Blogging Community – an FBFF post

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?


 

Katy Rose

39 thoughts on “Blogging Community – an FBFF post

  1. Nnenna

    We are of the same mind Katy- I think that community is so important in blogging! We also have the same goal for question #5. I’ve been trying to be better recently about spreading the comment love and it’s a great way to discover new-to-me blogs! :)
    Nnenna recently posted..FBFF: Blogging Community

    1. katyrose Post author

      Yeah, I miss the back and forth that happened when we all worked to comment on the other’s blog posts. I need to get back to that. – Katy

  2. Stevie

    I agree time is a big culprit in this. I know when I was unemployed and started blogging- early 2011, I would scroll through blogs for hours- commenting, reading everything. Now, working 2 jobs, trying to keep up my own blog, and moving- there is just no time for me to do that. I miss it. A lot actually. I think with everyone being so busy it’s changing the blogging world. Who knows what will happen- all I know is that I hope to be able to connect more soon. :)
    Stevie recently posted..Everyone needs #Hope… Jewels For Hope!

    1. katyrose Post author

      Same story for me, sorta. I started while freelancing full time so it was part of my everyday writing routine. But now I am working a 60+ hour a week job and fitting blogging and community in has become much more of a challenge. – Katy

  3. Penny Pincher Fashion

    I agree with you – one of the best things about blogging is the sense of community, but it definitely doesn’t come on it’s own. I’ve tried to make it a point to comment & support as many other fashion blogs as I can…but it is quite a time commitment to get through them all each morning! :)
    Penny Pincher Fashion recently posted..4 Ways to Wear ~ Bright Blazer

    1. katyrose Post author

      I’ve started scheduling some time each week to just read and comment on other blogs. There are so many great bloggers out there that I want to support and encourage with something as simple as my comments.

  4. Dancing Branflake

    One of my blogging friends and I were just talking about that continued lack of correspondence and connections in blogging. It definitely has decreased and I think Stevie was right- when people started their blogs they were looking for an answer and a help with their identity because they were either looking for a job or starting a new phase in their lives. Now that they have gotten there, blogging has gone by the wayside for a lot of people.

    1. katyrose Post author

      I hadn’t really thought about that until it was mentioned, but it’s true. I started when I was working from home writing. It was a fun creative outlet. Now that I switched jobs, juggling everything has become much more of a challenge. I also think the number of outside sites that we feel required to be on (Instagram, Pinterest, etc…) has taken up the time we used to spend reading others and commenting.

    1. katyrose Post author

      I’m from Chicago but haven’t been a blogger in that part of the world yet. I’m curious as to how the community is there. Do you guys get together often? Support each other with events and such? Would love to know more.

      1. Lena - @elenka29

        There are probably around 100 or so bloggers here. There is stuff going on – brand related and blogging events. The bloggers in the city probably do meet much more often. It’s a bit of a drive for me. One way or the other I meet few people every month. I have met a whole bunch last fall and keeping in touch with some
        Lena – @elenka29 recently posted..Upcoming Food Drive in Mundelein, IL

  5. MJ

    I liked the questions for this week because I’ve been noticing the decline in blogger interaction lately. I agree that time is a big culprit, especially with new platforms like Pinterest and Instagram taking off. I miss the days when we would get into really good FBFF convos on our blogs and via Twitter. I agree that now it seems people do have more of a personal agenda than actually engaging with the community.
    MJ recently posted..Friend Friday: Blogging Community

    1. katyrose Post author

      MJ – I agree I think FBFF is a good indicator of how community has changed. There used to be dozens of people doing the daily prompts, leaving comments, discussing. But that has changed a lot now. It’s such a shame.

  6. Kathleen

    I agree that twitter and sometimes facebook has been about promoting posts more than conversation but I dont think it’s all that bad. I am a member of lots of blogging communities and we help each other out with all sorts of things as well as just chat about regular stuff. I love using twitter to find blog posts on blogs I don’t have time to read and many of us are sharing posts from other blogs, not just our own. I am happy with the way things are going right now.
    Kathleen recently posted..Making Time For Your Spouse (The Mommy Mindset)

    1. katyrose Post author

      I agree there are a lot of great FB communities that do help each other out. But I think that is one of the things that is changing about how the community functions. It used to be those conversations happened on the blog, in comments and such. Now they happen on the FB groups and we convince our friends to leave comments on posts. I love the FB communities and all they entail but I miss the old way too. I think both could co-exist.

  7. morgan @ {xoxo, me}

    Being new to the blogging game, it’s hard to really see the changes. I will say, though, that I started blogging so that I could have a much needed creative outlet. After actually starting my blog, I’ve realized that the community of bloggers is a whole new world within itself. And I must say, it’s amazing. It’s something I literally had no idea about, but it’s fabulous, and I do think it’s extremely important for bloggers to engage in the community and form relationships with other bloggers. It’s nice to have the kind of support from like-minded people that the blogging community gives you.

    ALSO, it was great meeting you last night! Thanks for organizing the event. I loved it and am already looking forward to the next one!

    1. katyrose Post author

      Morgan – great meeting you too. I will say that when I first started I was surprised to see the blogging was such a community. It really is pretty impressive how so many people collaborate and work together supporting each other.

  8. Still Blonde after all these YEARS

    I have been using Facebook groups much more and as such that has cut down on my blog commenting. But I know I have built stronger relationships that way.

    Also, I believe commenting has fallen off because of Google. A lot of people used to comment to become a recongnized authority, to build community but also for the backlinks. Now everyone nofollows their comments so the incentive to comment is no longer there.

    I have recently started commenting more for my facebook group members as a way to support them. This seems to be my new way of creating community. I think the model isn’t broken, just evolving!

  9. Karren Haller

    Since I started blogging in 2009 the blogging scene has totally changed like so many above have commented. It seems as though everyone is looking for the biggest event to have on their blog and less in personal communication with their readers, thus less interaction. The other is product reviews, when I first started that was not so much a priority, now it is a daily task and a way that bloggers need the interaction to impress the brands to be able to get more products for review. My inbox is full of them, it seems that blogging has its cycles and what I am hoping for, is a change back to the interaction with blogger/readers and believe what Shelley says about helping bloggers through FB. I’m really curious to know if Raffeltopter helps or not with stats…………… Then there is Pinterest that has come on the scene and bloggers use, including me. I could go on and on but would be curious to keep reading this blog post. Kati I hope to connect, thanks Karren
    http://ohmyheartsie.blogspot.co
    Karren Haller recently posted..{Event} Win Coupon Bundles

    1. katyrose Post author

      I’d like to see us go back to the blogger/reader interaction on the blogs through comment threads. And I think the FB groups and those interactions could be an added bonus that helps us all. It’s true there are so many outlets and each adds to the blog in their own way but they also subtract from the amount of time we get to spend actually blogging and interacting in a more personal way. – Katy

  10. A Brit Greek

    I didn’t get a chance to comment earlier after my RT… def not enough characters to say what I wanna say! Great post Katy, definitely get what you’re saying about what’s going on in blogosphere… On my part, time is a huge deal, I only joined Twitter end of last year and Pinterest earlier this year – both totally consuming me to bits! But I always try to get around to everyone who has left me a comment – it works both ways and I also like to comment back on someone else’s blog if they’ve mentioned something/asked something etc.

    The blog community is so very important to me, just because I don’t get to comment every single time on everyone else’s blogs (myblogroll), I do visit as often as I can for a good read… and comment on something that draws me in (if i’m busy, it’ll be a one liner) & also to let them know i’m still around.
    x.o.x.o
    A Brit Greek recently posted..Visions of a Colour-Filled Summer

    1. katyrose Post author

      I’ll admit I didn’t get in it for the community, but now it is one of the things that I love and value the most. I have had the chance to ‘meet’ in person and online so many great and talented individuals. It really has made this whole experience so much more meaningful and rich.

  11. Aeryn Lynne

    There’s that old adage “Nothing lasts forever,” which sucks and is totally frustrating. 😉 I can see how blogs are not what they used to be. I do belong to a bunch of blogging groups, but funnily enough, these groups are all managed on Facebook. And I’ve been using Twitter to do all kinds of things: gossip, catch up on local news and events, find out what people have blogged about recently, etc. I think blogging is still the most important form of communication (because of the free will you have to say or do whatever you want on it – not limited to characters, or how many photos you’d like to share at once, etc.), but there are so many other choices that can be easier to implement, it’s becoming… crowded? *shrugs*
    Aeryn Lynne recently posted..This Dress Needs to Be In My Closet Like Now

    1. katyrose Post author

      I agree I think blogging is an important form of communication and I don’t see it dying out in the years ahead. But certainly the way we go about promoting and interacting is going to change significantly. With all the other programs and such that are also part of blogging we are pulled in many different directions and all with the hope that it will bring people back to our site in the long run.

  12. Shea

    This is such an interesting conversation Katy. I’ve noticed this “trend” if you can call it that, but I didn’t really know it was such a widespread thing. I agree with you 100% that for me, the difficulty of being more active in the community (commenting, etc.) is time. It’s really hard to find a balance between putting yourself out there and forming/maintaining relationships with others. This was great stuff to think about, thanks!
    Shea recently posted..Neon Shorts, Dressed Up

  13. Libby's Library

    I’m technologically challenged, but have still found a way to be active with online communities. It’s amazing, that I have formed true friendships with people that I have never met in person. I’ve also learned so much from people in the communities that I belong to. Bloggers are the most open and generous individuals!
    Libby’s Library recently posted..Winds, Clouds & Choppy Water

  14. Emily

    Love this! Community is so important in blogging, and I agree you are the perfect person to speak on that :) Feel terrible that I couldn’t attend last night’s event, but I’m sure it was a blast as always!

  15. Melissa

    Couldn’t agree more! Being in two of the same blogging communities as you, I agree that we all learn so much and respect each other through our blogs. I love the support we all give each other!

  16. Cate Young (@promiscuouslola)

    I’m so glad that you mentioned personal agendas. It’s something that’s been nagging me of late too, and I mentioned in my post. I think that fashion bloggers are great at supporting each other when we want to, but unfortunately, the sisterhood seems to be waning.
    Cate Young (@promiscuouslola) recently posted..FBFF: Community in Blogging

  17. Jenny

    These were great questions this week Katy! I’m totally with you on #3 personal agendas, some bloggers have gotten swept up in the self promotion of it all. I wish I lived in a place that had blogger meetups, my city just isn’t big enough.
    Jenny recently posted..Friend Friday – Blogging Community

  18. Ashe @ Ash in Fashion

    “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.”

    I feel that in the past few years I could be accused of being a bad community member. And at the heart of it– time is the culprit. Moving back to take an emotionally and mentally taxing job in theatre (with many weeks of 50-60 hours there), cuts back on my blog time. And at the heart of it… something has to give. Is it producing new content? Decreasing the ways you communicate with your community? Self-promotion? Promoting others and interacting with their sites? For me… it’s all a little bit of all of them.

    I’ve lamented with many bloggers how much it’s all changed in the 5 years I’ve been doing it. Many days I wish blogging could go back to being what it is. But I also wish I had a life that gave me more time to put in to it like I was!
    Ashe @ Ash in Fashion recently posted..Beautiful Bodies: Interview with Elissa/Dress with Courage

  19. Gayle

    It’s so interesting to hear other people’s thoughts on this subject. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed that the level of blogger interaction has gone down recently.
    Gayle recently posted..FBFF: Blogging Community

  20. elizabeth

    first – thank you Katy for thursday night’s bostonblogger meet & greet. I’m new to blogging and being on the (kind of) older side, I’m used to more live and in-person interaction so this was a much needed night out. I, too, work and have a family so the hours are limited but I carve out time here and there for myself – whether it’s in my studio, posting or reading other blogs . I’ve gotten better about commenting, partly because I know how it feels when someone connects with something I’ve written but also because I’d love to feel more connected.

    I’ve moved around a ton so facebook as been a great way to stay in touch. I’ve found it’s really hard to pull my friends off of facebook to comment/interact so I’ve got a plugin that pulls comments from facebook and puts them in the posts. I agree that twitter can sometimes be a big promotional billboard but I will admit to using it as an RSS feed when I’m reading from my phone. as I’ve said it before, I’m incapable of live-tweeting/instagramming DURING events so for me it’s a nice way to recap or collect thoughts. I have no idea how people live-tweet conferences – I’d make a lousy stenographer.

    thanks for asking these questions. it’s something to consider as I tread thru the blogosphere. I post for me, as a running record of all the good/bad ideas I’ve got and if someone likes it along the way, then great. I think giving back to the blogosphere is just as important otherwise it’s just space-garbage.

    cheers and thanks again for hosting the meet & greet.
    – e
    (PS – that’s my back in the foreground of your instagram!)

  21. Jamillah

    I totally notice a dip in comments and I really don’t know if I feel so bad about it. I mean I comment on blogs and they don’t necessarily comment back and I don’t really keep that expectation mostly because I comment when I have something to say about their post and while I guess that could be a disheartening cycle for some for me it’s a real interaction and I want to be as genuine as possible…maybe they visited and had nothing to say, maybe they don’t take to my writing or blog and I just happen to like theirs; all these things are fine and I honestly would rather silence than a comment that was empty or forced.

    BUT I do miss conversations on twitter and the closeness I used to feel with other bloggers. I do my best to keep up but like Ashe I’ve started a new demanding job within the last six months and something has got to give with my time allotment and sadly it’s been participating more actively in community. Now don’t get me wrong you know I love meeting up and seeing my beautiful blogging friends in real life and I really do value the community. And I hope I’m not judged on the amount of commenting I do but really the thoughtfulness behind the commenting because I think that’s what really matters and if less comments means having comments that are more meaningful quite honestly I’d pick the latter.

    Also, I feel like this comment is a bit disjointed! My bee homie! But I’d like to add one more disjointed bit-I really admire you for bringing this up it; it’s been very interesting reading everyone’s takeaway.
    Jamillah recently posted..I Heart the Interent

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