Here are some thoughts I shared in comments on MizFitOnline.com's "Blogger Cliques" discussion:
Wow, this has been the hot topic lately!But this made me think. Are my blogging practices cliquish? If so, it's not intentional, and I apologize to anyone who may have perceived that from me. I know I tend to talk about bloggers whom I feel are my friends, whom I see regularly in my comments or may have even met in person; if you're a regular here, chances are I'm reading your blog regularly and commenting when I can. But I have no idea who's just dropping by for a visit. I have kept myself purposefully in the "un-know" about page hits and site traffic. This blog is my hobby, my journal of how I'm working to continually improve my health and wellness, my open letter to the healthy living blogosphere tribe, and hopefully a way of forming a meaningful connection with others.
Sure, any large group of people are going to have some sub-groups. Are they necessarily cliques? Maybe I don't get around the healthy living blogosphere as widely as I should, but I have a feeling that most perceived cliquishness is accidental; for example, maybe the blogger you love (and whom you want to love you back) has trouble keeping up with everyone? Sometimes it's hard to read all the blogs I want to read, and comment on my regular commenters' blogs meaningfully...I have no idea how folks with a following like Miz's manage the outreach that they do. Especially Miz - she's one of the first bloggers that gave me that "Wow! Thanks for noticing me!" moment.
Also, this Tribe is quite varied. Like in real life, different people are going to resonate with different blogs. For example, I tend to be drawn to blogs where the people have dealt with similar health and wellness issues, or are in a place in their journey where I want to be, or where I really like the blogger's writing style, or that not mind my posting big ol' rambling comments. (*sheepish grin*) Sure, sometimes I venture outside my chosen sub-group or off-Tribe, and I usually learn a lot when I do so. It's probably something that I should do more often.
Then there are the various forms of social media. I tend to hang back more on Twitter and Facebook than I do in the blogosphere. Blogging and commenting gives me time to think about a response....whereas with Twitter, I end up feeling like I'm hours too late to the party, or that I shouldn't tweet unless I have something really compelling to say...and then never get around to it. I also might be using it wrong - I don't automatically follow everyone who follows me, I kind of follow the Facebook "friending" convention there, and maybe that's not the purpose of following on Twitter?
Here's my question to you: What makes you feel included in the blog world? How can I improve this here on my blog? If you don't know how to leave a comment, or would prefer to contact me privately, here's how to email me: click the "View My Complete Profile" link on the side bar of this page. From the About Me page, click the Email link on the lower left side of the page.
If you feel the need for a laugh after such deep thoughts, check this out. There's a whole site of etiquette short films hosted by "Proper Ollie," and this one on social networking cracked me up. http://www.onnetworks.com/videos/proper-ollie/social-network-etiquette?autoplay=true