Friday, December 19, 2008

"Let's go round and round and round and round and r-o-u-nd"

Hey folks,

I've been pondering a clean up of the blog roll. Not so much a cull, although it feels a bit like that, but to take out the links to blogs that aren't being updated or I'm just not reading. There is only so much time in the day. It feels a bit like a snub, which is not what I intend, so that's put me off a bit. No doubt I'll rev up to it later in the month.

The whole 'quiet blog' thing got me thinking. I was going to ask: what keeps people blogging? But there's another side to that and that is: why do folk give up? Is it that it doesn't reward them in some way? Now, by reward, I mean emotional reward. I don't mean hit rate or comments but the act of feeling like you've done something. Could it be time? After all, is this a worthy investment of ones personal time? Do you have better things to do than empty your head on topics that have already been discussed? Maybe the blog acts as a record of a journey and once that's done, so the blog can be closed. Does fear come into it? What if you're spotted by someone? Gasp! Sure, the Internet is a big place but it's not *that* big. Maybe it's as the late Mr Williams supposedly said: "there's the element of the confessional." Maybes, but I'm not seeking forgiveness. If anything - and if I'm really, really honest - acceptance. That I think is most people want. But, hey, I could be wrong. ;-)

The truth of it is that I don't know for sure and can only speculate. I'm a curious person (Ed: a nice way of saying 'nosey cow') and I enjoy reading what other people have to say. When people stop writing, I do wonder where that takes them. What are they doing now?

Personally, my weekly output doesn't feel like a chore, more an indulgence. A bit of time to sit back and write about the good stuff that's happened. Equally, when I've felt a bit 'out of it' this blog has helped me. Perhaps more accurately, talking - if we can call this written medium that - about the issue du jour has helped. There's also the feedback I get. I get to hear people's experiences and a breadcrumb trail back to their blog.... to read what they want to talk about.

So that's me done for another action packed episode (Ed: ooo, the sarcasm). All I that remains is for me to wish you a very merry Christmas!

Take care
Lynn
x

[ Today's lyric: Round Round by The Sugababes. ]

16 comments:

  1. I blog when I am in the mood, and when I have something to say. Sadly I need both to post anything.

    If I have nothing to say, I don't even go near New Post. And if I have something to talk about, but am not in the mood (or have the nagging doubt of "but will anyone care?") then it stays offline.

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  2. I write because, er, well, I, er, do. :-)

    With the quantity of inanity I produce, I have to have, surely, some reason for inundating the world with my thoughts. I'm sure I do - but I have no idea what it is. I just like writing (I was published, once; and I nearly won a British poetry competition, far too many years ago), it's therapeutic, and it also helps me figure out my thinking on the issues of the day.

    Literally! There are times when I have no idea how I feel about a particular issue until I set pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. Other times, I simply want to write, and can't figure out what to write about; those usually become musings on a variety of topics. Still other times, I really want to make a point, and then I'll actually think about what I'm saying.

    I'm not concerned about reader-counts and the like; if I were, I'd do the targeted scribbling so beloved of many bloggers. Similarly, I'm not that keen on the "this is what I did, today" style of blogging; you learn nothing of the person, the writer. They are a wall, to the world and themselves, no doubt. There we go [so to speak]: I write to learn about myself. That's a statement that isn't necessarily true...

    I like exploration, am not afraid of screwing up or making even big mistakes. I have no desire to look "good", clever, intellectual or even particularly aware. I just love a good discussion, the swapping of ideas and points, and writing about the various subjects I find interesting. I dislike the pompous, the arrogant, the assuming, and the lazy nonsense that, all too often, passes for "intellectual discourse".

    As I write, I learn, and I like learning. :-)

    Carolyn Ann

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  3. Actually, I write because I have a story I want to tell.

    :-)

    Carolyn Ann

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  4. ...why do folk give up?

    I'm sure pacing has a lot to do with it in many instances. I've stumbled across quite a few blogs now that start with an excited flurry of posts, only for the creator's output to drop off dramatically after a few weeks or months - with those ones you really get a sense of someone trying to sprint a marathon as it were. I'd also imagine that blogging about too narrow a range of topics would increase the likelihood of one just throwing it all in; with most things, I'd imagine, there'd be only so much you could talk about before you'd feel you were starting to repeat yourself.

    I remember a couple of blogs I used to look at that eventually died. One was called 'CynicPad' and started very promisingly, with some of the blogger's first postings getting hundreds of comments! Possibly this was because the blogger "cheated" by writing posts that were pretty much guaranteed to start furious religious debates: an easy way to get lots of comments, I'd imagine. Anyway, despite its stellar start, this blog didn't last very long at all, maybe because its creator got burnt out trawling through so many comments and trying to respond to them all.

    The other blog I remember hardly got any comments at all, probably because the author (who came off as more than a little unbalanced) picked a topic to rant about and then proceeded to go on and on and on and on about it. (Yeah, I know what you're thinking - "You can talk!" - but believe me, this guy made me look positively laconic!) It wasn't unusual to scroll for a seeming eternity through one of his posts, only to encounter a rather forlorn-looking "No Comments" at the end. (Out of curiosity, I once copy-and-pasted one of his rants in Word, did a word count on it, and discovered that it came to over 7000 words.) It also didn't help that, as I said, he came across as a bit of a nutter. He seemed to be one of those Far Right folk who think my country's been run by the Communists since the 1970s; indeed one of the categories he'd sorted his diatribes into was "The Soviet Union aka Australia". Um, right... Funnily enough, his blog was titled "Mangled Thoughts", which seemed very fitting!

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  5. Pandora: I think I know what you mean. There's lots of stuff that doesn't see the light of day (oo-er), posts that seemed right at the time but never made it by the draft option.

    Carolyn Ann: I can't be doing with 'targetting'. Sure, there's an auidence (if you like) for the theme of this blog, but I don't think I could ever court it. The spectrum is just too wide and, as the old saying goes, you can't please all of the people all of the time. So, like you I write about what goes on in my head. Sometimes this connects with how others are feeling, sometimes it doesn't. :)

    Zosimus: Burn-out? I think Jo Angel coined the phrase "Tranny Nova" which feels accurate enough. :) As to repeatition, it does occasionally feel a bit 'round, round' when I come to post. Still, nothing new under the sun some days eh?

    I don't do rant blogs. I know some issues can get a person's blood up, but ranting? Well, unless its done well (as in for comedy or accurately) it runs the serious risk of coming off as unhindged.

    BTW: the Auz Thought Police have noted your comments :)

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  6. I definitely blog to get an emotional reward right now. Primarily I do it for myself as I find it is the best [at the moment] way of expressing myself. That may change in time.
    Getting feedback and site visits add a touch of community and the sense of being listened too, which helps me right now.
    What is apparent after a couple of months of blogging is sometimes I feel I should write, where in reality I should write nothing and I really try to keep to the latter, although sometimes too much wine gets in the way :-). Less is always more and I find that blogging when I REALLY need to express myself works best.
    More than anything though keeping some level of happiness in between the more serious stuff helps.

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  7. Each persons blog is a personal thing. A mirror of their mood. Trannie-nova for some folk, the great explosion of output then nothing.For me that's the journey blog. Getting thinks off the chest & out into the public domain, then calling time when at peace with them selves again. Transfickle is more the tag for me. A bit like Pandora. Writes when you feel the need. Or in my case when I'm not too lazy.
    Im sure I'm not unique in using one blog as a personal jotter. Just reminding myself of things I do & why I did at the time. No big reward requirement. Afterall why do people keep diaries for years ?
    Personal thing.

    ...that said I do run two blogs. The other does get a lot of input so maybe I get my reward from that outwardly public persona ?

    I not sure there is one single answer to the question. Each to their own.


    You are right though , the bloggoshpere has gone strangely quiet. Perhaps it's too old hat ?

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  8. Karen: The old adage about not being alone seems applicable. After, if we just wanted to record what we do and how we feel, what's wrong with an off-line diary?

    Lara: Very true and I think that's what adds to their charm and magic. Sure, there are commonalities you can draw, but that doesn't detract.

    Old hat? Maybe. Maybe blogging is yesterday's news. Has social networking replaced it? I did note a similar comment about Roses forum. 'Where is everyone?' - well, without sounding flippant, elsewhere I guess. Technology and people change. Maybe 2nd Life will replace crossdressing in 2012 :-D

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  9. Time (or an apparent lack of it) as well as Life changes, greatly influences when and how much I can write. I made a decision to alter the structure of my self employment dramatically last year, effectively having to build a new structure from scratch, trading longer hours for more meaningful work. I wasn't expecting how engaged I'd be by some aspects of the changes I made.

    Personal choices often don't show all their potential outcomes at the time the particular choice is made. Life is funny and exciting like that :-)

    I miss writing, miss the available opportunities to write. It seems to be more difficult to do when there are long gaps between posts. A bit of embarassment sets in too. Similar to how I feel when I've left an email unanswered for far too long: Meaning to write a long and personal reply, but only dashing off a quick hello to keep the connection alive.

    I've done a tiny bit of thinning on my own blogroll recently. Many of the choices were made for me since the links were no longer valid. A few I simply didn't have time to check anymore, since they weren't being updated. And for each link I dropped, I hated the feeling that arose that I was somehow abandoning the writers.

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  10. Emma: I think that time can be made for writing... but that will be at the cost of something else.
    I guess it's a toss up between one activity versus another. Which is more important to you?

    A cull isn't nice is it, but I keep my old links just in case the blog rises from the proverbial ashes.

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  11. I find myself identifying as I've read down. Its said if your still posting after 3 months then its a long term thing. I tidyed mine up recently removeing the dead links, adding new faves, pulling the very infrequent and ghost blogs but kept in reader just in case.
    My own is a hodge potch, tracking my journey, experiences, thoughts and so on. Its used as an outlet and to learn from feedback.
    If it feels forced then its time to stop.

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  12. I find myself doing a bit of all of the above...from the mundane to a rant to what I hope passes for humor on occasion (usually involving something stupid I've done to myself).

    The thing I've come to find out is that I'm not nearly as alone in this world as I thought I was...

    and that sometimes those saner than I have the same thoughts about things! (Don't tell my wife!)

    I've come to know some wonderful people all over this fantastic world, some who redefine the words "love" and "acceptance" and "tolerance"...

    So far they haven't started throwing rocks at even the likes of me!

    May tomorrow bring you much Joy, Peace and Happiness and may the New Year bring every dream come true!

    alan

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  13. It's a lot of different things for me, many of which the folks commenting have already mentioned.

    I enjoy writing and playing with words, I'm passionate about sharing my thoughts and feelings about the transgender lifestyle and about helping others take this scary journey. I guess I'm also a bit of a geek, and like playing with the blogging tools and software.

    I'll never forget the couple who traveled 200 miles to meet me and share the crossdresser support network with me when I didn't know a thing about who I was. In some way, perhaps, blogging is paying that forward one post and one mile at a time.

    The other thing I find is that I learn things better when I try to explain them. I'd say the tips I share are probably just as valuable for me as for folks who read them. It's been said that you don't really learn something until you teach it - perhaps that's true.

    I get to meet a lot of wonderful people, if only virtually. Knowing that someone, perhaps far away cared enough to write an encouraging word helps me pluck all the ideas buzzing around my head and actually write about it.

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  14. Fear of repeating myself acts as a very good brake on over indulgence to the point where some would say my well looks in danger of drying up.

    TBH, there are lots of TG related thoughts going through my head right now, but to try to spill them onto the page this instant would create one big mess, so I shall remain quiet for a while.

    Also, time is an issue, or finding the motivation to find the time more likely.

    Ho hum.

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  15. Lucy: So 3 is the magic number? :) Jokes aside: really? I wonder why that number? Perhaps one month the novelty is still there and two is "well, I've managed one."

    Alan: I guess it's whatever works for you with blogging. The idea that it allows us to connect is, I feel, very cool. Thanks for you wishes and happy New Year to you and yours too!

    Vanessa: 200 miles? Wow, I know you over-the-pond folk like to travel :) but that's quite a distance for a favour. I hope all of the blogs in the trannisphere help people in some way. Either those starting out or those who know people like us.

    Alex: Blogging deja vu? :) Yes, I know what you mean about that. I look forward to reading what you're thinking about.

    .....

    I hope Xmas was good for you and fingers crossed for happy New Year!

    See you in the future. :-)
    Lynn
    x

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  16. I sooo just enjoy ranting but even I get burned out on that from time to time and let a few significant posts slip in here and there. Plus I tend to be busy/ distracted quite a bit and it saves me the trouble of sending out emails to my friends letting them know how I am doing and what mischief I have been up to also. I don't really need a record of my mood since I know it is always doom and gloom (and sarcasm, ooh, sooo much sarcasm) but it is cool to check on what had me distracted about months ago and get myself all fired up all over again. And I like to ramble. And it keeps my eyes off of the cute little bunnies that keep drawing my attention (even if they are only in my head, lol.) And a bunch of other reasons that can easily be explained as etc., etc., and etc. (bwahahaha)

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