The Beatles – “Eleanor Rigby”
I know a lot of people use blogging as an outlet, much like one would talk to a good friend on the phone about pressing matters. I tend to use blogging not only as an outlet but as a way to record my daily life – what I did, what I’m planning on doing, what I’m excited about at the moment. That sort of stuff. I use it like a diary. I think (in general) people frown on blogging like that since nobody really wants to read 500 “So I went to the mall today” entries. However, it’s really all I’ve got to write about.
The argument then is “why are you writing if you’ve got nothing to write about” and honestly, the answer is that I do it because it feels good to articulate my thoughts. I’m huge on saving things for posterity, and I’d like to be able to someday look back on what I wrote and think, “Oh yeah, I remember that happening, that was fun.” Because otherwise, I forget it happened. I do that all the time, even now, and I’ve only really had this journal for a year. There are so many things I would have totally forgotten about had I not written them down, and for that I’m thankful.
On the other hand, part of the reason this journal exists if for feedback. I think deep down, everybody is a comment whore. I know I am. I try to hide it and pretend like I don’t care, but honestly, it feels really good to have people respond to something you’ve written. Conversely, it makes you wonder if something is wrong when you don’t get comments. Maybe I’m not controversial enough? Maybe I need to stop posting every day and be one of those people who only writes when the mood strikes and when they have witty, introspective tidbits of wisdom to offer. Sometimes that annoys me, though, because I like going to a site and seeing new stuff every day. I get mildly irritated when I continually see the same entry for days and days (and sometimes weeks and weeks). That’s part of the reason I love Tertia’s site so much – she typically updates at least once a day. That’s why I love Dooce’s site too, even though she’s slowed down a LOT on posting in the last couple of months.
Also, my site totally isn’t popular enough to say anything remotely similar to “so what do you think?” or “Discuss.” or “ask me…” Nobody will do it. And that’s fine, it makes for less controversial comment sections (which I almost welcome after viewing what can happen when people go nuts, like on Dooce’s comment section (R.I.P.) or Tertia’s comments). It does make me feel a bit left out though. I started a little forum for my friends from Sandpoint, and that lasted all of a couple months before everybody totally lost interest and stopped posting. My guestblock gets an average of two or three blocks a week now. My Q&A section hasn’t been touched in months, and even then, I think JessicaRabbit was the only person who ever used it (and for that I totally :love: you, JR). I’m not trying to be whiny, I’m just observing that user interaction on my site is pretty much negligible. Those of you who do take the time to comment on entries, or leave a block, or ask a question, I read all of them and appreciate every one of them. They make my day.
I’ve written before about what it’s like being (seemingly) the lone “domain name + blogging software” blogger in a world of Blogger and Typepad users. I’m now finding I have a similar problem of not really fitting into a blogging/site circle. I sort of identify myself with people like Jem and Noir and Katy and the sort of “elite coding” group who enjoys PHP, MySQL, and CSS. There are names I see all over, like Furious Angel, Astarael, Thundercake, BubblesSOC, JesSaroo, Renay. I wish I could be part of their link lists. I find myself being linked by a few of them on and off, but never enough to really be included as “one of them.” (No offense, guys, if any of you happen to read this. I’m not begging for links by any means, just having a discussion.) I don’t identify with the 15-year-olds who have domain names like “suga-grrl” or “toxic” whatever, so that’s out. I don’t identify with other people my age, since they go out partying or they have kids, neither of which interest me at the moment. I almost exclusively read “mommy blogs” and infertility blogs. Is that weird? I have nothing in common with them, but I enjoy their writing immensely. Again, though, I’m not “one of them.” It’s like being the kid with no friends in grade school.
I don’t have the quaint little community that Blogger and Typepad offer, so I try to cultivate it elsewhere. I comment on entries, try to make friends and whatnot, and nothing really ever comes of it. I try to write intelligent reviews on Yoursite.nu, but nobody really seems to appreciate them and I almost always feel like I’m copying Jem – it’s also the reason I won’t apply to be a reviewer for Review-You.net. I would feel like a poseur, even though I feel I can write decent, helpful reviews.
I’m really tempted to not even post this, because I think it comes across as me being a whiny bastard about how I don’t get enough comments, and that’s totally not what it’s supposed to be. It’s just observations I’ve made.