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Some thoughts about blogging.

As much as I’m loathe to blog about blogging, something came up today in conversation that I’ve been thinking about for some time now. I’m not quite sure where to start, this whole blogging phenomenon is really quite intriguing, where else can you have such strong relationships with people you’re never likely to meet?

The thing that’s been getting me lately is the sense of loss I’ve been feeling over disappearing blog buddies. I’ve seen this subject addressed a few times, in fact I’ve even seen it written about me! But he thing is, there are quite a number of bloggers who I’ve been friends with, who have either disappeared or simply faded away, and of course there are those who go and come back again, continually! What I don’t understand is how deeply you can be affected when a blogger that you’ve had a longish relationship with decides to call it a day. I think it’s because through words and photos you’ve been part of their life for a while, and now you’re not.

The more I think about it, the more a picture starts to emerge of blogging as a whole. Like any activity, there are always a certain number of people who start at the same time, and that in itself creates a common bond. And like any activity it seems to have a lifespan defined by those who partake in the activity. Those who are roughly in the same blass (blog class) go through shared experiences, and after a period everyone graduates. Some follow a different path and move away, some maintain friendships and some are never heard from again.

There seems to be two distinct types of bloggers, a) those who are interested only in writing their posts and, b) those who are interested in writing their posts and being part of the interaction they generate . While we all start out with visions of Pulitzer prize winning posts, many of us end up being attracted the community aspect that blogging can create, but it’s those in group (a) that seem to last longer.

So while I was thinking about it, I thought of the evolutionary process that I’ve I’ve gone through (mostly milestone events), I’ll list them, you may have had the same experience (although maybe not in the same order).

  • Discovering what blogs are.
  • An interest in blogging.
  • Initial participation through commenting.
  • The creation of a blog.
  • The first post.
  • The first comment you get.
  • Someone links to you.
  • You’re added to a blogroll.
  • You’re tagged for a meme.
  • Someone sends you an email, as opposed to a comment.
  • The first time you get an award.
  • You send an email, as opposed to a comment.
  • The first time you give an award.
  • A blog buddy stops blogging.
  • You think about stopping.
  • You get a big response saying you should stay.
  • Your head swells to the size of a basketball.
  • You keep posting.
  • The first time you’re dropped of a blogroll.
  • You wonder where all those people who begged you to stay have gone.

There was a group of about 20 or so people who started blogging around the same time I did, of that group only about 5 still blog regularly, some have gone forever while some post every couple of months. Sometimes I just can’t help but feel like everyone has left the party and I’m still sitting here, left behind and wondering what the heck happened, and where did everyone go; and feeling rather melancholy about it all.

Of course, there are the other, newer bloggers that do come into your little corner of the blogosphere, and some of them become good friends too, but it’s just that little bit harder to relate, because while they’re all excited about being tagged, and in turn are eager to tag you, you just can’t help appearing to be a little arrogant or a little aloof by giving a big ‘ho-hum’ to it all.

Now before the comments start… this is not a post telegraphing my intention to quit blogging, nor is it a post written to elicte sympathy comments, it’s simply a post outlining what I’ve been reflecting on lately. If there’s anything that this post was written for, it is to expresss my surprise at how deep the sense of loss is when a blog buddy calls it quits.

Then of course there’s the blog buddies that you used to have a relationship with, but for whatever reason doesn’t seem to be there anymore despite both of you still blogging regularly, that’s a different kind of sadness. And a different post…