Friday at the French Artists' Salon
Jules-Alexandre Grün, 1911
I have been blogging for about four years, and this is one of the most difficult blog posts I will ever write. I have had conversations with other bloggers, and many of them have come to the same conclusion that I have, but they are hesitant to express their views. So, I have been mulling it over for a while, trying to find the right words. If I offend anyone, or make anyone cross with me -- which I undoubtedly will do -- it is not my intention, so I do apologize. However, I guess there is no right way to do this, except to just take a deep breath and dive in. So here goes...
... deep breath ...
Blogging is not a contest. All of you folks out there who have a blog, you get up in the morning, you put a lot of thought into your posts, often a lot of heart and effort, and every single one of you deserves to be given credit for doing just that. I feel very strongly about this. The blogging world should be a level playing field. I have been blogging for about four years altogether, and I am really disappointed at how it has turned into a huge "clubby clique". It is starting to feel like high school where one has to be "in with the in-crowd", and it creates a feeling of exclusivity. Why is it that whenever human beings get together and start any sort of enterprise -- such as blogging -- they automatically have to create some sort of a hierarchy -- good, better, best...?
In July 2006 Technorati counted its 50 millionth blog, and it is estimated there are 175,000 new ones created every day, and 18.6 posts per second. And that was almost four years ago. Blogging has grown exponentially since then. Some of the very best blogs I have read are ones on which almost no one comments. The blogs may be well-written, well-researched, heartfelt and just plain amazingly good, and week after week, no one responds. On the other hand, there are blogs out there that get dozens of comments every day, and after a while the blog posts become mundane, formulaic and repetitive. But ... I guess everyone's style is different.
A year ago I was astonished to discover that my boring-little-blog had been chosen by the Blogger Team as a Blog of Note. There are so many more interesting blogs than mine out there, I thought perhaps it was a mistake. But I had the good fortune to meet so many new people and read so many new blogs. It was wonderful. And when I visit their blogs, I like to take the time to read them, get to know them, and post a thoughtful comment. They deserve nothing less. I read recently where one blogger said the secret to blogging is to visit as many blogs as possible and just post a very brief comment. No, it's not. It's all about quality, not quantity. I am always thrilled to bits when people comment on my blog, and their comments are two or three paragraphs long. My goodness, that is a compliment to me, and I love it.
There are all sorts of new bloggers out there, and I know it can feel intimidating at times, trying to break into blogging. I know of a couple of recent bloggers who gave up after a few weeks, and yet their blogs were absolutely wonderful.
My advice would be this -- keep blogging, keep writing about what you feel, and don't try to imitate other people. Be yourself. If you have something to say, say it. Goodness knows, I do. And whatever happens, don't be discouraged. Blogging is not a competition.