Why do you blog? How do you choose what to include, or focus on?

(This is part of a post that is on my personal blog. To see the entire post you can go to http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/2012/07/why-do-i-blog-why-do-you.html)

When I startedmy currentblog, there was a lot of”legal “crap” going on in my life, thatlasted over a year, beforea judge finally dismissed the case for lack of evidence. My lawyers didn’t want me to continue posting to my previous blog(s) since they were coming under a lot of scrutiny. However, since I didn’t have anything to hide, they didn’t want me to delete those blogs either.

For a while I didn’t blog at all. I read and commented on other people’s blogs, but didn’t post anything.

It drove me nuts.

I wanted to stop having my only real creative talent, writing, to be bottled up on my hard drive, with no way to share it. The compromise, with my lawyers, was to create a poetry blog that did not focus on specific aspects of my life. So, initially it was about finding a way to be me, but not the me that was being attacked.

As the legal stuff calmed down, and then was dismissed, I considered going back to my original blog. Emotionally I didn’t want to go backwards, and that desire to go forward, but cautiously, is what inspired the “My New Favorite Blogs” series.

The contests came from several conversations with several people, about how sad it is that personal blogs get so much less attention than group blogs. Lots of people know and read larger blogs like BCC, Cake Wrecks, or Wheat and Tares.

As I started looking around even more, I felt even more strongly that while there are blogging communities that are successful, there are very few personal blogs that have large followings. My goal was not to make a blog with a large following, but to have fewer bloggers who have very few or no comments left on their blog(s).

Pintrest seems to have made this even more common. Even personal blogs that have lots of followers are getting more hits from Pinterest, but fewer comments. While comments aren’t everything, they do help personal bloggers keep motivated to move forward when they are frustrated, or lonely.

While my contests don’t have huge prizes, and don’t always have a lot of entries, they all focus on expanding the number of blogs that readers are exposed to, and/or giving incentives to people sharing a little slice of who they have been, are, or want to be.

If nothing else, having that focus has pushed me to spend time finding new blogs and meeting new people. Almost all of my “guest bloggers” are people who have personal blogs that I have connected with. I wouldn’t have found them if I had spent a lot of time lurking before I jumped in and commented, which was what I used to do a lot of. I realized that if comments on MY blog meant a lot to me, that most people probably felt the same way!

Does that make sense?

Why did I choose to have guest bloggers write on my blog, instead of just letting everyone know
I was going to be gone having surgery, and I wouldn’t be blogging until I felt better?

I wanted to have guest bloggers while I am “taking a break” for two reasons. First, I am hoping that I will get some different perspectives,(which certainly is ending up being the case)since a lot of the blogs and bloggers I have found, and connected to, are very diverse. I want to have that diversity evident, because I think that it helps everyone, to hear new voices, that may be outside their immediate comfort zone.

The second reason is that I had time to plan ahead, and I don’t want my blog to go “dark” for a week or more. If I had an unexpected emergency, not having any posts would make sense. Several bloggers I know have left a post that essentially says, this is happening all of the sudden, so I won’t be able to blog for a while. While I won’t be able to blog, I do have the time to set up interesting things for me, and my readers to learn about.

I am not super smart about how blogs work, but recently I figured out how to find out, how many people have me on an RSS feed, who follow me privately, and who have my posts emailed to them when a new post goes up. Since I only have five official followers, I was really surprised that when you include those other forms of “following” the blog, I have almost 90 additional people who have signed up, in some way, to hear what I have to say. With each contest I hope to engage those readresa little more, and maybe they will take the challenge to find and listen to other view points. I also hope that new people will be interested in what I and my guest bloggers have to say! I guess I see guest posts as another way to do that.

If you are interested in seeing how the Guest Posting is going, feel free to check out my blog over the next two weeks. A fwe posts I wrote ahead of time, but most of them are posts with unique perspectives, and while you may know some of the authors, you may be surprised at some of the things they wrote for my blog, since it didn’t realy fit with the theme of their blog! So, stop on by http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/, and answer these questions here in the comments section!

Why do you blog?

Do you like finding new blogs, or do you find yourself staying to the same several blogs?

Do you add more bogs to your blog roll, if you have one? How often do you add new blogs?

What do you hope people learn about you when you blog or comment?

I know they are deep questions, but you guys are smart! So, let’s hear it!

Julia – poetrysansonions.blogspot.com

 

The Happiness Factor

Over the years, I’ve watched former mormon blogs come and go. And posters on various former mormon boards join and leave. (Kiley recently talked about it here). From what I can discern, there appears to be a cycle that some former mormons run through. At first there can be a lot of emotions; hurt, betrayal, anger or fear. But generally, after some time, people stop posting. In the least, they stop posting about mormon culture, leadership, history, etc.

Why is that?

My theory can’t be sustained by fact. After all, most people will say they are happy or content with their lives. Both mormons and former mormons have a vested interest. Most people (mo and non mo) have a strong inclination towards denial “it’s not that bad”.

Seth studied ex-mormon narratives some years back. I suspect that ex-mormon narratives are quite a bit like conversion narratives (I agree with runtu here). A person holds one belief (or hasn’t thought about it) and then revisits that belief (sometimes with severe personal consequences). Parents disown children; children disown parents. Couples divorce. Lifelong friends stop speaking to one another.

After some time, this social upheaval stabilizes. Relatives and friends accept that the original person hasn’t fully changed, although some of their outward beliefs may have changed. There’s an acceptance that they are no longer are true believers (if they ever were). They come to terms with the divorce (if one happened). Both sides either come to an uneasy truce or end the relationship (even a familial relationship).

Personally, I strongly suspect that it’s the social upheaval that creates the majority of the angst (if angst is the right word). It’s the feelings of betrayal (on both sides). One side thought love was unconditional (beyond faith). The other side thought a family member would be strong enough to remain in the faith, would overlook truth claims or political controversies.

So it becomes an interpersonal conflict, the personal becoming the political. And after a few years, everyone basically accepts the new reality (ex. aerin is no longer officially mormon, not married to a mormon, not going to raise her children mormon). While both sides may challenge the status quo, things stabilize.

And some of this prediction take into account mormons who return and mormons who leave and never write anything on the internet.

And despite all the protest to the contrary, most former mormons (who’ve gone through this process) appear to be doing just fine. They live different lives. They make different choices in relationships. They may go to a church, they may not. But just like mormons they find themselves content with their lives.

For me, it was hard at first to watch some of the bloggers that I have loved reading over the years stop posting as much. But then I realized that this appears to be a cycle of sorts. And that it’s healthy, in fact, for people of all backgrounds to grow and change. Sometimes that growth means not posting as much on the internet. What was fascinating is not as consuming as it once was.

FrogBlog!

Hello to the great wide world of the information superhighway. This DAMU interstate is a stretch of road I am well familiar with as I have been travelling on it for nearly a decade. In fact, I have purchased temporary ownership of this stretch of road and have been busily filling in the potholes created by the angry spinouts of the passion-filled DAMU’ites as they speed by.

We have learned what causes those potholes. We really have. Over ten years of similar scenery and we can pretty accurately put up traffic warning signs and alert those on the road ahead of what to anticipate.

As a self-designated worker on this stretch, I hope my life, and my experiences will be helpful and interesting to those who drive by.

froggey.wordpress.com

Big green hugs,

Froggie