On Blogging Communities: What You Guys Had To Say

I got a lot of response and feedback to my post on blogging and communities of bloggers. You guys had a lot to say, and it was all very thought provoking. I’d like to repost some of the comments I received, because sometimes you can say things better than I can, and because comments like the ones I got on that post are what make writing this blog so much fun. Insightful discussion and many points of view coming together respectfully. So thank you, all of you, for making this blog such a fulfilling thing for me to be a part of.

Some people agreed with the sentiment that it was respectful to check out and/or comment on the blogs of people that comment on yours. Southern Sage said: “I will say this, if I hit your blog regular I do damn sure expect you hit mine back and I understand if some people don’t comment on politics or HNT or Sunday when some of the pics might not be to taste but if I’m hitting you real regular then you can surely find something every now and then to comment on. If not I will stop commenting and coming by at all. “ Nolens Volens echoed this sentiment. “I’ve left comments all over but some of the bloggers just don’t bother to leave a single comment on my blog…no, I don’t NEED to have comments – just show courtesy, ya know?”

But April felt differently: “I don’t expect a ton of people to read/comment on my blog. I don’t even expect the people whose blogs I follow to read/comment on my blog. If I link a blog on mine, I don’t expect that person to link me… I guess what I’m saying is that now I don’t have any expectations when it comes to blogging.”

Quite a few people mentioned blogging for themselves. Daniela said, “I can’t see who follows my blog and who doesn’t and I kind of prefer that. I don’t think I blog so much for a large audience so much as myself and my friends.” Meg said, “I totally blog for myself. My blog started as a place my friends and family could go to read about my adventures.” Another Suburban Mom agreed, saying, “I know that I blog for myself.”

However, Alana disagreed slightly, saying, “Commenting on other blogs is also really important. Not only does it give that person the little piece of encouragement we all want, but it’s just another way of networking.” Mrs. M echoed this sentiment when she said, “i have almost always been a “lurker”… but lately have been coming out of my shell and it seems it’s a great positive to step into this community.”

People also had differing views on reading about people with views that differed from their own! There were many that agreed with me and enjoyed hearing other opinions. Mrs. M said: “i love comments, because… i can see someone else’s view point. that’s kinda why i started it in the first place. i wanted to hear the other side.” Roland Hulme said, “You nailed it on the head, though – if you only read blogs by ‘similar’ people, it’s drab – where’s the thrill in agreeing with somebody 90% of the time?” Matt said, “I think you and I might be polar opposites about a lot of things but that’s part of the reason I love reading your blog because it forces me to open myself up some situations and ideas I normally wouldn’t be comfortable with,” and Lori agreed with him.

But Alana didn’t feel that way. She said, “I like to visit a few conservative blogs, but they end up just pissing me off and making me angry. I don’t need that… I want to meet like minded people, not just more people to argue with.”

I think that Another Suburban Mom summed everything up perfectly when she said, “I think that people should expect to get out of the blogosphere what they put into the blogosphere.” I think that this is right on. You get what you give, no?

And regarding the homogeneity of the racial make up of my readers, Alana said, “We naturally tend to segregate ourselves so it’s only natural that certain communities group together, especially those maligned by society as a whole.” Daniela felt similarly, saying, “People tend to segregate themselves and naturally and probably are drawn to things they are familiar and comfortable with; your experience, for example, will be vastly different from a black woman your age, even though she may be almost a carbon copy in terms of beliefs and history.”

However, Advizor make a stellar, superawesome, amazing point with his comment, and I’d like to share it with everyone and see if they agree. I know that I do. “I think the reason that most of the sex-positive blogs are written by whites is that the white community, from it’s safety zone of being in the majority and not having to worry about other issues, has time to be sex-positive.

Other communities are still struggling for civil rights in government, equal pay at work, the right to live in particular (white) neighborhood, the the right not to be arrested based on the color of their skin. They don’t have the energy to worry about their right to buy silicon-safe dildos made in a child-labor-free environment and packaged in recycled material.

I think being a infidelity-prone, sex-positive blogger means you are pretty far up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs*.”

Thanks for the awesome discussion and for adding your two cents, everyone! This was one of my favorite posts because of all the great feedback and discussion that it generated. And if I didn’t highlight your comment, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t appreciated!

*Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pyramid of human needs, at the bottom of which are our basic physiological needs (food, oxygen, sex, etc), followed by safety needs (shelter, employment, etc), love and belonging, esteem, and at the top is self-actualization. Maslow’s theory was that you couldn’t begin to meet needs on a higher level until the ones at the lower levels were met. For example, if you haven’t met your basic needs regarding having enough food to feed your family or a roof over your head, you will not be able to fulfill the intrapersonal needs involving self-esteem, belonging to a community, etc because you are spending your time worrying about how you are going to feed your family tomorrow, not about how to increase your social support. I’ve actually found this theory to be quite relevant through doing therapy with people; the women that are worried about financial and/or residential things, legal issues, safety issues, spend their sessions focused on those things, while women that have secured those aspects of their lives spend their sessions on deeper intrapersonal problems.

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  1. Sa
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    How interesting! I can see how Maslow's theory could apply to many women and men I know. As my psychiatrist once explained to me, as I wondered why a friend of mine was so depressed: "Being rich doesn't eradicate your problems. It merely gives you more opportunity to confront them."

  2. hubmanshangout
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I think the discussion your post generated is great.

    One point I think was missed, which I've experienced. I've had readers come by my blog and frequently comment, and while I feel an obligation to then read their blog, sometimes what they write about just isn't my thing. So while I appreciate comments from a hardcore BDSM person, they're not likely to get me as a regular reader if that's what they write about [this is a hypothetical scenario, btw].

    And at the same time, I realize that while I comment on others blogs, what I write about may not appeal to them. It's all good.

    That ASM is a pretty smart chick ;-)

  3. blueeyedtawni
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    i admit some times i dont know what to say if i go to someones blog. and if you look at my links i have all sorts of different blogs (a mish mash of awesome things) LOL..
    i dont expect no one to come visit me nor comment. i do have another blog thats private for me only .
    some of my family has just started coming visiting my new blog.. kudos to them :D

    but i dont always post a comment on every blog.sometimes theres just nothing to post.

    GRINS.. sends a snuggle comment to you ;-)

  4. Another Suburban Mom
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I too am glad your blog got so much discussion.

    I think that since blogging is still kind of new, there is a lot of etiquette that has yet to be formally established.

    Have a great Monday!

  5. Apollo Unchained
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Awesome synthesis of the various comments, Brits. It's hard to do well — I've tried a few times. I enjoyed the original post, but think this was even better. It interweaves intelligent points of view with your own editorial hand.

  6. Daniela
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I'm impressed the post churned out so many replies and such active discussion. =) That's one of the neat and interesting things about the blogosphere. Many people had interesting things to say, which is fantastic.

  7. alana
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Great Post!

    I have the same problem as hubmanshangout. Sometimes a readers blog is just completely different then mine and I can’t get into to it. But I always try and I guess that’s what matters.

    Side note: Why is it always weird to see your words quoted back at you? I can’t be the only one who feels a little odd when that happens.

  8. Eliot
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I didn't respond to your initial post about this, so I thought I would here. I don't comment on other people's blogs as often as I should. Hell, I don't even read all of the blogs that I link to, although I've read from them at some point. I was mostly a lurker before starting my blog in October of last year, and I'm still getting used to making the time to comment on other blogs.

    I'm with Advizor on their response. Honestly, most white, sex-positive, safest-of-safe sex toy using bloggers annoy me. There's so much pretentiousness in that part of the sex-blogging community that it drives me up a wall. And don't get me started on the infidelity bloggers, white or otherwise. lol

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