Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors
Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs. A blog is just a diary unless there’s a community — start building yours.
Blogging is a communal experience; if you didn’t want anyone to read your posts, you’d keep a private diary. Today, begin engaging with the blogging community, the first step in building an audience.
When I saw the assignment for today, the lyrics to Mr. Rogers’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor popped into my head. Crazy I know, but periodically throughout the day I have heard echoing in my head as I thought about this assignment:
It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…
Managing to put Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood out of my mind, I thought it would take me 30 minutes, maximum. I already make it a habit of reading, commenting and following other blogs. In reality it took me hours. I got lost in reading the posts of my fellow bloggers.
I learned how to use the reader properly. As much as a geek I am, I still surprise myself when I am technologically challenged from time to time. When I first opened my WordPress account I selected two tags in my reader – Family and Red Sox, and never gave it much thought when I scrolled my reader. As I was adding tags, I learned that the reader filters by tags and does not display all the posts together. I have to click on the drop down box and my feed on my reader changes by topic/tag. Who knew? Apparently not me. It sounds very silly; hopefully I am not the only who ever made that mistake. I am usually pretty tech savvy; I am chalking this up to a brain freeze or a blonde moment.
I reviewed my tag cloud on from the sticks to the bricks and back again and added the followings topics to my reader: Racism in America, Writing 101, Loss, Procrastination, and Blogging 101. I also added Baseball (there were no posts tagged baseball which seemed wrong to me) and Softball (there were only two posts).
I decided to add my own twist in that I would follow one blog from each of the five topics I followed today. I connected with each of these bloggers on some level, sense of humor, similar interests or the like. The blogs I followed today are:
Blogging 101 – I enjoyed the sense of humor in Running Away to Booktopia, that we both like The Walking Dead and she had my interest when she stated in her first assignment: “My middle daughter was 3 years old before I finally finished the blanket I had started when I was 4 months pregnant with her.” Tugs at the strings of my procrastinating heart.
Racism in America – I found 20/20 Hines Sight to be totally candid and honest. She calls for a much needed discussion of racism in America and starts one on her blog. I am thrilled I found her blog and look forward to reading more.
Writing 101 – I found Grasshopper Girls to be delightful and whimsical. I loved in her Writing 101 post on three songs she included Disney’s Frozen on her list and not just because she’s the mother of two little girls. I was impressed by her use of social media – no matter which platform you are on her brand is recognizable. And in the true spirit of this exercise, she has already followed me back.
If you get a chance, check out my new neighbors on WordPress, their blogs are definitely worth a visit.