Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Do the Bloggers You Love, Love You Back?

Some blogs I've been following have been talking about cliquishness in the healthy living blogosphere.

Here are some thoughts I shared in comments on MizFitOnline.com's "Blogger Cliques" discussion:
Wow, this has been the hot topic lately!

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?
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.

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


debby said...

That video cracked me up. It gave me some fodder for my next post LOL.

Which, I know I am probably in danger of being unfriended by Juice for my continual use of the irritating LOL. But LOL Darn it, its so true and so funny LOL.

I guess I am out of the loop. Or maybe just cliquish. Because I hadn't seen anything about cliques until Miz's post this morning.

I pretty much agreed with what Miz said.

For me, there are only so many blogs I can follow. I do have a small group that I think of as non-negotiable and I also try to visit new bloggers and encourage them.

Pubsgal said...

Sorry, should have been a little more specific about where else I'd seen the notion of blogging cliques. I'd recently read the article Miz mentioned, "If Blogging Cliques Are Real, Do They Hurt The Community?" over on the new blog, Fitblogger's Guide (by Josie of YumYucky and Ryan of NoMoreBacon, so the bloggers aren't new, but their blog happens to be). That got me thinking, and then Miz's post got me typing. I think that the "big bloggers" are the folks some people have in mind when they say they feel shunned or ignored by "the community" - but I wanted to see what folks who stop by my quiet little corner had to say.

Lori said...

That social network thing was really funny. "I had some soup!"

I keep meaning to talk about this on my blog, but never quite actually do.

I always feel a little on the outside of the blogging world. My blog isn't super popular, but I dearly love all my visitors. I sometimes wonder how it comes across because only about 5% of the number of visitors actually comment.

I guess I don't really know where my blog fits anymore. I am not really losing weight, so it isn't a weight loss blog now. I like the idea of healthy living, but I am not in my 20s and most of those bloggers were not 100 pounds overweight.

I do like to be active, but don't consider myself a runner or anything like those type of bloggers.

There are so few maintenance blogs that maybe that is why I feel on the fringes and should think of being a pioneer instead.

Lori said...

Oh wait - you asked about *your* blog! I like your blog just fine. I don't think you are exclusionary at all.

biz said...

It's so funny, but the reason I started food blogging is because my twin sister had a blog, would call me up, ask me what I fixed for dinner, and then I'd read her blog post and read that she made steak au poive and shrimp scampi.

My first questions was "wow, did your kids like that?" Well, no, but I didn't know what else to post.

So I told her I was going to start blogging so she couldn't steal my dinners from me anymore!

But seriously, I had no idea the kind of relationships I've made over these past two years, even if my husband thinks I am nuts for calling you my friends!

But I have one rule of thumb. I don't leave a comment unless I read every word. I'll never forget going by a blog and there was a picture of an apple fritter. The post went onto say how it was a tradition that she and her grandpa used to go get apple fritters every Sunday before church - just the two of them.

She talked about the conversations they had, and cherished. Turns out her grandpa had just died and it was her tribute to him. I started to leave a condolence comment, when I saw someone leave a simple comment that said "I love apple fritters!" just bey seeing the picture.

I have blog friends of all ages, race, ethnicity and I love the diversity.

That being said, it does get pretty hard to give back the comment love I get - I started out with only 100 visitors a day for months, and now I get anywhere between 1000 and 1200 a day, still small scale but it might take me days to get back, because I do read every word.

You may be talking about the article that recently ran in Marie Claire, about six "healthy" bloggers may be sending the wrong message, because one of them said on their blog "I had one bite of dessert, but since I was full, I poured salt all over the rest so I wouldn't be tempted. The article went on to say that this was promoting eating disorders.

I blog because I love it, am more than happy that people take the time to read my words, and try to make as much time to comment as I can.

Wow, aren't you glad I can type fast?! Sorry this was so long!

Anonymous said...

First, loved the video. Funny stuff. However, I did not LOL. ;)

Second, I guess I'm aware of some circles of friends out there in blogland, but I'm not really put off by it. For example, BigMama and BooMama blog about their friendship, and I read them both often, but it's never occurred to me to think of it as cliqueish. I guess I haven't gotten the impression that any blogger is deliberately trying to exclude. If I ran across that, I'd probably just stop reading the blog because it would be boring to me!

Third, I have made some wonderful friends on the interwebs by blogging. You're the only one I've met in person so far, but I hope to meet more. It's been a really positive experience for me.

Fourth (whew!), I TRY to visit my commenters blogs fairly often. But that's not difficult for me since I don't have that many commenters. I totally understand that there is only so much time in the day. No hard feelings if I comment on your blog and you don't comment on mine.

Life is too short and God is too good to nurse petty grievances!

Charlotte said...

I will admit to feeling excluded from some blogger groups but that seems to have more to do with never being able to go to conferences (like Fitbloggin' and BlogHer). I have never thought it was intentional though. I think you do a great job of welcoming people of all levels:) Love you!

debby said...

To Juice: You are my good friend, and you are very funny.

Jane said...

I'm a relatively new blogger, and I understand that many of you have been blogging together for years. It's only natural that you have formed friendships and groups. Also, blogging takes a good deal of time, and for some of you who have large followings and a large number of comments, this could be very time consuming.

I don't dwell on the number of hits or comments on my blog. (I just figured out what "stats" are.) I understand that my blog isn't going to click (no pun intended) with everyone. And I like the idea of being able to vent on issues that I can't share with friends in-person. If a post happens to interest or help another blogger, that's all the better.

Brooke said...

if you have a clique - i feel like i'm in it. but i don't see you as the cliqish type.

i feel like joining the twitter conversation really got me connected with other bloggers

Jane said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog is great--I'm glad I found it. I'll be back to visit!

Christie O. said...

I don't feel like you're cliquey at all! I love your warmth and openness and hilarity and cookies the size of your face.

As far as other cliques, honestly, I always feel outside the know on everything, I just do my own thing and hope people read (sometimes I obsess over it too) but I try not to change the way I write just for traffic purposes, I just write what comes out of my fingies. I do my best to keep up with everyone but there's too much social media for me to keep up with and I am always behind. Sometimes I feel like the more popular bloggers are the ones who can keep up with all the social media. I am not she. LOL But i'm ok with that. I still love it here though.

Josie said...

I also commented on Miz's post the other day. I don't know if there are "cliques" per se, probably more like friendships.

What really irks me though, is when a blogger has enough time for you to send you a "page suggestion" on facebook, or ask you follow them on Twitter, but not only do they not do the same for you, but they flat out ignore you anytime you comment or send them a message. That's what gets me. In that way it does remind me of high school a lot and brings back a lot of those old feelings. I'm good enough for you when you want something, but once you've gotten what you want from me, I'm just the nerd sitting awkwardly over in the corner.

Do the bloggers I love, love me back? I think some of them do. Maybe? Hopefully? Bueller? LOL I have formed some great friendships through this world of blogging. Relationships that I am immensely grateful for. Such as yours! You inspire me, encourage me, motivate me and help keep me accountable. You've been a great support to me these past several months and I have come to really appreciate you. I hope you know that.

Now, regarding facebook...are you on there?

Josie said...

Just read my comment and I want to clarify the "ignoring" part. I am not referring to a blogger not responding to a comment I leave on their blog. I have NO expectations when it comes to that...AT ALL. What I am talking about is when I purposefully send a blogger an email or otherwise "personal" message and that goes ignored. And it really makes me mad if you offer a paid service on your site and I take you up on your offer yet you can't even respond, yet you are out there doing it for other "more popular" bloggers. Is my money not good enough for you? Sorry this turned into a mini-rant. I obviously let stuff like that get to me much more than it should. It does take me back to high school sometimes, and high school was the worst 4 years of my life!LOL!

Angela said...

I am totally behind on my blogs and am just reading this today, but wanted to say that I really loved this post and you know that I love you!