I guess you were paying attention on Saturday, after all! What a treasury of thoughtful comments, all of which are worthy of further discussion. One idea in particular drew my attention, though.
Sandy, who is one of the Doyennes of the knitblog community, commented that she’s flummoxed by the number of people who come back to read her words every day.
I started a lengthy e-mail reply, then decided this was a topic for a follow-up post. I’m also motivated by a few conversations I have had with FTF friends who ask me frequently “Now who is so-and-so who comments on your blog? How do you know her? How did she find you?” I try to explain, but this community still seems very weird and mysterious to those who haven’t explored it, and I get a lot of puzzled looks. I guess that’s not surprising.
I have stated before that when I started blogging, I had no clue what it would really mean. I never thought about who would read. I told a bunch of FTF friends what I was up to (and later had to give them a rather lengthy explanation of why it is that I write about knitting so much). I never thought about whether people would comment, or what it would mean when they did or didn’t comment. I just plunged in and started writing.
Pretty soon I had a couple of people I didn’t know from Adam coming back every day and leaving nice little comments. Well, one of these people I did know from Adam, sort of, because I had been drawn in by the funny title of her blog, and then read each of her posts from the beginning to present time, because I found her to be someone with a lot of fun and interesting stuff to say, as well as a damn fine sock and lace knitter. (And I was later embarrassed to learn that she knew I was totally stalking her, since she monitors this sort of thing.) Anyway I then got into the swing of things and reciprocated, reading my heretofore unknown-to-me commenters’ blogs and commenting on theirs. And things grew, as they do, with the curious clicking from my comments over to my place, or my new blogfriends linking to me once in a while (when that happens, I have huge spikes in traffic, and each time one or two visitors “stick”).
I finally got a brain and subscribed to bloglines a while back, and I have maybe 60 blogs on my feed list. Some of them are law, fitness, and food related. The rest are my knit-sibs. I check in on them when they post, usually leave a comment (not always, I admit – especially for those who get a gajillion comments every day, but I do read and I do care). I have unsubbed to a couple of feeds recently, because I decided for whatever reason that I probably wasn’t going to have a “blog relationship” with these folks. Nothing personal. I also add more. I’ll usually subscribe to someone who comments, and I’m subscribed to everyone who joined Knit w/ Nora. After I read a few posts and get a feel for someone new, I generally begin to take an interest in what’s going on with them. You know how it goes – you wind up in side conversations in e-mail, and establish other connections, and it grows from there. I have telephone relationships with a couple of friends I’ve met through the blog, and a face to face friendship with another.
So, Sandy, don’t be flummoxed – it makes sense. We’re friends, and we check in on each other just like we stop by someone’s office at work and see how they’re doing. And to my IRL friends who ask, this is the story. It’s not weird or mysterious at all – as I’ve tried to explain numerous times, this is a community like others you know. This one happens to be not a geographic community, but a community of common interests – knitting, spinning, crafting, cooking, exercising (??), you name it – but what draws us together is that we write about our interests, and care about one another enough to check in, and support each other.
Have a great day, everyone!