Let me just say this up front…I haven’t been a blogger for long. Blogging was one of those things I had put on my new years resolution list for the last few years but time, ambivalence and nerves got in the way.
I blog about a lot of things, almost as many things as I think about on a daily basis. I’m a bit of a trauma junkie but I also see value in the art of chit chat as a way of keeping me engaged and to keep me learning new things about people (and lets face it about myself).
One of the things I do on my blog is provide a space to share. It’s a great thing to be able to ask people about their space in between – people contact me to talk about their most intimate details of life, loss and the grey area where living happens for most of the time. I think the online world provides a place for sharing where the ‘real’ world might not have given people the space or the time.
Blogging is a portal into a new world, a world were you can legitimately sign off with an ‘x’ at the end of a message to complete stranger, where you can yell ‘that’s exactly like me’ when reading about someone else’s life and you can gain insights into peoples life experiences that you might never had access to. I went to a chat between Valerie Khoo and Kerri Sackville a few weeks back and the word authentic got thrown around a bit when we talking about the blogging community – blogging is one of those things were you have to learn the social norms before you can really jump in and test out the waters…. you can quickly tell the fakery from the authentic which in turns decides, for me and I suspect others, if you engage or disengage.
Digital parents conducted a survey a little while back and the results of ‘this is who we are’ were sent out to subscribers. As a fellow researcher I love to see the results of why people do what they do, in scrolling through the outcomes I noticed how blogging appeared to be the same portal for others as it had been for me. 96% of respondents said that blogging created a strong sense of community for them, that it gave them a chance to share their thoughts in a conversational way that was’ honest, real, personal and raw’ and it didn’t mean that everyone was writing about death and destruction – it was just the opposite most people were sharing their thoughts on life in general, parenting and balancing their kids with who they were.
Its funny how the simple tool of writing down a persons thoughts can suddenly connect you with people who are interested in reading what you write, who are happy to share their thoughts back and then happy to even pass on what they’ve learnt to others. Could blogging me something for people in rural and remote areas as a way of being heard? Could it be the lifeline that isolated people need or could it just be as simple as a space for people to connect in a meaningful way with like-minded people?
There is a lot to be said about blogging – everyone has their particular style, the things they like to talk about but for me I like to understand how people find ways to share what they learn. It’s taken me some time to find my voice and some weeks it’s louder than others but for me it’s the space between me and my community (no matter how big or small that might be). Its not always about page views, bounce rates or engagement…sometimes the act of just writing can create opportunities for you to grow and to bring some others along for the ride.
What does blogging do for you? And yes as a way of being authentic this is me!