My old blog host, Vox, recently decided to kick the bucket.  So my new blog is hosted here.  And the process of moving from one blog to the next, and trying to reconnect with people I “knew” on Vox, has made me think about why I have a blog and who it is for.

The way my old blog worked, I wrote about all kinds of things that I wanted to share.  Vox had groups, and they made it very easy to post a blog on Facebook.  So, depending on who I thought might be interested in my blog, I would post it appropriately.  A blog about my personal life or a ploitical rant would only get posted on FB for my friends to see.  A post showing off my latest knitting project would be posted to my knitting group, even though I got very little feedback there, and also to my FB page, since so many of my friends are knitters.  A photography post might only go to the Photo Quest group, who were a very interactive community.

I also had a few friends with blogs on Vox (the reason I got on there in the first place), and I followed the new entries for the groups I was in.  But I didn’t follow the blogs of most of the people I was in Vox groups with.  At the moment, I have a total of 11 IRL friends whose blogs I check in on regularly for updates — I guess there are better ways to do this, but I don’t really know how — and some of those I access when I see their links on FB.  But I didn’t bother to read the non-group posts of people who I got to know through my groups.  Actually, it seems a little odd to me to follow the blog of someone I have never met in real life.  And I realized at some point that a few people were following my blog, which was flattering and it was nice when they made comments on my posts, but still felt a little bit strange.

I also realize now that this isn’t how most people deal with their blogs.  They network, they check other blogs out, they make friends online and occasionally even go so far as to get together and become IRL friends.  Maybe it comes down to my imperfect social skills, but I feel very odd doing that, and I really don’t know how to go about it.  And doesn’t it end up taking up an inordinate amount of time and energy, to stay on top of all those blogs?  I spend about an hour a day on FB as it is, mostly to keep in touch with all the friends I have from high school, college, Peace Corps, grad school, archaeology, and just plain life, who are now far away from me. 

Now I am in a position where we are all moving here to WP, and there is no longer that same group format.  I have to read everything, or nothing, from a bunch of people that I honestly don’t know well.  Would I know them better if I had spent more time reading their personal blogs?  Certainly!  But the question now is, who is my blog for, and why do I post on here?

The real answer is, the blog is for me.  I have not made many friends here in Utah yet, I miss all the friends that I have made and left behind in my wanderings over the years, and so I write things like this on my blog and then make my thoughts available in the places where I will get some feedback and feel connected.  But I recognize that this is a fairly selfish way to operate.  I do my part to make others feel connected when they reach out with a post — I leave comments on all those blogs I check, I comment and “like” on as much as I can on FB, I tried to be supportive and take part in the conversation in my old groups.  But do I make the additional effort to reach out to more people from my Vox groups and stay in touch?  They seem like such a cozy, well-knit group, and I am the hanger-on who lurks near the fringes.  Not too different from my social role in real life, at least when I was younger, but not very satisfying overall.  So do I work harder to join that group, or do I leave them to their friendships and stick with the friends I already have?

I know that many of my friends with blogs have a completely different purpose than I do for posting.  Either they are promoting their business, or they are looking to turn their writing into something that can earn them some money in the long run.  Not me.  I just want a forum where I can share what I am thinking, and have people listen to me. 

Of course, more people will listen if I make more friends in the blogosphere. *smile*

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