Community – Who Knew?

Community. What a concept. Whether school, work, family, online, or a sports team, it feeds us and we feed it. Synergy.

I started blogging just a few months ago. I knew nothing about blogging. All I knew was that I enjoyed writing and I needed a platform. I established my blog on www.wordpress.com/ hoping it would urge me to write on a more regular basis. I had never read anyone’s blog—who has time for that?—let alone write posts for one. If there was a blogging culture, expectations, etiquette, I was oblivious.  I was just going to practice my writing and post it, just in case there was anything worthwhile that I would someday look back on and be happy to see preserved.

It wasn’t long before I was hit in the face with the community. Gathered up, welcomed in. I came across The Daily Post (www.dailypost.wordpress.com) with its daily writing prompts and weekly challenges. It also offered the Community Pool, a place to get input on posts, blog design, and my writing style. I shared one of my posts there—and took a look at severBlog 1al others’ blogs—and was instantly interacting with all sorts of people.

Freshly Pressed (www.wordpress.com/#!/read/fresh/ ) is a daily sampling of high quality blogs that allowed me—newbie me—to comment and get involved in another way. I could read others’ comments and get a feel for the type of feedback and conversations that happen within a blogging community. And the authors of these high quality blogs would often reply to my comment. Reply directly to me. And sometimes they’d check out my blog site, too.

Oh, and I was also invited to a party. A party thrown by www.suzie81.wordpress.com/.  Well, perhaps invited is not the right word. But, no one seemed to mind when I crashed it. Anyone who attended could post a link to his or her blog site. As with the Community Pool, comments were made and relationships were born. Isn’t that why most of us attend parties?

It wasn’t long before I began to understand why people blog. It’s not just about writing, it’s about the community, the social aspect—meeting new people, hearing about others’ lives, their opinions about different topics. A “like” here and a comment there and soon you’ve got some new connections. You’ve found yourself some new friends. The common goal—to inspire others while at the same time be inspired—starts to materialize. The drive to connect with and contribute to the community grows. It starts to thrive. And it’s not long before you need to touch base with your community. Daily.

You can follow anyone. Everyone. Too many invitations to accept. Decisions have to be made. Sometimes you follow a blog because it’s your type of subject, your type of writing style. You just plain enjoy reading it. With others, you follow them because you’ve struck up a friendship. As with any community, you get close with some of the members while the multitude of others remain on the periphery.Blog 2

The first personal connection I had with this community was with Bill, who writes two blogs, both of which I follow. I commented on one of them and he, in turn, clicked on my blog. Then, to my surprise, a few days later, he mentioned me in his blog post and suggested to his readers that they take a look at my blog when they had the time: (www.artistrywithwords.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/struggling-is-a-way-of-life-for-a-writer/).

Can you say community?

And then there’s my friend, my friend, well, I’m not sure I even know his name. I call him ClockTower. He has read every one of my posts and takes the time to compose beautifully worded comments. I will post one here so you can see what I mean. This comment also helps illustrate the community of WordPress (not to mention the talent that exists within). I like to share this particular comment of his because I love what he’s saying and how he chose to say it.

From my new friend ClockTower (www.theclocktowersunset.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling):

I’ve found I’ve kinda hit astride (sic) since starting this blog. Everyday now, I log on, open my notifications, reply to any comments, check my stats hoping my blog is growing in visitors, likes and views and of course, god pray, followers. Bounce back to my ‘reader’ and check out what’s new, who was writing while I was gone and about what. Then I cruise down to the pool to see if there’s some new talent to check into and a little shameless self promoting. After that I stroll on down to Randee’s to pluck a pearl or two off the string. It’s kinda like stopping for a cold one to chat up your favorite bartender before you head along down to the homestead only to get sucked back into the everyday monotony of “pullin’ weeds” and walking dogs. For this I’d like to thank you, Randee you are now my new favorite bartender. So pour me another and spin me a yarn, I’m gonna call the wife and tell her I’m workin’ late. 🙂

Blogging. It’s got community written all over it.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Billybuc
    Sep 02, 2013 @ 16:13:40

    What a nice surprise…and the pingback worked! 🙂 Thank you for mentioning me…now do me one favor and tell me your HubPages name please….if I knew before I have completely forgotten. Thanks for everything.

    Reply

    • Randee
      Sep 02, 2013 @ 17:32:22

      Ok, Bill, first of all, did you get my comment from yesterday (or maybe earlier today)? I asked if you could please tell me what a pingback is. I still don’t know! Did I “do” one? Are they considered okay or tacky? Self-promoting? I’m just not sure. And here’s another question for you – what are HubPages?

      Sincerely,
      Clueless in Blogging Land

      Reply

      • Billybuc
        Sep 02, 2013 @ 17:46:11

        You are too funny! Yes, the pingback worked. They are basically a link that tells you when someone else has shared your blog on another site.

        As for HubPages, for some reason I assumed you were a writer there…it is an online community of writers…a site where you can post articles and make passive income. 🙂

      • Randee
        Sep 02, 2013 @ 18:15:57

        I did read about the Hubpages and looked at the link in the blog you posted today. (Or was it yesterday?)
        I wasn’t sure if everyone in WordPress automatically had a HugPages or not. Guess not.
        Thanks for the explanations. You are now my blogging mentor. 🙂

  2. codysdoyle
    Sep 02, 2013 @ 17:39:22

    Randee, so well written, and inspiring. Blogging IS a community, and so resourceful. Keep up all the great words you’re putting out there. Love to see you loving this!

    Reply

    • Randee
      Sep 02, 2013 @ 18:16:43

      Thanks, Cody! Good to see your face here on WordPress. I tried to click on your blog link and it didn’t lead me to any content. What is the URL?

      Reply

  3. Gabriela
    Sep 02, 2013 @ 22:02:49

    You pretty much summed my experience with blogging here. I too, started a blog to just write and perhaps interact a bit. Still, I received a warm welcome and I meet people that inspired me and even helped me to swim out of my past.

    Now, for me, it’s not just about writing anymore, it’s about the interaction with those wonderful people. 🙂
    I always loved doing it on forums and chats and this, this community called wordpress is awesome!

    Reply

  4. theclocktowersunset
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 08:22:32

    Well you certainly have made my day. 🙂 I love the theme of this post, “Community”, I too was blissfully unaware of how blogging properly worked, that there would be a camaraderie within the ranks of WordPress and the likes. I have met a bevy of folks here in the past month, some of which have eagerly engaged me as I comment and post from day to day. Your blog is the exception in that, as I stated above, when I get to your post, there’s a level of relaxation. I put my feet up and settle in, for I know I’m in for a good read, an allegory, a tale, or just a good old fashion laugh. So kudos to you Randee, once again you’ve made me feel at home. 🙂

    Reply

    • Randee
      Sep 03, 2013 @ 10:36:22

      Hey, hey, I started to read this comment in my email–which puts it into a different, less visual format–and I didn’t realize it was from you. As I read along, I was thinking, “This sounds like ClockTower. Similar voice.” By the end, I would have sworn it was you. Thanks, as always, for the feedback, and for the motivation to write a lot this past weekend.

      Reply

  5. Connie Peterson
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 19:18:00

    It is certainly better to the human social animal than writing a memoir in WORD. Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2013 21:42:28 +0000 To: conniepetersonclp@msn.com

    Reply

  6. Randee
    Sep 04, 2013 @ 10:42:05

    Yes, but I am trying to do the latter as well. 🙂
    I may post a few chapters on my blog.

    Reply

  7. Amy
    Sep 07, 2013 @ 08:44:54

    Yours is the first blog I’ve ever read or followed. I look forward to it! You inspire me in many ways, Randee!

    Reply

  8. Trackback: More on Community | A String of Pearls

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