Reaching Out

March 2010 brings me to my 10th anniversary of blogging. My archives that you see on this site start at April 2000, but my first test posts that seem to be long gone were put up near the end of March 2000. I had a couple of Geocities websites before that, but they were more static in content. Blogging these last ten years has seen me through one free webspace provider, two self-hosted domains (and one domain for non-blog stuff), one blog-specific hosting service and now this site here. I’ve used three platforms (Blogger, Vox and now WordPress) and am now relieved that I don’t have to keep up with the bleeding edge of web design to create an attractive, functional website. When I coded my own pages, I used to spend hours just getting stuff to work – I have never been a professional web designer and I’ve never gotten my head around web programming. I’m grateful to so many people who have spent their time creating great things for other web users to use – and often for free. Thank you to each and every one of you.

I’m not telling you this to brag, to say “Look at me! I’m so cool! I’ve probably been doing this longer than you!” That is truly not my intent. I say this because I feel like after all this time, I am finally starting to come out of the woodwork and since few people realized I was here beforehand, I feel I have to mention my longevity in the medium to prove my legitimacy.

“Hey! I’m worth reading! I’ve been doing this forever! I’m not a flash in the pan!”

Lame, isn’t it? Especially since in all my years of doing this, I’ve never had much of an audience. I’ve always said ‘it’s not about the audience, it’s about me’ but I will freely admit that I would love to have a little bit more interaction. A few more readers that say something. A few more readers, frankly.

I’ve always had a hard time making friends. My mother always told me growing up that I had to reach out first. That people wouldn’t talk to me first. I always thought that if we’re all supposed to make the first move, how come no one is reaching out to me? Cue cycle of feeling lame and loserlike and not reaching out myself. That’s not to say I don’t have any friends. I do, and I love them all dearly. It’s just that none of them do this blogging thing, so it’s hard for them to relate. Some of them still don’t have high-speed internet access. I turned down an apartment when I moved to Toronto ten years ago specifically because it didn’t have high-speed internet, so clearly our priorities are a little different.

Now that I’ve explained myself as a longtime blogger who has a hard time making friends, let’s get to the point of this post.

Over the last few months, I have tried to reach out to the blogosphere at large. Making more replies on Twitter. Leaving comments on other people’s blogs. Going out to events where other bloggers will be – and actually being brave enough to speak up and say hi. These things have not come easy to me. I’m often shy around people I don’t know well, which can make meetups awkward. I also don’t like butting into established conversations, which makes commenting on blogs feel weird sometimes. Twitter has made some of this easier but I want to do better.

In the last two weeks, I’ve met some really great women at two events: PodCamp Toronto and the book launch for Mothering and Blogging: The Radical Act of the MommyBlog. I was so glad that I gathered up my courage and went out to these events. I learned things I didn’t expect to at both places and the social interaction was a lovely bonus.

I’m not sure that I’ll be turning into a social butterfly any time soon, but it’s nice to do more than lurk and wish I had went somewhere after the event has already taken place. I look forward to reaching out to all of you more and more.

7 thoughts on “Reaching Out

  1. Your 10 year commitment to this thankless hobby is fantastic πŸ™‚
    Great to meet you twice lately. Meeting IRL is quite scary. But usually almost works out for the best!

  2. Nadine and Emma – thank you for your kind words. I worried that I was a little too whiny and self-indulgent in my post. I appreciate the two of you humoring me. πŸ™‚

    I’m only just starting to get back into reading blogs with any regularity. Google Reader and offline access on the subway has really made that easier. The disadvantage is that comments are harder to make that way – can’t comment till I’m back online. That’s another reason I like Twitter – it’s a quick way to shoot someone some feedback. But it is nice to see it on the site as well. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m way behind in the blogging world. I didn’t start until 2006(and it was on myspace… at the time when everyone stopped using myspace)!

    We can be each other’s audience. The rest of them will come eventually.

    • I never got the hang of myspace. Hubs opened an account around the same time you did (2006) and I think I had one for about 10 minutes before I freaked out and deleted it. So I was definitely a laggard on the whole social networking thing. Many of my friends who lived far away and are still on dialup had a fb account before I did, which was why I joined there.

  4. We have very similar stories. I was always introverted, waiting for people to engage with me. My mom would tell me that if I wanted friends I had to make the first move, but somehow I could never make it happen.

    I started blogging in May, 2003 – less time than you, but still quite long in the blogging world. And it wasn’t until just over a year ago that I actually started commenting on other blogs. I never had a big audience, I didn’t belong to Facebook or Twitter, I just did my own quiet thing. But then I decided I needed a maternity leave project, did some reaching out, and found out it maybe wasn’t as scary as I thought.

    The meet-ups are still awkward, but now that I know a few people they’re easier. Slowly, slowly, we’re both making progress. πŸ™‚
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Extinguishing the Flame =-.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.