There has been a lot of talk lately among bloggers about how the game is changing. There seems to be less community-minded bloggers and more bloggers interested in personal gain. Twitter has become a mouthpiece to announce a bloggers latest post and expound projects they are working on instead of a place for conversation can happen. Comments on blog posts have dropped off in recent months on most blogs. Is this a sign of a change in the make-up of blogging?
1. What blogging communities do you belong to? I run Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday and Boston Bloggers. I co-host Fashionista Giveaway Events. I’m also a member of IFB and occasionally jump in on the Everybody Everywear meme. I also am on Pose and Instagram, although I don’t think you could legit call those a blogging community.
2. What do you think the role of community is in blogging? To me, blogging is all about the community, and that is what makes it so successful and so necessary. Traditional media is a one-sided endeavor. The writer does her research, write the piece and it’s printed/posted. Readers can comment online or send an old-school letter to the editor but there isn’t too much back and forth that happens. Blogging changes all of that because it thrives on being able to interact with the writer herself.
Beyond the actual pages of a blog, I think community is also important in connecting, growing and learning. The Boston Bloggers events are well attended, I think in part, because people like getting together with other bloggers and being able to talk shop. It isn’t everyday that you can stand around talking about pagerank, unique visitors and html coding. Their is a sense of belonging and encouragement there.
And lastly I think community, as in the geographic location, is important as well. Maybe I’m spoiled living in Boston. But this place is a very blogger friendly city. Retailers and restaurants are constantly reaching out to bring the blogging community together around an event. It’s great to see familiar faces and also work with local businesses.
3. Blog comments, twitter interactions and meaningful Facebook threads have decreased in the last several months. What are your thoughts on why that is? I think time is the big culprit. Time and perhaps misplaced personal agendas. Time is a killer of community because you need it in order to create meaningful dialogue. Without being able to find the time, Twitter and Facebook remain just a mouthpiece for blog posts. And comments on the blog go unanswered by the actual blogger.
And misplaced personal agendas… I don’t think anyone sets out with the idea they are the be-all-end-all of blogging (at least I hope not). But I do think sometimes we all get caught up in the idea of perks and turning this into a full-time profession. We tend to focus more on the self-promotion and jumping on the bandwagon of things that seem guaranteed to make us popular fast. As a result we lose sight of what blogging is really all about and why we started our blog in the first place.
4. How do you cultivate community around your blog? I admit these last 6 months have been bad for me. My job is pulling at me in an unhealthy way and I am therefore dedicating less and less time to the community. Still I work at keeping FBFF active as well as planning Boston Blogger events every 6-8 weeks. I’m also trying to host more giveaways as a way of giving back to my faithful readers and thanking them for the time they take to read my posts.
5. If you could make one resolution to be a better community member what would it be? I need to get back into the habit of blogging commenting – on my own blog as well as that of other bloggers. It takes time, but I do find it one of the most rewarding parts of the blogger experience.
What are your thoughts? If you are a reader or a blogger have you seen the community and interaction change over the years?