Fellow Citizens of the Blog World:
I come to you today with the tale of a conversation between myself and a friend of mine. A friend in real life (no abbreviation necessary), and a friend on-line. My friend is a dedicated reader and follower of my blog. He has no blog of his own, but he has his own internet presence that he is fiercely proud of. I'm proud of it too. He is a great, great friend of mine.
My friend, lately, has been choosing to comment on my blog posts via text messages to my mobile phone. I chastise him occasionally about it, asking him to comment on my blog instead. You know, just to make me feel like somebody is reading the drivel that I irregularly write here. But he is a smartphone guy, as many of us are as well. Not that you are all guys, but you know what I mean. And, in his case, he uses Flipboard to view my blog. It's a great viewing tool, but it's not a great interacting tool. For him to comment on my blog would require him to pass through 2 or 3 screens and then, if he hasn't been attached to Google for a while, log in to leave a comment. That would now be 4 or 5 steps to leave a pithy, mostly sarcastic comment. Much too much, if you ask me. So he just texts me.
That makes sense to me.
It also worries me.
Here is the issue. I'm not sure why I'm doing this anymore. I'm not sure why anyone is doing this anymore. I look to my last several posts and I find one or two loyal commenters that will acknowledge that they are reading the drivel I am posting.With a pithy, mostly sarcastic comment generally. And I appreciate them and those pithy, sarcastic comments. It does make me a bit sad to see that the discussion that I so looked forward to in the past is now mostly gone. And that so many of my beloved blog friends have either given up, gone private or have made a decision to post less often.
All of that saddens me. Because blogging is something that I love. And I don't mean to use the word "love" lightly. Blogging has been an important part of my life for seven or eight years now. It is something that has given me a great deal of pleasure, sometimes a great deal of pain, sometimes it has introduced me to new friends. I wouldn't give up those last seven or eight years for anything. I cherish them. Blogging has been an outlet in more ways than one for me that has been massively positive in any way that I choose to think about it.
I don't know what my blog traffic statistics are. I never look at them. I wouldn't know what a page view meant if it woke me up in the morning, slapped me on the ass and gave me a hand-job. What I do feel like I am aware of is the community. The blogging community. You and I. And that is something that I feel is slipping away. I'm a part of that decline, I readily admit. I rarely visit or comment on any other blog than my own. Feed readers, Twitter, smartphones and tablets have conspired against our great union. I'm as much to blame as anyone. Worse, most likely. It is so much easier to flip through blog posts in my reader and occasionally interact on Twitter than to take the time to actually visit a blog and comment. And there is that word again.
Such an important word.
That's why I got into blogging. At first, I was merely a commenter on various blogs. I probably left anonymous comments on many of your blogs before I created my own blog-identity. For me, that was the fun. And starting my own blog was a natural progression of that fun. I wanted a place to tell my own stories and interact with those who might find them interesting. As I found their stories and lives interesting.
I still find all of your stories interesting. But I haven't been keeping up with my end of the bargain. Interacting with you to let you know how much they interest me. Or just to make a wee bit of fun of you. Either way, it's the process of walking down the internet road and shaking hands with you for a job well done. Or poorly done. That part of it doesn't even matter. It's the effort that makes it all worthwhile.
I'm here to tell you that I'm not giving up. Never.
I'm going to try to be a better blog-friend from here on out. I'm going to attempt to be a little bit more interactive with the rest of you. I'm going to try to put my smartphone and my tablet down and pick up my laptop when going through my feed reader. Because it's easier for me to type on that/this, you see. And I'm going to try to visit your actual blogs more often. And, gasp, maybe even comment every once in a while. That would be something I really want to do once again. Because, like I said, that's why I got into the game in the first place.
I hope you don't read this and feel guilty about not visiting my blog and commenting more often. Well, 94% of me feels that way. A part of me yearns for that interaction. A part of me needs it. I'm just trying to express how I feel about the state of our union and the steps I want to take to bring myself back to what drew me here in the first place.
I want to interact with you. I want a discussion. I want silliness and seriousness and everything in between.
I want you, and I hope you want me.
The Earl of The United Nations of Blogwhateveryouwanttocallit