The State of the Blogosphere, as Perceived by N, NP
A blog that I have been following for god-knows-how-long is on hiatus -- not because the writer has lost interest in the art but rather because family responsibilities have claimed the time she used to spend on her blog. Another blogger -- somebody I've never met, but feel like she lives right down the street -- has [temporarily?] lost the passion and is thinking of giving up her blog. Others are frustrated with technical issues at Blogger.com and others have been the recipients of unpleasant comments. There's a wind blowing through the blogosphere, I think, not an ill wind that blows no good, but rather a kind of "disturbance in the force" sort of a wind, as bloggers independently and collectively seem to be sorting things out for themselves, and for and with each other.
When I began my blog back in May of 2006, I had no idea at all what I was getting into. I started because I have always enjoyed writing and thinking and journaling, and a blog seemed to be a way to tie those things together. When I first began, no one knew I was blogging and that was pretty much the way I wanted it. As I visited blogs and left comments, folks tracked me down through those comments, and the whole connectivity of the world of blogging was revealed.
There are quilters who blog for glory and those who blog for cash, to promote their products and to sell their wares. Some bloggers make money from allowing advertisements to show up on their blogs. There are other bloggers who think about their blog traffic and know how many Followers they have. Some bloggers collect and bestow blogging awards.
I'm none of those.
I have the "Follower" button up because some people use that device to keep track of blogs they follow. I used to have a site meter that told me how many people had visited my blog and where they came from but I removed it because it didn't seem to matter.
I'm a wife, mother, and grandmother who quilts and happens to be a Lutheran but spends far more time among Quakers. And a blogger.
Oh, how being a blogger has enriched my life! Let me tell you . . .
. . . that I have a small, small art quilt on my dresser; it was made by another blogger whom I've never met, who is dedicated to Alzheimer's research
. . . that I have a "round robin" hanging on my office wall; it was made with care and artistry by more than a dozen bloggers, most of whom I will never meet
. . . that on more than one occasion, one particular blogger and I have exchanged prayer requests and felt the power that came from those prayers
. . . that I treasure a bag that came from a blogger I once met up close and personal at a Mexican restaurant
. . . that when the first of August comes around, I get positively antsy waiting for a certain Australian to announce her annual international secret Santa match-ups and that there's a small owl from one such match-up four or more years ago, still residing on my sofa
. . . that such joy came from participating in the making of a group quilt gift for a blogger who was going through a hard time
. . . that when my husband had a heart attack and I nearly lost him, the support and caring messages I received from other bloggers was part of what got me through that hard time
. . . that more than two dozen bloggers from all over the world, some of whom I'd never heard of, responded to my request for blocks depicting cows, most of them asking nothing in return
. . . that I've been the winner of numerous give-aways from generous souls, "just because"
. . . that on the few occasions that I've met up real live in person with another blogger, it really and truly was as if we had just been together a few weeks ago
. . . that when one blogger I follow lost her dear husband, I sat in my den and cried for her loss and when another announced that a grandbaby was expected, I rejoiced along with her
I'm not naive enough to imagine that what people share on their blogs is all there is to them; we all have our shadow sides that we choose not to reveal. I imagine that if some of these people whose blogs I enjoy popping into really did live down the street, one or the other of us would become annoyed by the other; it wouldn't all be just peachy.
But being a blogger has enriched my life more than I know how to say.
It is, as a blog-friend said last week, like being a member of an on-line guild. A guild where meetings are not scheduled regularly (and often inconveniently), dues are not required, and there is no expectation that the members will work at the biennial show, and no one will complain if I forget that I was scheduled to bring the refreshments. It's a guild where I don't have to find my boots and go out in nasty weather, listen to the occasional poorly-presented program, or live up to expectations that I didn't help to define.
If you are a blogger reading this post and you are thinking of perhaps giving it all up, that the mystique is missing, please think again. If you are a blogger reading this post, chances are excellent that I read your most recent post.
And I hope it wasn't your last.