Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Consciousness of Blogging

There are so many great writers in the blogosphere who have the ability to make me think, laugh, weep, and be grateful for their willingness to put it ‘out there’. Many of them don’t know me, which is one of a thousand fine points that make this concept of blogging so cool and unique. I am sure that they would love to see a comment from me because anyone who has a blog enjoys comments. But sometimes I hide under my shell. (I don’t like the term ‘lurk’) In recent weeks I find myself joining the conversation more and more, and it’s not as awkward as I had imagined. In fact, it feels really good to make the connection with the writers whose words have brought me so much laughter, insight and inspiration. I really should put together a list of the blogs I visit, not necessarily to follow the “rules” of blogging, but to give you a sampling of some of these terrific bloggers.

I read blogs and use other online communities (like Ci Circle, Listen-Up, Apraxiakids, etc.) as a parenting tool but also as a way to feed my brain something creative and exceptionally personal. I love the various communities I’ve found, particularly for their warmth and support, but also their wealth of experience and knowledge. They have helped me get through some tough stuff and have educated me in ways that I never expected.

The more blogs and comment threads I read, the more fascinated I become with the politics of it all. I guess anywhere you have humans interacting you will have expectations and some sort of political framework upon which these interations are based. Whether it’s collectively understood or overtly ignored is what makes it so interesting to me. Maybe politics isn’t the right term; it’s more like social networking mechanics and/or dynamics. For instance, one of the reasons I’m not much of a commentor on other blogs is due to the fact that I don’t want anyone to think that I expect them to start reading and commenting me in return. Chances are good that I would really like that, but it’s never an expectation of mine. What a mind game, huh?

Why should I (or anyone!) hesitate to stretch out in the blogging community? Why haven’t I left many comments for my favorite writers? After all, comments are the currency that sets a blog apart from any other printed word. Blogs enable everyone writing and reading them to join a discussion and possibly even form relationships. How cool is that?

As for Ethan’s World, I think that realistically a blog about my son and his life isn’t material that is particularly compelling to many people. I do have reader loyalty, such as family members, friends, and parents of children with similar backgrounds. I write for whoever is willing to read, but I find myself really craving the communal aspect of it all. Is this the lonely stay at home mother coming to the surface? I’m not sure how to bring ‘lurkers’ out from under their shells, but I hope in the future to get to know some of you who haven’t yet said ‘hello’.

Note: If this were my husband’s blog, there would be all sorts of incentives such as free boat rides, angel sightings, door prizes, and a whole slew of other whacky prizes. But I don’t make promises unless I’m sure I can deliver, and the boat rides would be really hard to pull off at this point.


Eileen said...

Hi Heather! Sorry, not a lurker, just plain old me. I have no idea how I ended up at your blog when I started blogging, but I am so glad I did. I love your blog, hearing about Ethan and his world and I consider you a good friend. Funny how this blogging works.
However, I wanted to say how excited I am for you because I have noticed how many comments you are getting now. I think it is GREAT!!! People are figuring out how lucky they would be to have you in their world. So, Lurkers, for lack of a better word, do yourself a huge favor and pop in and say Hello. You will be so glad you did. XOXO

Anonymous said...

maybe you should make a myspace blog too

Shiloh said...

Hello Heather,
I am not a lurker on your blog, but I must admit to doing it on others. I have this fear of rejection thing...if I comment on a blog and I don't hear back from the person, I assume they are not interested in hearing from me. So as of lately, I have not commented on many new blogs I see. Maybe I will get over this. I hope I do because it seems kind of "high school" to me. Thanks for so candidly speaking your mind. You are truly a person I am blessed to know through blogging!

slouching mom said...

I'm here because your warmth came through in the comments you left on my blog, and I clicked over to see if I was right about that warmth.

And I was.

I love to read mamas with big hearts, and you are one. And I'm also interested in finding out what it feels like to parent a child who cannot hear. I'd think that would bring some unique parenting challenges.

jen said...

what slouching mom said. (very well, i might add)

Tyler's Personal Assistant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler's Personal Assistant said...

Hi Heather! Victory is yours -- a lurker is coming out of hiding!!! My son just received simultaneous bilateral implants last month. I have been reading your blog for months now -- I find it very informative, and truth be told, Ethan is so adorable -- I just have to follow his story! Thanks for putting yourself "out there." :)

Heather said...

Hi to you all, and thanks for all the warm words!

Tyler's personal assistant, do you have a blog? Would love to hear your story!

Philip. said...

I have only been a blooger for a short time but have met many wonderful people through it.

Sometimes I lurk, sometimes I just wade in a comment.

I enjoy getting comments on my blogs, it's really nice when people take the time to read what I have to say (even if half of the time it isn't anything mind-blowing).

Mrs. Chicken said...

I think your journey with your son is fascinating. I hope to hang around and see how things develop for you and Ethan.

I'm glad you're out there!

And ditto what slouching mom said.

Oh, The Joys said...

I don't expect comments back in return to those I leave, there are just some posts I read that I feel more comfortable leaving something behind that acknowledges the writing and effort.

Reciprocal commenting is nice - if the blogger has time - of course, but not a requirement.

I love watching how it all works too. That might be a big part of what keeps me in it.