>> Feb 12, 2010
It would be devastating if this were to happen to the parent blogging community.
I refuse to get into the whole 'cliques in parenting blogging' thing again, it is neither fun nor productive, but I do think there is a them and us rift appearing. Those that feel they fit and are included and those that feel they don't - there is no dennying that some people feel very strongly that they don't nor that they feel angry about it.
I am new around here, I in no way consider myself a 'top blogger' or any of that nonsence but I do feel that I fit into this community. My personal experience has been that of a welcoming and friendly place with lots of little friendly groups within groups, groups that over lap like a ven diagram and groups that join to others with funny little arrow links like a mindmap chart. What I haven't yet found is a group that stands solidly, singularly on its own excluding all others.
This community is full of diverse people all with different interests, hobbys, styles and humour and I adore the way all the different people flit about and fit in to lots of different places all at the same time. The idea that some are standing by feeling hurt and thinking that other bloggers are mean and cliquey makes me feel so sad. And yet at the same time it would be ridiculous to suggest that all those top bloggers or those that feel at home in the community should stand at the gates waving the newcomers in and taking them under their wing -the poor guys wouldn't have any time left for their own blogging.
But perhaps we can help in another way, maybe we can all offer a little advice, help those that feel they are on the outside to help themselves. What can people do to feel more at home in the blogging community?
These are my thoughts:
I am a new blogger myself. As you can see from my archives I only started blogging here in October and I am now in the tots100 index and consider myself to have a lot of good bloggy and twitter friends.
Did I find it hard to get to know other bloggers and make friends? No. I blogged, I commented, I barged into conversations on Twitter and made an effort to get to know people and people talked back. They were more than welcoming, I felt instantly included. And likewise now if people comment on my blog or tweet me I try to make a point to engage in conversation. Some people I click with, some I don't, some days I'm just far too busy with real life to spend much time running around the internet.
Two things that wont get you many followers/readers are:
1. Sitting back and expecting people to come to you or people to instantly befriend you because you tweeted hello to them once or twice. You need to make more of an effort than that, get involved in conversations several times, comment on their blogs and other blogs that they read so they see you around.
2. Holding the people that are 'successful' bloggers responsible for you not feeling like you fit in. It is both unfair (they are all also busy parents and many of them working parents at that, and don't always have time for everyone in their immediate circle of friends in their real lives let alone online strangers - we all have to prioritise our time) and counter productive.
Rather than aiming at breaking that top group of influential bloggers as so many seem to do and then become bitter about not achieving, people should concentrate on enjoying blogging. There are over 1000 UK mummy and daddy bloggers out there, make friends with ones that will speak to you (you'll find yourself befriended and ignored by bloggers from all over the ranking scale), whose blogs you enjoy and who you like tweeting with. If you do this and build up friendships you will quickly gather readers to your blog - assuming you have stuff worth reading on there.
These people you connect with may or may not be those top few, but does that make them less worth knowing? I don't think so - I'm certainly not one of these top few myself nor are most of my readers and friends. There are plenty of funny, entertaining, witty men and women out there, go and find some you want to be friends with, build you own tribe/circle of friends/clique or whatever you want to call it, and stop worrying about the rest.
What would your advice be? I am sure you have been left standing at the sidelines at some point in your life, feeling left out and lonely. What would you suggest to bloggers that feel this way?
Are you fairly new, what did you do to intergrate yourself into the community?
Are you one of the bloggers that feels left out? Do you want to ask some advice? Feel free to ask in the comments or if you don't feel brave enough, email me (see the contacts link on the menu bar) or DM me on Twitter. I might not have the answer but I will certainly answer you and try to help.
And please, anybody that feels they don't fit in, they are friendless, picked on, left out, feel free to join me on twitter @notesfromlapland I know I'm not one of those cool top bloggers but you never know, I might be worth getting to know and I'm always happy to chat.