Monday, June 11, 2007

Blahgging

Here is the blogging meme that has been posted by Chilihead at Don't Try This at Home. Click this link if you would like to read others who have answered the same questions.

How did you start blogging?

I started blogging not too long after my friend Maureen sent all of her friends an e-mail telling us of her blog. She said something like "I wanted you all to know that I have a weblog." I wish I was kidding when I say this, but my immediate thought was A weblog? Is it serious? Is it fatal?

Then she went on to explain what it was, and I felt really stupid. I read her blog every day after that and eventually decided that I would start one of my own.

Did you intend to be a blog with a following? If so, how did you go about it?
I have never sought out a following for my blog. I don't participate in many carnivals or take many opportunities to promote my blog. I am not against a larger readership, but what I really want is readers who participate - people who are willing to share their thoughts and get to know me (and I them.) Aside from the fact that this is hard to do with a large number of people, my experience has been that the majority of people just don't want to participate in this way. So I am not actively seeking tons of readers - I'd rather have a few readers who talk back to me than a thousand who never say a word.

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
I have never clearly defined a goal for my blog and I'm not sure that I could. I often feel conflicted about what I want to accomplish through my blogging.

Recently I have had a desire to encourage deeper thinking on some harder issues, particularly as they relate to the Christian worldview. But these are the very issues which garner the least discussion (in my experience) and discussion is a big reason that I blog in the first place. Also a serious debate in my mind right now is whether putting those ideas out there "for the whole world to see" is as effective as addressing those things within my own, real world, sphere of influence. Add to this some uncertainty about what qualifies me to speak to these issues, and you have one PEZmama with a whole lot of bloggy angst.

That being said, I also have a great desire make people laugh, both in real life and on the blog. Unfortunately, I don't always have the verbal skillz that are required to finely craft the humorous post. I do think I make people laugh as a commenter though, but sometimes it's hard to tell if I am even doing that.

As for a plan, I don't know. I have seriously considered the plan called "stop blogging." (No comments, please.) I say this because, again, I am wondering if this medium is as effective as addressing people personally. Plus, being able to hear someone laugh or sitting down and having a real conversation are always so much more rewarding. Selfish, perhaps, but true.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Absolutely.

Honestly, I think I started my blog because I was looking for validation from others who would say "you are so funny" or "you are so smart." (I didn't know it at the time, but when I started blogging, I was in the midst of a bout with depression that was going to get worse before it got better.) The validation really didn't come, so it was a hard time blog-wise because I wasn't really getting what I wanted out of it (and I shouldn't have) yet I kept trying. Eventually I got so sick of it that I took a very long break. (Quit is more like it. I had no intention of returning.)

When I came back from the break, my blogging perspective had changed. I began treatment for my depression soon after and I think that my perspective continued to change until I found the "voice" that I'm developing now. This voice is a much better reflection of the real me, and it's the voice that talks a little more about those deeper issues I mentioned above.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
How to use the period correctly.

My thoughts kept trailing......

But bloggers in the know are So. Much. Cooler.

Do you make money with your blog?
The last time I made money was when they paid me ten dollars for reporting to jury duty.

In 2001.

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
From my immediate family, my mom reads consistently and my husband has read it all (I think.) My sisters have stopped by a few times. I think my sister-in-law and a neice and nephew read sporadically.

As for "why?" I can't speak to that other than to say that my mom likes to see pictures of her grandchildren. I'll never know why more people don't consistently read this blog. It's funny, it's challenging, and it has PEZ dispensers. Who wouldn't want to read that?

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
I offer this bit of advice, learned from admittedly painful experience, to the one other person in the universe who would do this: Blogs are not a good replacement for three-dimensional people. You can make friends as a blogger, but it can be difficult and sometimes impossible (especially if you want to be friends with MEGAblogger who has 500 other readers who also want to be her friend. And sometimes even the minibloggers just aren't up for starting new online friendships.) If your primary goal is to start a friendship, you might have a better chance if you go find a real life person and spend some time with them.

And this piece of advice, learned from a bit of serendipity, to anyone who wants to increase traffic on their blog: Quote Toto lyrics.

Ever since my Africa post, I think I show up daily on search results for lyrics to that song. Better yet, you might want to try slighly MISquoting the lyrics, because I get even more hits from people searching for the phrase "there is nothing 100 men on mars could not do."

I'm serious. Look.

Then again, I also show up in search results for "how to make an oreo McFlurry at home," so, maybe this advice is not for you after all.

Unless "clueless people" is, like, your target audience.

For real....

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22 Comments:

Blogger Noodle said...

I haven't been a reader for *that* long but you have

** made me think more about commenting on posts

** made me think more about why I want to blog

** made me want to eat asparagus again. A lot.

** given me a bit more enthusiasm for our homeschooling life.

Who could ask for anything more? :)

Mon Jun 11, 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous chilihead said...

Excellent responses to the questions! You are quite eloquent and have a strong grasp of the period. ;) LOL

Mon Jun 11, 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

Since the likelihood of me getting to sit down with you and laugh at your wit in person is tiny, I am selfishly grateful that you choose to continue blogging for now. I feel blessed to have a connection with you, if even through a somewhat artificial and long-distance way.

I read your blog every day because: a) you're funny; b) I enjoy the way you challenge me; and c) you have a PEZ collection. Oh, wait--did you just say that? ;)

Mon Jun 11, 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger A Juggling Mum said...

I liked reading your story, thanks for sharing it with us :)

Rachel xxx

Mon Jun 11, 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Lawanda said...

I agree about making friends! Three dimensional is that way to go! :)

I also think you have a very strong grasp on The Period. ;)

Mon Jun 11, 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I always love reading your thoughts on blogging, and you are funny as well.

I also get lots of hits off of one or two songs I mentioned, and sometimes specific book title searches.

Mon Jun 11, 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

First time visitor here, and I'll be back. Weblog may not be a disease, but it is definitely addictive! Thanks for sharing your story.

Mon Jun 11, 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Lissete said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I also am amazed sometimes at how folks get to my blog, and what they searched for!

Mon Jun 11, 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Enjoyed reading your story.

How do you know how people find your blog? I'm way behind times!

Mon Jun 11, 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

Oh good night, Lori. Don't quit blogging. You're too funny and honest to stop.

And I'm with Chili. You do the period thing JUST. FINE.

And you couldn't have said any better advice for a blog replacing 3-D friends. True. True. True.

BTW, I received your letter on Saturday. I'll be composing mine tonight and I hope to have it in the mail tomorrow!

Mon Jun 11, 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Deena said...

I whole-heartedly agree with you that blogging cannot replace nor should replace real life friendships. However, once we release our words into the Blogosphere, we have no idea how God may use them to influence ideas or to touch people's lives. And without the blog, I never would have been privileged to meet YOU!!

Mon Jun 11, 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger ashley@twentysixcats said...

I enjoyed reading your story! I can relate to your posting lyrics experience: I once wrote a post on "10 Random Things About Peru" (the country) and I have gotten SO many hits to my blog because of that!

Mon Jun 11, 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger chickadee said...

enjoyed your history.

Mon Jun 11, 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Sincerely Anna said...

I love your style and I really get what you said. I'll be back to read more.

Mon Jun 11, 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

My mom also only reads my blog for pictures of her grandkids.

You really do have to be careful sometimes about what phrases you use because of those pesky Googlers. I have had quite a few fun search terms pop up.

Mon Jun 11, 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

First off, thanks for being so frank and open about depression. I'm delighted to hear people posting some real life, hard stuff.

Second, wise, wise words you've got there about friends that can't be replaced by blogging. I'm sorely tempted in that direction, and it's bad!

Love your site. Glad to visit here via Chilihead. Hope to come again.

Mon Jun 11, 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Clemntine said...

Wonderful blog, and very insightful answers. Very enjoyable.

Tue Jun 12, 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous stacey said...

Well, I agree. Live and in-person friends are the best (and glad I have them), but sometimes I like living in blogworld too.

Good words!

Tue Jun 12, 12:40:00 AM  
Anonymous heart of wisdom said...

Thanks for sharing your blogging story. I want to read more and will.

Tue Jun 12, 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Everyday Mommy said...

Great story. Thanks so much for sharing with so much insight.

Tue Jun 12, 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Everyday Mommy said...

"Recently I have had a desire to encourage deeper thinking on some harder issues, particularly as they relate to the Christian worldview."

And, I'd love to read more like this.

Tue Jun 12, 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

And then I would have never met you either! So glad you decided to blog...

Tue Jun 12, 07:12:00 PM  

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