This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Defining Respect as a Blogger

"Can I please get some respect here?"

What Hath I Wrought?   

      "If you open a can of worms you might as well make spaghetti."  "When you bust a beehive you'd better run like hell."  Maybe you've heard those sayings before.  I never have and I think I just made them up for this post.  You're welcome to use them whenever you want to.  Be sure to link to this post if you do use them (so this post can get more hits).

        In any case, my Monday post Do You Feel Respected as a Blogger? did a little of both of these things.  I sure busted the beehive and got swarmed, but I ain't runnin'.   I'm gonna face the swarm and the stings and try to calm the buzz that was created by that post.  The spaghetti thing sounds disgusting but that probably is the best solution to the controversy stirred by the post in question.

        I'd planned on taking the respect issue to a different level today and tie everything together neatly into a compact little post.   Fat chance of that I guess.  First there were your comments.  Thanks to all who left such fantastic comments on my "Respected Blogger" post.  I know I can usually count on my readers to provide great comments, but this time you outdid yourself.   Did you ever!   That threw one monkey wrench into my short sweet Friday post idea.

        Then Alex J. Cavanaugh went and threw a hornet's nest into the bee fray with his response to my post.  Time to be afraid!  We had bees and hornets and earthworms all over the place and everybody running like crazy.  I will say that most everyone was running to the same place but I won't get into that today if I'm going to have a relatively short post that more than a dozen people will read.   Today I just want to define some of the terms being used and elucidate what may have been misunderstood in my Monday post.

A Clarification of What Some Wondered 

           In answer to the question "Did your blog post go viral?", the answer is no.  Nor did I expect my Monday post to go viral.  The content for virality wasn't there.  My Monday post was an information gathering post and I think it was pretty successful in that respect.

         My ratio of comments to page views was 50% which is way higher than I normally get.  That was until Alex's post drew more traffic and the ratio dropped to just under 40% which is still not bad.  On a typical post I get an average of 25% of those who stop by leaving a comment which I find acceptable.   As the page view numbers increase the comment ratio decreases.  On my posts that have surpassed 1000 views the comment ratio goes down to about 1% --and that's getting into the realm of more comments than I can handle comfortably so 1% of the high numbers is fine by my estimation.

          However let's save the stats issue for another post as it gets a bit more complicated--too complex to get into on a short Friday post.   Alex and many others brought up the stat issue and it's an important one for bloggers to address.    There were other issues mentioned as well that will be examined in a later post.   As it is, today's post is getting too long if I am to take into account what some of you indicated in the "Blogger Respect" post comments.  Likewise, I will examine in a later post the subject of viral posts--what they are and why we would want them.

Here's the Point I Was Trying to Make in my
 "Blogger Respect" Post

         For me--and I think for many of you--the act of writing a blog post includes an intrinsic desire for someone to read what we have labored to produce on our little sites.  We read each others blog bits and say nice things and hope that they in turn will come see our site and say nice things in return.  It's all nice with feelings of love and friendship and, yes, respect within the community in which we blog.   There's nothing wrong with that and I thought I clearly indicated that in my "Blogger Respect" piece.  I cast no condemnation or disdain for the concept of blogger community.

        The respect question that I was asking had more to do with how those outside the community look at your or my blogging activity.   Are we respected as bloggers beyond our own limited community?

         When I first started my blog I was so proud and excited to be a blogger.   I told my friends and family about my new blog.  I put up my blog link on Facebook.  I even printed up business cards with my blog address so I could give them to the people I would engage in conversation about my blog.  I was excited, but I was about the only one.  People I'd talk to about my blog would politely listen and then change the topic a soon as they could.  No one cared.  Business cards probably ended up in trash cans.  I wasn't getting any respect for being a blogger.

         Even after I'd become fairly established as a blogger and known in the community of bloggers with whom I interacted, I didn't get any real respect for my blogging from most people outside that community.  In the writers group I attend they gave me the floor to talk about blogging and then moved on without much of a word more.  Blogging is apparently not real writing to most of them.

          "Blogger" is almost like a joke in some circles.   Other than a few high profile bloggers, the press looks at us with disdain much of the time.  Even President Obama referred to "bloggers" in an almost derogatory fashion in a speech on Thursday October 17, 2013.  Most of us are just wannabe journalistic types, people yakking about some niche they're absorbed with, or small time authors trying to get their books noticed--not what I think but I'm speculating that this is along the lines of what a good many people probably think when they hear the term "blogger".

       LET ME REITERATE!!   THAT LAST THOUGHT IS NOT THE WAY I SEE IT.  I am one of you (those of you who blog for whatever reason)!   I am a blogger and I'm proud of what I do and I respect what you do.   I am glad to be a part of such a special community of humans.  But I want blogging to be more respected than it is.   The world doesn't have to read our blogs, but it would be nice if they considered blogging to be just as viable a means of communication as other forms of journalism and writing.

      I hope this clarifies my position on what I consider respect as a blogger.   Perhaps I did not express myself well enough on Monday.  Or perhaps some were not reading closely enough or misconstrued what I had said.  Or maybe I was misinterpreting the signals I was receiving in the response to what I had said.  Maybe one of you who is more precisely analytical than I (Andrew Leon or Jagoda for example) can tell me what happened.

       I want respect as a blogger just as I think you would like to be respected for the life accomplishments of which you are proud.  But there is more to this than what I've touched upon in this post.  Upcoming posts will explore the concepts of the viral blog post and community.  And I will also take the issue of respect to the next level as I have been promising.  I hope you stay with me and continue to provide me information that can be helpful to all of us.

      And to think that my post about respect was just a tossed out lead-in to my Battle of the Bands post on Tuesday!  You can still visit that post and cast your vote if you'd like.  And you can see what song inspired my "Blogger Respect" post.   Thanks to all of you who do that.

        Did I clarify what I mean by respect as a blogger?   Do you think that a lot of non-bloggers just don't get what blogging is about?    From a professional standpoint, do you see blogging as something that is worthwhile or mostly a matter of being a part of a community in a hobby-like fashion?


This weekend only you can get a free download of FAR OUT: The Hiidden Truth by Elbert Derryberry.  The "sales" number went way up on Wednesday when I first announced the giveaway.  Give this one a chance.   Read my review at Amazon to get my take on this e-book.
 A search for the Hidden Truth! A Futuristic Science Fiction adventure with a Christian slant. The hero travels through both space and time, to challenge the reader to question conventional wisdom and to look for the Hidden Truth.
I know the author through the Writers Workshop West, the writing group of which I am a member.  This is Mr. Derryberry's first book.   I encourage you to download the book and give it a read.  It's short so it will be a small investment of your time.  And while it's free the monetary investment is nothing for you.   If you read the book, please don't forget to review it on Amazon.   Support this new author!

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  1. Glad I could complicate things for you! Although my post was in response to the comments rather than your post.
    Respect inside the community, yes. Outside? Probably yes and no. My blog doubles as my website, something that's expected of an author, which works in my favor.
    And it's both community and worthwhile from a professional standpoint.

  2. I think that your post on respect was just fine and I completely understood what it was you were asking and how you were feeling Lee, have a great weekend buddy.

  3. Well...I spend most of my life these days blogging for companies who are trying to "build their brand" online. It's VERY important in the business world. Marketers are always telling people interested in promoting themselves how essential "good content" is on their websites. However, bloggers who are doing it for fun don't really realize how prominently their posts can show in Google search results if they can somehow build an audience and post good content on a regular basis. It's just not important...until you have a reason to care where you are in search results!

  4. I love blogging and I respect the feeings of others, What I don't like is in the past (not so much now) I've had some very nasty and personal comments. By and large the people who do drop by my post are wonderful.

    Enjoy your week-end Lee.

  5. When I started blogging over 8 years ago, there wasn't really a community. I was blogging from a professional standpoint and using the medium to increase exposure. I still try to do that although I like the personal and community aspect a lot more now.

  6. I know exactly what you mean. At first, only one of my friends cared about what I wrote.

    Only now that I've crossed the 1000 follower mark are people taking notice.

    But I will say this, my target audience has changed to writers because a) they read too and b) they get me. And you know who does respect me for blogging? Publishers. And in the end, that and having an audience is the most important to me career-wise.

    Other than that I'm just blogging for fun. :-)

  7. Alex -- Yes and no is the right answer I think, in a way, kind of. And as I think we both indicated it's mostly a matter of why we are blogging that leads us to our decision about how to handle our own blogging.

    Yeamie -- Thanks for the support. You're always there for me and I appreciate that.

    Stephanie -- You add the important factor to the equation that I'm trying to get to. Are we blogging for business even in the remotest sense and even if we aren't thinking of it as blogging for a business? Maybe certain bloggers need to adjust their mindset.

    Yvonne --Yes I agree that what you say you've experienced is bad. Fortunately I have not had to deal with this sort of thing.

    Diane --I think community is something that naturally develops in any realm where many are doing similar things. In the costume industry where I formerly worked several groups and organizations developed to aid aspects of the businesses and individuals involved and we different communities in which we were involved. People need and want a sense of community--it's strength and comfort in numbers. But we can't isolate what we are doing individual within our community or we hinder our own progress.


  8. Misha-- I think it's healthy to have fun in ones work or that work becomes drudgery. I think also a writer should not limit their audience for their books, but having a blogging niche is just fine.

    Richard -- Glad you're listening. There will be a test in a few days.


  9. I think the bottom line for me is that I would like to be respected as a WRITER. Blogging is just one more outlet for the work.

  10. I like the community feel of blogging. In my writers' groups only a few of them blog on a regular basis. And two only do promotion on their blogs. I'm comfortable where my blog is and what I do there.

  11. I have a friend who is a publicist and she adamantly says that bloggers are needed and necessary and that we need to do it as authors. We have a voice. Bloggers have made waves. Bloggers are invited to events to write reviews and help with promotions. I know, because that's what I do, locally and in the cities. People have handed me their books and begged me to read and review them on my blog. I think that some people don't know much about blogging or feel illiterate in the cyberworld. They will reject us. I think some people are pissed off that we have a strong voice. They will put us down. I think some people are awed by our courage. They will shy away and quietly say, "I wish I could do what you're doing." So, again, Go. Create. Inspire!

  12. Did someone say spaghetti?????

    I get ya, loud and clear, and I agree. Blogging isn't much respected by Average Joe, but then again AJ doesn't much respect professional journalists either. How many times have you heard people bitching about the media? See? No respect...

    Among fellow bloggers though, that's different. I honestly feel a respect from other bloggers and I absolutely love it if they can get a laugh from something I've written.

    You, Lee - well, I've always respected you, ever since I first discovered your blog. You have an admirable reputation in the bloggy community and I admire the warm tone in which you write, your common sense and your truth.

  13. Respect comes from quality and a sense of inner strength. Blog posts that are thrown out there as a matter of just commitment? Well, I can see that there was no thought or desire to write.

  14. Kelly -- I'd like respect as a writer as well, but I'd also like for others who are writers to respect me as a blogger and understand that blogging is actually writing.

    Susan GK-- It's important to feel a sense of comfort in where you are, but to also realize the potential power your blog can have.

    Mary -- I think what you say is essentially correct. I want the respect to extend across more of the population.

    Cathy - Yeah, spaghetti with worms replacing the pasta if that's what you're into. People complain about the media a lot, but the media also has credibility and authority with them. Media carries a lot of persuasive power. And thanks for your kind words.

    Susan -- All bloggers have a responsibility to turn out content that will please their audience. Some of that content might be crap in your or my eyes, but if it's what readers really want then so be it. There are many markets and we each need to find the best fit for us and then supply the customers with the product they are looking for. But, yeah, I see what you're saying.


  15. Arlee, these are fantastic things to ponder, and reading your post reminded me: We should blog because we have something to say.

    I true blog isn't a "diary", and it isn't a sales advert for your work. It's a platform for expression and discussion. Both things you absolutely master my friend! :)

    My personal belief is that we should always think about what we're doing, and examine how effective we are at doing it.

  16. Well, again, I wish I had more time, but I have to run out to teach class in, oh, about 20 minutes. But you may see a post about all of this from me at some point.

    Here's what I will say:
    When blogging started, it meant something to be a blogger because not very many people were doing it. Now, though, it's like self-publishing: anyone can do it. So, if I -could- have a blog if I wanted, why should I respect you for having one. I mean, big deal. And with that, 99% of blogs are meaningless, ill-kept, and poorly written. So... when you say you're a blogger, you sort of automatically fall into that 99% of blogs that no one cares about (and it's probably more like 99.9%).

    As long as you are fine with only being involved with a small (and it is small) circle of bloggers that go around patting each other on the back, there's no problem. If, however, you want to go beyond that, you have to have some way to break free (something I've actually blogged about before), and -that's- hard to do. Viral posts are important to that.

    And, now, I have to go.

  17. EJ -- I feel honored by your statements and I think you've made a good point.

    Andrew --I'll look forward to hearing more from you about this. Being a part of a small at times almost incestuous sort of community can create a false sense of confidence if all we hear is praise or minor disagreement. I'll also agree about that 99.9% of blogs with their accompanying bloggers. If we're speaking to the "world" then we should use our best voice and try to come up with something with some relevance or that at least stirs some minds. But then again I guess there's always room for triviality. I don't read Perez Hilton or others like him, but from what I understand those bloggers are writing about essentially ridiculous stuff except it has to do with celebrities and there is a large segment of the population who feed on that sort of thing. It's really a sad statement about society and a frightening indication of where the cumulative intellect is heading. TMZ may be kind of entertaining and mind diverting, but it probably does not enrich our society (from what I know about TMZ which is very little).


  18. I'm now curious so I will backtrack and read your "controversial" post. :)

  19. I'm late to this party but I'll throw my ten pennies ( cents) worth in, I'm ashamed to admit before I started blogging I didn't have a huge respect for bloggers.
    By starting to blog I've started to read blogs fantastic, fabulous blog, some great, some, crazy, some sweet, some nasty, some scary, well you get the picture such variety and such creativity. i had a huge wake-up call and I realise I'd been indoctrinated by a jealous media. The multi tasking and skills needed for blogging are mind blowing, that's before you even get to writing anything and I am constantly learning and improving (hopefully). Older people's perception of blogger may not be so great but the kids get it and respect it. "The times the are a changing", as Bob Dylan sang, and blogging is the future IMHO, newspapers can see their decline.
    I've already loaded the links to the original post and Alex's, as you'd intrigued me, so good job fellow blogger. I've also downloaded the book, love a giveaway, cheers.

  20. I have to go read the controversy. For me I can't blog like I wish. I have a busy family, who is extremely loud. My retired military husband now is home and lurks in my shadows. I often hear, "You blog too much"-he has no clue about the master Captain Cool. I wish I could blog more. I try to share my view of the world, but not on a political level-yikes, now that would be scary! I try to brighten the day so to speak...damn I gotta bring it..I have been sharing rain weather poems! Thanks Lee for going out on the edge! :D

  21. "As long as you are fine with only being involved with a small (and it is small) circle of bloggers that go around patting each other on the back, there's no problem. If, however, you want to go beyond that, you have to have some way to break free (something I've actually blogged about before), and -that's- hard to do. Viral posts are important to that."

    I kinda might be taking the way this is phrased the wrong way, but it miffed me. Some of us do blog as a means of drawing encouragement on our lives from the lives and comments of others. It is more important for those who need this than a facetious "pat on the back" name. It makes it sound like there's something wrong with not being famous, not being driven, not being "count conscious". Others just need a place to vent and have gotten fortunate to find a circle of people who care. To me, there is a divide between we plebians with the "poorly written", lesser-followed blogs and the blogs of those intent on being popular, widespread, professional. I didn't get into blogging to be an amateur journalist; I did it to have a hill to stand on to shout my name out once in a while. I think before the subject of pageviews comes into the picture, a blogger should ask, "What is it doing FOR ME?" If they are comfortable with the answer, that is sufficient.

    Whew, rant over. Apologies for taking it possibly the wrong way, but that's just the way it hit me.

  22. Anita -- I'll meet you there.

    Maggie -- Thank you! Glad you came to the party. And you've made my point all very well. Yes, there is a media jealousy/fear of blogging and I've had direct experience with that. Ironically I've seen many newspapers adding blogs to their own websites and most of them so far don't know how to make it work. Thanks for downloading Derryberry's book. Don't forget to give the guy a review--he needs some more of them.

    Ella -- I have a habit of going out on the edge, but that's what challenges me and makes blogging interesting. I still blog too much, but I have cut back a lot from where I was.


  23. First, I almost feel like I should apologize. If like me, you link to the other BOTB posts, just to see who is voting and how things are going, you inbox was probably inundated today. Probably not as wonderful for you as it was for me. When you have the time go over to (sorry for some reason I am unable to make those type of links in the comment box) and check out the information on the Blog Blitz, a really wonderfully little idea of DL’s.

    Thanks for the clarification on you ‘Respect as a Blogger’ post. I think I got it from the beginning. Blogging finds different levels of respect depending on who you are talking to (just like anything else). I think it’s important for each of us to keep the whole thing in perspective (as you can see, my perspective is a little different/better today than it was on Monday). No matter what you do you have to do it for yourself, feel good about yourself for doing it, and let the chips fall where they may.

    I’m learning that writing (ANY kind of writing) is the toughest form of entertainment out there. Just about anybody can do it, with no particular training, and some of the people who seem to get the most respect aren’t even very good. For me the best advice is ‘be comfortable in your own skin’. Some days I do better than others.

  24. CW -- I agree with how you view blogging for yourself. I think Andrew is speaking from a different point of view which I'll delve more deeply into next week. Andrew can sound harsh at times, but he's someone whose analyses of things I respect a great deal. The way I see it Andrew is correct from the viewpoint that he's looking at things from and you are also correct from your side. If you're content with the blogging you do than that's the most important factor for you. I'm just tossing out a challenge for bloggers to understand why they are blogging and what their ultimate blogging goal is. You've stated yours and it sounds like you are successful in achieving that goal and your readers apparently respect you for that. Blogging is many things and many people and that's one of my points. Community is good for the bloggers who seek that, and I think all bloggers should seek to be part of a community. But fame or wide recognition or credibility in ones field or whatever is good to if that's what a blogger is looking for. No one blogger should condemn another blogger who is being true to their goals, but I do think it is fair to question what those goals are. It's a big debate and I'm glad you added your opinion to it. A blogs readers tell the story in the comments, but it's possible that this could only be part of the story in some cases.


  25. I missed the first post and will have to check it out when I have a little time over the weekend. :) This post- was fascinating and made me very curious about the other. But- it also got me thinking.

    At first when I started my blog, I thought my friends and family would stop by and comment. While many of them read the posts, I don't recall any of them ever commenting. I think many of them are still a little unsure about blogging. But, inside the blogging community- well- I love interacting with everyone out there and getting to meet so many great people. I read interesting posts every day and get to communicate with people I have never met, but feel like I know. Awesome. :)


  26. I think I sent this to my FaceBook thing. We'll see. lol I love the picture mask.
    love, LinnAnn

  27. Lee-

    I'm a little late to this party, and this thought has probably been covered already, but seeking respect as a blogger is probably a fruitless quest.

    The fact that there is a is pretty much the reason-any idiot can set up a blog in five minutes.

    You want proof? I have THREE of them! And I'm not just ANY idiot, I work at it!

    But it's not just blogging. I thought I saw a few commenters wanting respect as writers.

    How many of you really expect to be on the bestseller's list and become household names? And even if that happens, it does not guarantee respect.

    Most of us wander through this world and touch a small circle of other people's lives. If those lives are better for having had you share it, I think that is the measure of success.

    Very few people are "immortalized" by their work, and many of them probably wish they could take it back. Or do you really think Michael Jackson is looking down at the continued circus that has been made of his life with approval?

    Blog for enjoyment. Write for enjoyment. If some success comes, feel lucky.

    I love this quote from The Bucket List-"Find the joy in your life."

    I'm only here for the ride. When I got here, no one had ever heard of me, and after I'm gone, very few will remember me.

    But it's been a fun ride!

    Oh well, I'm afraid I went way off on a tangent...but for what it is worth, I respect you!


  28. I feel like I should go back and see how I commented on Monday before I do it again today. But, no... I am going to just wing it.

    My blogging goals NOW are vastly different than when I started. I honestly thought (and I laugh about this now) when I first opened up my blog that all of my friends and family would want to read it. Like you, I was excited. I told a bunch of people about it and NONE of them read it. I can't even get my mother to read it. And it isn't because she doesn't care or doesn't like my writing, but blogging just doesn't click for her.

    I also thought (way back when) that someone "important" was going to read my blog and discern what a good writer I was, what amazing ideas I had, blah blah blah. After going months and only building up to nine followers, that dream died a slow and painful death.

    Blogging actually required work to gain followers. I had to visit other people's blogs and leave a (hopefully) perceptive comment and then they MIGHT read mine. Finding blogs I wanted to read all of the time (that weren't chronicles of kids and their pooping habits or an ongoing sales pitch to sell homemade crafts) was TOUGH. It took me a long time to figure out that once I found a blog I really liked my best shot of finding similar blogs was to read what that person was reading.

    It literally took me nearly a year to build up any sort of following and find blogs I wanted to read. Ironically, I was blogging daily back then and my best material is likely to never be read BY ANYONE. hahaha.

    Along the way my goals have changed several times. When I started writing a novel two years ago I was thrilled when I hit the Motherlode and found writer sites, agent sites, how to query sites, etc. Then my novel crashed and burned and I didn't even read those sites for over a year. I didn't delete them out of my reader,but I didn't read. Now, I am writing again and am back to reading those and have found more.

    Somewhere in there, my goal shifted to being recognized as a gifted writer to just writing something that accurately reflected who I am. And that garnered comments. And this wonderful dialogue began to happen. I feel respected by OTHER bloggers and that is enough. It may not be hundreds of other bloggers, but it is enough.

    However, some of your other comments have hit the nail precisely on the head regarding what separates the blogger from the journalist. Anyone can blog. Someone has to approve a piece that is being published on a news site. Does that mean that the blogger has nothing of value to say? Nope. It just means that for people who don't blog... blogging is more of a hobby than a job. And that is why bloggers feel disrespected with regard to the "outside world."

    Heck, I am still waiting for the day my mom will read my blog...

  29. I'm just happy being part of the blogging community, and treating this more like a hobby. Sometimes we might think that we're not making a difference, but if we can make one person laugh, or realize that they are not alone, then it is all worth it.


  30. DMS- Blogging is primarily an insider type operation where bloggers speak to each other but others stay away. My experience has been similar to yours as far as getting friends and family interested. But the blogging community we share is wonderful.

    LinnAnn-- thanks for sharing the link.

    Larry -- You make a valid point and I would agree for the most part. I wouldn't say that a search for respect is fruitless and I'm still not going to give up trying. Respect comes in many ways within different groups for unspecified amounts of time. Respect can come and go if ever attained. It's up to the respectee to manage their own respect if attained and tend to damage control when necessary. I agree with "finding the joy", but if we can share our joy it's all the better. And I respect you too.

    Robin -- I could almost take your comment and put my name on it to tell much of the story of my blogging life. Although my mother does read my blog much of the time and she's my biggest fan and about the only fan among family members. I can relate to nearly every step of the journey you've described. We've been on parallel paths if not the same path. You told the story well and true. I think you understand exactly what I've been talking about.

    Julie -- There is a place for each blogger and it's up to each of us to find that place that makes us feel most respected. To touch a life here and there is a respectable mission to be on.


  31. My personal experience is that non-bloggers couldn't care less that people blag, they just aren't interested. Very few, very very few, of my friends and relatives read what I write, but then I don't have much of a readership anyway.

  32. @CW: I didn't mean to make that sound trite. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be involved in a small circle of blogger friends. Nothing at all. And, just because you are, does not mean that your blog isn't well done. [I didn't say that at all.]

    Here's the point I was trying to make:
    Many people who say they want to be "big time" do not actually act like it. They stay confined to a small blogging circle and seem content to be involved in being a cheerleader. If that's what they really want or all they are willing to do, they should quit fooling themselves and say "this is the role that I like."

    If, however, as a blogger, you really do want to reach a broader audience, you have to start appealing to people on a broader basis. You can't just be a cheerleader for your buds and post their cover reveals and tell them what great writers they are. Indie authors are being more and more marginalized by the wider world because of this growing attitude.

    So... it really depends upon your goals. Of course, the first part of that is knowing your goals, which, I find, most bloggers don't actually have in any way that is cohesive. It's just kind of vague and out there with the hope that, maybe, they'll get "discovered."

    Anyway, I hope that helps. I wasn't trying to marginalize having a support group. That's a great thing. I was, I suppose, trying to marginalize the idea of having a support group while thinking you're doing something bigger than that.

  33. S'okay, Andrew- like I said at the start, I knew it was taking it in a way other than you intended. But there are those who would put it that way- isn't that basically the gist of the latest Martha Stewart thing?

    Point is, and we all agree on it- blogging and the respect thereof means different things to different people.

  34. Jo -- Maybe it's time to reevaluate what we blog about and how we do it. If we are writing good content we should be read.

    Andrew -- You have stated this outstandingly well. Your comment is the crux of what I've been talking about.

    CW -- I guess I missed the "Martha Stewart thing" but your final statement is another point I've been trying to make. The interchange between you and Andrew is very important and tells the main story. We blog for different reasons and different goals, but we shouldn't diminish our talents.


  35. Thanks, Lee. I always wonder when I don't really have time to go back over what I've said and stuff, and I've been completely rushed with everything this past week.

    I missed the Martha Stewart thing, too.

  36. I think if you aren't blogging on a topic of particular interest to a particular non-blogger reader, then that non-blogger won't get what blogging is about. If that makes sense. And yes, I knew what you meant about respect as a blogger... not sure I made that clear in my own comment though. I may have gone off on a tangent. I do that ;)

  37. I like being a part of a blogging community. I like the sharing of ideas and the way bloggers come together to support others. Those that don't blog? Maybe they just don't get it? Maybe they think it is a waste of time? I know that some people I talk to about blogging get the glazed over look in their eyes. Others seem genuinely interested and ask questions. I have a few friends/family that stop by my blog from time to time. Although they don't leave comments on my blog, they do let me know in other ways that they stopped by.

  38. First, let me say that you (via your encouragement) are one of the main reasons I became a blogger. I both enjoy and respect you and your blogs a great deal. The proof of that is that I just spent over a half hour reading the previous post, all the comments, this post and all these comments too. I'm honored you specifically asked for my analysis.

    Your commenters really became engaged in these two posts--not the first time I've seen this on your blog. This is an active show of respect, even if some had slightly different perspectives.

    I get the point about wondering about what it would take to broaden respect outside the blogging community (or why it seems it doesn't exist). I too would like to broaden my readership even as I enjoy my blogging community.

    One thought I have is that building "community" is one ticket to growth. This is essentially what you've done with A to Z. People like to feel connected to others who share common interests, problems or views. If this is true, then you'd expect more hits and comments when you write something that connects to others (like your music in schools piece). Visibility (via SEO as an example) or marketing and promoting your blog helps let more people know that you're someone they might want to connect with. Ha! Now if I only had time to follow my own advice.

    Anyway, in my short time as a blogger, I've discovered this medium just isn't everyone's cup of tea. Respect has nothing to di with it. Plus, there are so many choices on the internet alone (let's not even talk about other media) competing for people's time and attention. We all--as you've said yourself--have to prioritize and make choices about where we spend our time. No disrespect may be intended at all.

    I'm nearing my one year blog anniversary and I assure you, one of my goals is to see how I can take it to the next level next year. Thanks for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

  39. Andrew -- Time or lack of is a big problem.

    Lynda -- In order to reach out beyond community we need to keep that non-blogger in mind somehow if we can, but then there is the matter of getting that person to the blog in the first place. Not an easy thing to do.

    Susanne-- I've had the same experience that you describe. And usually the ones who act like they are interested are mostly being polite. Rarely has anyone who responded in that way shown up, or least they didn't leave a comment like I requested them to do. However, as you have I have had some folks tell me they've been by.

    Jagoda -- First of all thank you for your kind words and wonderful comment. I am impressed by some of the comment interaction and the depth of the comments. I agree that they show a lot of respect for what I'm doing here and I am encouraged by that. I think for many people accessing the blog is part of the problem. Some people have told me they couldn't figure out how to leave a comment (which could also mean they didn't want to take the time to do it). You've done a tremendous job in making your blog a highly informative and useful site. I do believe you will take things to a higher plane.


  40. Wow didn't know your respect post would create such a firestorm. Need to check out more of your comments. My guess is people who are insecure about their blog or themselves reacted negatively. Your point about writers and non-bloggers respecting bloggers... My take is they view writing and journalism as more professional as there is schooling and credentials involved. Supposedly anyone can blog so it's viewed lower on the totem pole. It's like professional athletes and fans looking at a weekend warrior at the YMCA. There is a huge gap, but not really sure how you can close it, unless you become a "pro" yourself.


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