Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Good Old Days of Blogging

I miss blogging.

I don't mean I miss doing it; obviously, I'm still doing it. See me type?

I miss blogging when it was new. Fresh. Exciting. Kind. Honest.

I miss blogging back when the CWO blogring had about 100 blogs and you could hope to surf over and check out at least most of them.

I miss blogging when layouts were still mostly simple. When there was one queen and her court was small. I could keep up with the goings on back then. There was a weekly theme, and there was a special event. And that was it. And it was fun.

I miss blogging back when if I commented on your blog, you might come to mine and reciprocate the greeting in my comment section. Now, instead, my email box is full of "Re:" from people who feel obliged to make nice--because they're building toward a commercial blog.

I miss blogging back before there were ads in the sidebars. What's next? Sandwich boards in our foyers? Even worse is the product placement. For instance, can you tell the difference between a homeschool mom who lists and links her curriculum choices for the year from the one who has been paid to talk up a buzz about products that may or may not actually live on her bookshelf?

Are you shocked?

Well, sadly that kind of thing happens all. the. time. Maybe in homeschool circles; maybe not. The first time I got caught in the web of friendly deceit with a blogger who was exploiting her cyber "friends" with subtle product placement, I felt duped. I don't like feeling duped.

I miss the good old days when blogging was free and honest.

Back when ladies didn't push the envelope, selling out their kids and husbands for a cheap laugh. For the love of money. Or stats.

Back when ladies didn't build their base with a constant barrage of inflammatory statements about my Savior's name.

I miss blogging when it was more like iced tea on the neighbor's front porch than an annual staff meeting in a hotel ballroom.

How about you? Where are you in the journey? Months? Years? Do you feel competitive? Do you feel motivated or discouraged? Do you feel addicted or exhilarated?


Pam--in Jerusalem said...

I'm with you. I'm still relatively new at the whole thing (16 months), but I've been reading them longer than I've been writing, and it definitely has changed.
For me, at first, it was really exciting to see how many comments I could get, and I felt, I don't know, ?loved?, if I had a bunch of readers. I think I'm passed that now. Now I only worry about keeping up with friends and family... you know, the reason I started blogging in the first place!

MiPa said...

I was reading some of my old stuff this week and wondering when my voice got lost in memes only and occassional posts. For me the change has been the needs of my children and my home these last few months, but I do miss the honesty that I attempted when I first started. (and the email conversations we often had after) Maybe this post is what I need to motivate me. Thanks for sharing your heart.

yofed said...

I must admit I also do get annoyed with all those "commercial" blogs, it really ruins a good thing!

In my case, I blog mostly to keep my family (who leaves far away) on what is going on in our house, with the kids, etc. I do enjoy reading other blogs, mostly by other homeschool moms (I am still new in that adventure).

Well, I hope that missing the good old days wont keep you from blogging, because I really like reading you! :D

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

I've been doing this for about two years. I am admittedly very unsavvy about blog stuff. Up until about 6 months ago, I wasn't even sure how those technical wizards managed to respond to my comments with an RE:, LOL! I'm not kidding! And I try not to do them for the very reason you mention. I prefer to go and visit the blogs of those who visit me. Still, after two years, I feel like a novice in many ways.

For example, you mentioned product placement. Really? The way they strategically put stuff in movies to influence you to buy it? I didn't know about that either. I feel dumb for not even knowing about that.

I don't do ads, but I tend to be more understandong about those because some ladies are pretty up front about the fact that they need to make some extra money for their families. As a matter of fact, when they are up front about it, I actually click on the ads so that they get credit for the hit.

As for pushing the envelope: GUILTY AS CHARGED. I admit that I have crossed the line at least once(probably more but was too obtuse to know it), but I quickly repented, publicly, on my blog, the same way I crossed the line publicly. I've also avoided political posts ever since though I'll admit I'm itching to do one now. But I won't, LOL!

Sorry for the dissertaion but this post really made me think. Thanks for writing it. As always, you know how to get to the heart of the matter.

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

It's me again! I said I'd been blogging about 2 years, but then I decided to go back and see when my first post was: It was June 27, 2007. That's only a year and 4 months. It feels like I've "known" you all so much longer!

Madeleine said...

I agree!

Blogging is my place to come and write down our simple life. I am amazed how much I forget....from last week!!! I love going bakc and remembering, reflecting.

So what if no one comments?? So what if other people have 2847 friends?? This is life, and its just as precious.

I have noticed the competition, the product placement, the cheap laughs.

But still, there are a few who I enjoy, for they challenge, they refresh, they encourage, they build up.

Thanks for being one of them!

karly said...

Do you remember about this time last year I hung up my blogging hat (only later to come back?) Well, this year I am just as busy as then and just can't. keep. up. with all the, well, what you just said. But, I am not quitting this time. Just doing what I feel like doing and no longer trying to keep up with the Blogger's. Because of all you just said. And because, sometimes, before I know it, I do feel competitive and addicted, and I need to stop and put my best toward the real people with whom I live, not toward the blogging world.

By the way, well said.

Kari said...

All of that is a small part of why I keep leaving behind blogs...For having been caught up in it for a little while (*hangs head*) as much as anything else.

And then I always end up coming "back." There's something addictive about the venue. But then, maybe in part what's addictive is the opportunity to grow. To blog along for a while only to look back and see where you have been wrong...and to repent. And to grow in Christ because of it...

Barb said...

I'm about two and a half years into the journey. It has changed, but at least for me, I think it feels different because I pretty much still travel in the same circle of friends I've traveled in since I started blogging. I can sense that we've all settled down a little and are more comfortable with each other, to the point that although we still read each other, we don't always leave comments.

I don't think my writings have changed much - still yakking on and on about my day to day life and of course my family.

I'm not expressing this very well, but for me, I feel more comfortable with it now and although I do see some people really "working" it out here, it doesn't bother me. I have BlogHerAds in my sidebar now and the extra income I get from them helps me and Rob, believe it or not, buy groceries. :-) So it doesn't bother me to see ads because I understand. I have to use the money for groceries but maybe someone else is stashing it into a college fund.

Funny you would post this. It's been on my mind a lot lately, how the whole feel of blogging has evolved, for me, into something I'm honestly more comfortable with. I do remember it all making me very nervous when I first started.

Free In Christ said...

You know that is exactly how I've been feeling, and of course couldn't put my finger on it. I feel your pain. Thanks for the honesty.

Classic MaMa said...

:) I think I'm still the same: blogging about poop, movies, school and loving Jesus. I tend also to read others who blog about similar things. I don't generally like those big blogs.

Blogging, for me, has really been a way of keeping up with my mommy friends. I see them at church and get to wave to them as they drop this kid off and pick that one up, but I never got to talk to them long enough to really know them. Now I know them--poop stories and all.

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Terry...your blog didn't come to mind when I mentioned "inflammatory." I certainly don't mind being made to think, which your blog often causes me to do. Sincerity is king; motivation is everything for me.

Barb...your blog is the clear exception imho. I've never felt duped over there, and find that you have been so transparent about your ads and situation that being a help to your husband by taking on ads and giveaways is as much a part your life as is your dog, or grandbabies...or Febreeze.

sara said...

I don't mind homemaker's making a little cash by plugging products they actually like and use especially when they are honest about what they are doing. Of course, I tend to be immune to most forms of advertising because I'm cheap. :-D

I tend toward the addicted side but I think I might be slowly learning balance. If my head is all day in blogland even when I'm not on the computer, if I'm thinking about sitting in front of the screen even when I'm having fun with my family, if I can't just shoot out a post quickly off the top of my head, then I know it's time for a break. I usually need about a one week break every four to six weeks. And that's a cold turkey computer break.

Thank you for telling me about bloglines, btw. Very helpful.

Barb said...

Thank you for that, GB. I hope everyone who reads me knows, as you do, that being deceptive simply isn't in my makeup. Sometimes I think I'm a little TOO transparent. LOL

Catherine R. said...

You mean my cat litter cake and picture on my Costco card are a cheap laughs?

J/K that was first class comedy, I am sure of it.

Well, this is a thoughtful post. I feel pressured to blog sometimes, as though people will stop reading when I'm 9 months pregnant and too brain dead to do it. Maybe they will. Who cares!

I have been doin' it for about 9 months total and I have grown a lot in terms of what I think is the purpose of my blog.

Maybe I will now start a post in my drafts about blogging because of this. said...

In my opinion, ignorance is bliss.

I only tend to check the blogs on my sidebar, and am drawn to the non-commercial ones, like yours.

I don't like when they're bogged down with ads in the sidebars. Too gaudy! I like simple. And I like women who are willing to share their work and their hearts, or the other way around. I like getting new ideas and actually putting them into practice.

I leave comments because I feel like I've stopped by for a glass of iced tea on the front porch. I can't imagine even frequenting a blog I wasn't willing to comment on. It just seems rude.

Look hard--you can find some authentic bloggers out there. We're still around.

missy said...

I really dislike the ads, honestly, but even worse are the paid posts! I feel bamboozled into reading a commercial. Ugh.

There have been a couple of blogs I stopped reading because of them, but a couple I stuck with despite them, too. Depends on how much I enjoy the rest of the blog, I suppose!

I go through periods of not wanting to blog and then loving it again. I guess I do it for the feeling of being connected and finding friends all over the country that I wouldn't have otherwise. I have also found great comfort at times knowing I can post something and have a couple of dozen ladies (and a couple of men) praying for me soon after. Very cool!

I do my best to stay true to myself, but I have had a couple of posts I held back on out of fear of offending or scaring people away. I've probably posted some I shouldn't have from time to time! I hope that during those times people realize if my blog was perfect 100% of the wouldn't be real, since I am not perfect 100% of the time!

As a side note, I consider yours one of my favorite...and I'm not just trying to kiss up to you to drive up traffic, I promise!!


Dillo said...

Being "a bear of very little brain," I haven't really thought about all that stuff. And, I'm a father,and public schooler, so my takes obviously a wee bit different.

I write and shoot pics because something in my soul won't let me do otherwise.

Bottom line for me is that I continue to visit blogs SUCH AS YOURS, that I find refreshing, challenging and enjoyable. And, yes, that feel like I'm visiting an old friend, not a business.

As long as you continue to sit on your porch swing and invite us to come by, you'll meet those that enjoy the simplicity of the swing, the taste of the tea, and the richness of the heart connection.

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

I'll have two pitchers ready for you, Dillo. You have your choice between sweet tea and colored water. Because that's how we do it in Texas. ;)

Robin said...

I'll join you if I may. I'll have the sweet tea. :)

Brenda said...

Two and a half years. Wow. Okay, so if you count my posts, it only adds up to maybe a year and a half, but still. Time do fly.

I hear you on the whole blogging for profit thing. It's kinda like being befriended by a Mary Kay consultant or Avon lady - you're not quite sure whether they're after your friendship or your business.

As for me and my blog, we'll be making a comeback soon.

Courtney said...

I've only been writing for about six months, but when I started reading blogs a couple years ago, they were fun. Then a lot of them got big, complete with thousands of comments and ad laden sidebars, so I stopped reading. Now, almost all the blogs I visit are either people I actually know in real life or small town mamas just like me. They write to maintain their sanity in our hectic world of diapers, math lessons, what's for supper and most importantly how to best glorify God in all things. I don't mind the controversial once in a while. I'll talk politics on occasion, but it's not to offend or upset.
Just to show my techy ignorance, I still don't know how to RE: to a comment on my blog. Just keeping it real, folks.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

I signed on to a blogging ad network only to drop it for personal reasons I can't go into here.
As for other blogs' ads, I know a few who do it for a little extra income. As long as the writer is honest with their intent, it doesn't bother me.
Great picture of Fifi, btw!!

jan said...

I have a love/hate relationship with blogs and blogging. It was good for me to take a break, travel across the country and back and rest from it. It lost it's "importance" and now I'm able to keep it in perspective again. The world doesn't need my blog or my comments to keep spinning. :-)

edie+steve said...

Wow, this post has hit own too. Since I am very new to blogging, it certainly makes me think about the blogs I like and why. I do tend to gravitate to the ones that are the most 'pure' manipulation. I wish I had the benefit of knowing blogland 'back when'. You are a gifted writer and thinker. Thank you!