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5 Random Thoughts About Blogging After A Local Blogging Get Together

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013
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After all the lamentations I’ve made on this blog periodically about how hard it is to get local people to notice your websites or blogs I got invited, last minute, to a local blogging get together in downtown Syracuse. It was a lot of fun, and if you’re interested in my little writeup about the event check it out here on my Syracuse Wiki blog.

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It was a lot of fun and I had a good time. Matter of fact, we all had a good time, so much so that we stayed 30 minutes past when we had planned on leaving, and I was ready to go another hour. I hope some of you get to do such a thing one of these days, as it was as much fun as some of the tweetups I’ve gone to.

Being me, once I got home I decided to look at all of the blogs just to see what people do and how they blog. After doing that, and looking back on the event, and thinking about a question Brian Hawkins was pondering lately about how people perceive what blogs are, I came to some random thoughts about blogging, perception, and reality. I decided to keep it at 5, otherwise we could be here for days. Here are my thoughts; I’d love to hear your impressions about these later on.

1. There’s no one way to blog. Yeah, I already knew that one, but this brought it home. We all live in the same community, some for many years, some for a few. Some of us have shared experiences, as I knew a few of the people there. And yet, each of us has something different to say in many different ways. Our language is different in how we describe things, and how we share our passions are different as well. It’s truly fascinating.

2. Images really do enhance blogs drastically. It was only a couple of years ago that I started adding images to every post of mine and I thought it was just a nice touch. As I looked at many of the blogs from the local people I realized that there’s something about images, especially personal images or images highlighting something folks have done, that makes some posts special. One of these days I’m going to have to figure out how to get myself into more of my images, although the ladies are easily more photogenic than I am.

3. The question about what makes a blogger is hard to answer. All of the people who showed up saw themselves as bloggers. Yet, about 33% of them haven’t written a new blog post in 6 months or so. Does the act of owning a blog make you a blogger, or are you a blogger if you’re actually blogging on some kind of a consistent basis? I’m one of those folks who feels if there hasn’t been a post within at least 3 months you’re not a blogger, but who gives me the right to determine such things anyway?

4. All bloggers need to find ways to communicate better with each other when it comes to comments. Only one of the blogs that I commented on actually sent me something telling me someone had responded to a comment I left. That highlights something I come across on many other blogs, where people sometimes actually have responded to a comment, but their notification system is out of whack thus commenters never know that their missives were responded to. It’s something we all need to check from time to time by leaving a comment on our own blogs, after signing out of course, then responding to it and seeing if you get notification from yourself; uhhh, use a different email address for your original test comment of course. lol If you don’t get a response, you know you have to fix it somehow, probably with a plugin of some sort.

5. When all is said and done, it’s about community. Even folks without a lot of blog posts or comments on their blogs crave a community of some sort, people they can relate to in one way or another. The night of our event it was cold, with wind gusts up to 40 MPH. The lady who put it all together said she was worried only 3 or 4 people would show up because of that, yet a lot of people braved the weather, which was actually worse the next day.

Why should we write blogs? I often say there’s only 3 purposes in writing a blog; to entertain, to inform, or to educate. It turns out there’s a silent 4th purpose; to connect with others. No matter whether you’re writing about food or interior design or poems or short stories or blogging or running or whatever, you’re hoping someone stops by, reads your words, comments or subscribes to what you put out, and at some point maybe talking to that person outside of a blog and, if you’re lucky enough, meeting some of those people in person. I mean, how social can social media get!

Those are my random thoughts; what are yours?
 

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26 Comments »

I don’t even have a notification system, need to fix that… But I did answer your comments :)

I like your 4 reasons to blog and I like that you actually didn’t mention anything about making money, although it can be a nice bonus. I’ve seen many people starting to blog only for money, so they get disappointed very soon. I myself am guilty – it’s just not what I expected. I started with websites, not blogs, but for me there is not much difference between the two except that blogs require much more work and are more personal (and more fun). Thanks :)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Elena, first I’m glad you mentioned responding to me because I wouldn’t have known otherwise; you’re going to have to take care of that one. lol

Second, I think anyone getting into blogging with the only goal being to make money doesn’t have a clue. If one makes money from their blog, it’s going to be one of the first 3 things I mentioned that’s going to do it for them.

February 10th, 2013 | 12:08 PM

Interesting Mitch, I came across some new local bloggers via my Twitter feed with our #SnowRI and #Blizzard2013 and started to connect with a few I have never heard of prior.

I’ve met a few before on a tweet-up. It was fun to meet local people and see what their blogs were about.

I don’t really consider them a blogger if they haven’t blogged in 3 months or more. Even over a month is a gray area for me.

Glad you enjoyed your time Mitch! And just start taking pics of this and that and when you need one you’ll have some choices :)
Lisa recently posted…What Is Customer Service During A CrisisMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I do take a lot of pictures these days Lisa, and I put a lot of them up on Instagram. The problem is figuring out if a picture I took matches up well with a blog post. lol

I forgot you’re an East Coast person; how was your snowfall?

Lisa Reply:

Thanks for asking Mitch. Let’s just say my arms and legs are sore today :) 22″. Now we have freezing rain, have to leave early to make it to work today. I’ll have to find you on instagram. I really enjoy pics there.
Lisa recently posted…What Is Customer Service During A CrisisMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I should be pretty easy to find Lisa. We had 9 inches… sigh. lol

February 10th, 2013 | 5:58 PM

Like you I reckon you need to be posting regularly to be considered an active blogger. Maybe those others can consider themselves retired bloggers;)

As to images, I’m using them more often than I used to as well, especially once I discovered they were great for drawing traffic. The image gets them there and then it’s up to me to do the rest.
Sire recently posted…Not Making Money Online? Its Not You, Its ThemMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

It’s amazing what an image can do for you Sire. On Facebook, without an image you’re just putting up words that almost no one will look at. That is, unless you tell a funny story like I did last night.

Sire Reply:

I love funny stories Mitch, I’m going to have to suss that out.
Sire recently posted…Valentine Gift Ideas For The Person You LoveMy Profile

February 10th, 2013 | 10:23 PM

I personally feel that a real blogger is someone who blogs frequently – daily, weekly, heck, at least once a month. And it is about community.

One things I love about the blogging social media and blogging community is the spiritual law of reciprocity. For each site you visit and support someone who never responds, someone is going to support elsewhere when you need it most.

I don’t know if that last statement was off-topic but it was on my heart.
Marcie recently posted…Read My Guest Post On Melinda Emerson’s Succeed As Your Own BossMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Marcie, that statement was right on topic because it is, or should be, about community. I just commented on a blog that was lamenting a particular big time blogger who never responds to comments. This is a guy who stated from the beginning of his blog that his only intention was to prove that he could make money on his blog, and boy, has he done so. So he’s not commenting on his blog but he never said he would; it’s a reason I stopped reading it. But he doesn’t need me, right?

February 11th, 2013 | 4:57 PM

Good one Mitch thanks for the reminder,

I need to take a look at my commenting system to make sure I’m getting notified of new comments.

You’re right blogging is all about community, that said the blogs that require you to sign in before you comment should tell you something.

Are these blogs or wanna be membership sites?
Jacko recently posted…What I learned from Ana Hoffman – Q&A with the founder of Traffic Generation Café.My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Jacko, yours works because I’ve been notified when you respond to my comments so you’re safe there. I hadn’t thought about sites that make people sign in first, but I refuse to do it anyway; kind of like why I hate Disqus, Livefyre, et al.

February 12th, 2013 | 7:32 PM

Okay Mitch, I wasted enough time on my redesign. I’ll get back to it later. I’ve noticed that both of our views have changed as far as what we consider a blogger. I guess that means we’re growing with the times? lol I don’t know, but it seems like a good thing.

I’d love to find a group of local bloggers like that. There’s a social media group that gets together in Detroit but I haven’t connected with them yet. I’m at a loss on how to even find such a group. I might have to just start my own.
Brian D. Hawkins recently posted…Pinterest for Video PromotionMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Brian, we have a social media get together planned the last week of February, and I’m hoping to go, even if it’s way early in the morning for me. No idea how many people will show up but I’ve been told that at least 100 people have said they’re interested in going. Frankly, track record’s telling me that’s not happening, but if it does the place we’re having it will love us. lol

As for our changing mindset of blogging, I’m conflicted, and it’s been interesting reading the comments here. I still think there are things like Tumblr that I don’t count as a real blog, even if a few people use it for actually writing something, and that it takes at least some type of consistency in writing, but I also believe that if someone else decides they want to define themselves as bloggers who am I to tell them they’re not.

February 13th, 2013 | 1:22 AM

Well said Mitch.
I liked last point. Of course, community plays an important role in blogging success. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Arslan Shoukat recently posted…Top 10 Wealthiest Footballers Of The World in 2013My Profile

February 14th, 2013 | 9:38 AM
Shaun Hoobler:

Definitely agree with the notification system point. Once someone makes that first comment on your blog, you should encourage them to become a commenter for life. The quality of the follow up you give them is all important. I’m always interested to see what will happen after I comment on a new blog for the first time…

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Shaun, and it’s amazing how just one comment can loosen up so many other people to do the same.

February 15th, 2013 | 5:21 AM

Hi, I personally feel that you mentioned all is innovative and interesting. I also agree that the images are play very important role some times it shows your choice likes and dislikes. And yes we have to try something new and innovative it really makes us energetic and confident. I will be taking advantage from this. Thanks
Leena Dasot recently posted…Best Summer Songs – Top Summer SongsMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

It looks like you already do Leena, based on your own blog.

February 15th, 2013 | 10:17 AM
Paul:

I think the sense of belonging to some community makes you passionate about your work, be it blogging or anything else. Moreover when you communicate with people belonging to the same community, you get to learn so many things, its a very good thing. Thanks for the post Mitch.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

No problem Paul. I had hoped that all of us meeting in public would alter how we all blogged and shared, but that didn’t happen, which is unfortunate.

February 16th, 2013 | 1:25 AM
Senorita:

I completely agree with all your points. Blogging allows us to communicate to our clients, the public and our competition. Blog will allow us to express ideas, create individualism from the others in our field. And You’re right blogging is all about community. Thanks for sharing this informative article.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

No problem; glad you enjoyed it.

February 16th, 2013 | 7:10 AM

Hey Mitch,

Great key points to bear in mind when it comes to blogging.
One thing I figured that our blogs are not about us (or at least not supposed to be) but about the audience, we run the show but the point to blogging is giving, enhancing lives.

thanks for the value

Akos

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Hi Akos,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think that we have to think of how we went to present ourselves and what we want to talk about, and in that case it’s about us. However, after that, if our thought is that we’re sharing with others, then we do the things we can to share and to communicate, either up front or through comments. That’s part of what makes blogging unique.

February 16th, 2013 | 3:50 PM