects are going to come up on my blog; that's just how it is.
...I don't think I need to apologize for sharing my views on controversial topics.

...And I welcome a diversity of readers, Louise. I really do.



13 comments:

Leslie said...

I'm grateful you write on the diverse topics you do. - I avoid labels when I can because they are limiting and we are people after all, diverse and multi-faceted. But I am a conservative Republican, born-again Christian who votes with her mind and conscience. I also quilt. I find your openness refreshing and your blog has been a portal for me at times. Because people rarely talk about politics, I enjoyed reading your views and about the recent campaign and election and what it meant to you. If I only talk to like minded persons, where will I get a chance to see another view point? And I like your quilts =)

Feedsack Fantasy said...

That is too bad that Louise wrote this. I thought your post was thought provoking & very good. Don't you just hate it when words are put into your mouth that weren't said or are misstated. TTFN ~ Marydon

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

While I'm more "comforted" by reading opinions that are somewhat in line with mine, I'm more "stimulated" by reading those that are different from mine, providing that those opinions are well written and not just a lot of hot air with poor logic. I actually look for opinions that are well explained; I might even change my mind about some things. But I don't have as much restraint as you apparently do when I disagree with something on another blog. I think I'm going to print your rubrics and consider adopting at least some of them. It might save me a lot of aggravation. :-)

*karendianne. said...

You Rock! That's exactly how I feel. Except I'm not Lutheran although I've interspersed my spiritual reading with Quakerly types. I'm for "Truth" in any package.

What I like about your post here is that it helps sweep away the inner-critic for me. Writing is a commitment, something we do fully.

To limit ourselves and set up boundaries for ourselves, which I personally do way too much, defeats ourselves, quiets God within and doesn't allow us to bring forth the "best" we have.

That said, my own personal rubrics for blogging is simply wayyy too Rigid (shocker) and I think I may copy you in word and deed.

GARI said...

I think that in some people's world the concept of Freedom of Speech is only for themselves. It's an odd view of a Republic or Democracy, isn't it?

quiltmom said...

HI Nancy,
I really enjoy reading your blog and come to visit it often.
I think your guidelines for blogging are excellent. I agree with them all- especially the ones about being able to accept other's opinions and not feeling the need to put someone down just because they have a different opinion than myself. I also agree that if I am no longer interested in that person's blog that I don't have to read it any more nor make a big deal about my decision not to read it.
Thanks for being willing to express your ideas and opinions. It is one of the things that keeps me coming back to your blog.
I have posted a list of blogs that I like very much - you are on it.
If you would like to see the post you can find it at http://quiltmomsjourney.blogspot.com/
Warmest Regards,
Anna

Kelly Ann said...

I couldn't have said any of that better...free world, free speech what a great country we live in.

Sean said...

Nancy, I've always found your blogs to be nice slices of rest in the internet, and I agree with all the comments here. Your blog is great, and you're views always have something behind them - reasons - which is rather nice to see still kicking about the world, regardless of which side they are on.

As for this member of you're audience - I'm a politically independent, fairly spiritual person (brought up Catholic) who works a dead end job. Clearly, you're readership is broad if it has room for me.

So, thank you for over 700 posts. Please keep at it. And don't let the so-and-sos get you down

Sarah said...

Hi Nancy
I have something like this happen to me too. Don't let the blogging psychos get you down. Every now and then there is someone out there who has nothing better to do than to criticize others. A blog is supposed to be like a journal, a place for you to express yourself, and if you can't express yourself in your own journal then where can you? A part of being in the blogging world is enjoying all the diverse things this strange little universe has to offer, so don't be put off by "Louise", just do what you do and love it.

Gretchen said...

Right on! I couldn't agree with you more. I try to keep my blog about quilting, my cats, and life in general because that's what I set out to write about. Sometimes politics sneak in and I try to keep off the soapbox. I can't believe someone would criticize you for something you wrote on YOUR blog. The nerve!

blop said...

AMEN!!! Especially the MJ restraint!
You are spot on.

kimquiltz @ an oft traveled road said...

Blog On, blogging sister! I'm with you.

Oh, and like you, I also showed remarkable restraint in not blogging about the late Michael Jackson. ;-)

The Calico Cat said...

I like your
... list
but then again our "lists" are similar & based upon the Previous (I am reading top down, so you write it after this one)Post that makes a lot of sense...