The Role of Blogs in a Blogging Community


Image by rugosa rosa

 

What makes the relationship or network between bloggers?

 

Is it the interaction? Is it subscribing to their blog and leaving comments? Are you doing this, whether you want to or not, and skimming through the content,  just so you can say you support their site?

 

Can you maintain a connection with a blogger when you aren't reading their blog?  Or is a relationship with another blogger based on connecting with them on some level? What if you have great respect and inspiration from them, even if their site just doesn't personally appeal to you?

 

As Vyque pointed out earlier this week, it's okay to say “I'm not a professional blogger!” Part of that is realizing that sometimes real life, day jobs, kids, sickness, weddings and moving takes over.  As I step back and focus on my own day life, hit MARK ALL AS READ in Google Reader, I began to ask myself, “What part does reading blogs play in the blogging community?” or “If I hit unsubscribe, how much will it matter if I still click through Twitter links, retweet, chat with them, and/or email them?”

 

How much of being part of the community comes down to strictly reading the blog?

 

Some fabulous bloggers shared their thoughts (at only 140 characters, no less!):
@angelineevans I think reading each others' blogs often makes the initial connection, but no, I don't think it's necessary after that.

@flyingfabu Probably not often. Blogs are expressions of character to some extent, reading as part of the relationship just makes sense

@wolfwhistle You can have a Twitter relationship!

@finalfashion I have so many blogger buds, chat lots on twitter & IRL, even tho we admit to checking each other's sites only occasionally.

@trashtastika I think reading is the start of it, but after a while, emails, twitter, gmail chats etc keep the rel'ship going 🙂

@mmarzipan there are some bloggers that I feel connected to, but don't read their blogs. I think it's possible..

@slowsouthstyle here are a few bloggers that I maintain a rapport w/ that I'm certain don't read mine & vice versa. We just connect off & on & that is fine. However You can't make a connection if you NEVER read their blog. Need to know a little about them at least.

@fuyumeuk i think if you communicate on twitter then reading their blog isn't vital.

 

Befriending bloggers and not supporting their blog isn't ideal, and it's certainly not recommended.  However, when real life takes a step forward and your blogging takes a step back, are there more valuable ways to show support than through their actual blog?  Is no contact better than not commenting? What do you think?

 

 

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19 Responses

  1. Eva | Dressful

    “Can you maintain a connection with a blogger when you aren’t reading their blog?”

    Great question. Like some of the quoted bloggers said, it’s possible to build rapport with someone on Twitter without also reading their blog. Twitter just works that way, you find interesting people and you click, a lot of them don’t even have blogs!

    For me, the biggest way of supporting my blog that I appreciate to infinity is sharing my posts. This way my blog gets exposed to a new audience, i.e. potential new readers. There’s also the psychological impact this has on others, that you’re “good/interesting enough” to be retweeted/liked.

    Although I’m a big fan of services such as Twitter, I feel that lately the hype around them has been so enormous it ends up distracting you from blogging and blogs themselves, which for me is still the number one priority.

    Reply
  2. Madeleine Gallay

    A good and timely question. Bloglovin lets you follow many blogs that you really enjoy and yet as the number increases one is as likely to scan to quickly see if it’s a subject or fashion that you’re interested in and leaving comments takes time with that dreadful anti-spam word thing. I think bloggers should look at their stats for each post and be reassured that their readership is likely increasing but many readers simply show their support by the google friend follow or bloglovin.

    It’s great when you do develop a good chat back and forth but some of the biggest readership blogs have comments similar to a starter blog.

    Reply
  3. Jacquie

    Bravo for posting this. Just recently I’ve had private messages that want me to “follow my blog,” or “like my facebook page.” Immediately I find myself uninterested in viewing anyone’s page that doesn’t care to cultivate a sincere reciprocal relationship.

    Reply
  4. Christy

    I think everyone has made good, valid comments on this article. I also find as my monthly page views increase my comments are slightly slowing down. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining but I want to have my cupcake and eat it too damnit!

    There are definitely bloggers out there that I love staying connected to because I appreciate what they are doing but I don’t necessarily feel the need to read every single post that they put out. As I network with more and more bloggers I struggle with interacting with each of them in the manner I’d like to. I only have so much time to devote to blogging as as much fun as I’m having with it I find it is easily becomes a chore when I force myself to keep up on a daily basis.

    Reply
  5. bonita

    ~ * ♥ * ~

    It’s an interesting question ~ personally I feel that reading/commenting the only way I can really support my favorite bloggers.

    I am not very good at Twitter, so it’s really the only way I keep up with what it going on. I do think that it’s ok to click read all sometimes. You do not always have to comment on everything!

    That is a lesson I have learned, and now I just comment when I feel I actually have something to say. It really helps when you do that. It take s the pressure off and you can enjoy reading and commenting more.

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

    Reply
  6. Bonnie Phan

    Reading their blog + commenting is basically the initial connection in my opinion. I don’t see why you wouldn’t continue to read their blog if you thought it was worth commenting on unless you only commented to get your name out… Anyway, I believe there are many factors here to consider. I tweet back and forth with fellow bloggers all the time, some more than others. I don’t check all their blogs on a daily basis but I will every once in a while. I still believe we are connecting though even though I’m not reading every single one of their posts. It may not be the strongest connection, it probably could be better if I read their blog but that depends on what kind of connections I’m trying to build with them?

    This is a very debatable question, however, when it comes down to it, I believe it depends on the blogger and their willingness to respond to tweets/messages on a regular basis, if not, then no, there really is no connection unless you read their blog.

    Reply
  7. Beatrice Pang

    Thanks for an insightful blog about this topic. On Twitter, it always feels nice to be retweeted or to receive a direct message. I think Twitter users always appreciate the most when others repeat their messages. Reblogging or referring to a blog link in your own blog is also much appreciated. Good, thoughtful comments would also help build a genuine relationship.

    Reply
  8. de la Pen

    Hmmm…I’m not sure about this one. I guess the initial contact should be simply following them on Twitter & commenting on their blog. However, as others have said, I can’t read every post they put out and I don’t expect them to read all of mine. If they share my links on occasion that’s good enough for me. Plus I think a true relationship is when you and the other blogger collaborate such as posting on each other’s sites, etc.

    Reply
  9. Heather Fonseca

    Am I weird? I try very hard to read all my friends blogs. I also try very hard to comment on something that sparks my interest, and at least once a week. Otherwise what’s the point? If all I’m doing is skimming then I’m obviously not all that interested in what they’re doing.

    Love,
    Heather
    http://heathersdesignblog.com/

    Reply
    • Ashe Mischief

      Heather, you make a great point– “If all I’m doing is skimming then I’m obviously not all that interested in what they’re doing.”

      That’s something else to address… I think a lot of us feel obligated to skim on blogs where we aren’t interested in what they’re writing or saying. Especially if you’re building relationships with other bloggers. I address that in the article, where I ask– what if you’ve outgrown their content, but not them? What if you value chatting with them, but not their content? How has that changed the dynamic of your relationship?

      Reply
  10. Haley @ Cardigan Junkie

    This article is really timely for me, as I’ve recently made a big effort to read and comment on more blogs but it’s gotten to the point where my entire evening is spent with my laptop instead of my husband.

    I follow about 30 blogs that I enjoy, but I too have had to step back and say “I’m not a professional blogger!” and trust that 1-2 comments per week per blog will be enough to indicate my support for them and their writing. I think that thoughtful comments that don’t promote my own posts or giveaways are the best way to show support, even if they don’t come every day.

    That said, I like seeing my GFC follower number grow and I’m sure there are people who follow me but don’t read and I don’t mind at all. Tough question…

    Reply
  11. Vonnie

    this topic is so weird to me….I don’t get how someone can claim to support a blogger and like that blogger yet can’t be bothered to check out their posts for like 2 minutes. Every single post doesn’t have to be read, but I just don’t get how you can claim to like a blogger yet not keep up with their blog at all. life gets in the way of course, can’t read all day everyday but most posts aren’t a phd 30 page dissertation. baffling

    Reply
    • Ashe Mischief

      Well, for example… my real life gets in the way. For the past 3 months I’ve been at work non-stop, and I’d rather spend those 2 minutes kissing my boyfriend goodbye than 2 minutes on the 100+ blogs I read daily. That ends up being over 200 minutes. That’s 3.5 hours a day, that I simply don’t have when I’m working from 8:30 AM until 10:30 PM.

      If I hit mark all as read, but say Hi, I’m thinking of you or RT something on twitter, how is that NOT showing my support for them?

      Reply
      • Vonnie

        But people have time to be on twitter and facebook which requires attention and minutes, writing off an email to a blogger also takes minutes that could simply be an in public blog comment instead. Why follow a million blogs if you don’t want to keep up with them? Have 10 or so and participate. Sharing through retweets and all is lovely though, at least there’s that.

        As a BLOGGER I’m sure that you appreciate dedicated readers or comments, so why wouldn’t that translate into what your fellow bloggers would want? I see so many bloggers who can’t be bothered to leave comments on others’ posts yet want traffic and comments on theirs. If I have time to write and maintain my blog then I have time to team build with my “coworkers” (fellow bloggers).

        If i were so overwhelmed with life then I wouldn’t run a blog because I couldn’t put time into it and establishing the community aspect that is inherent in social media. just MY take on things 🙂

  12. MizzJ

    Good point Vonnie as well as everyone else’s! I think what it comes down to is that if you are interested in that person, be it as a blogger, or a person (the former usually implies the latter), then you’ll keep up with their updates somewhere, somehow. It just makes it difficult for us bloggers to know where to concentrate our efforts, but really we should stop thinking of it as a “job” and just enjoy it! Be natural!

    Reply
  13. Natasha

    What a great topic.
    I have often wondered what’s wrong with me that I can’t create “tight knit” bonds with other bloggers…there are a lot of bloggers that I support through comments, and they do the same for me, but that’s as far as it goes. We might respond to each others tweets every now and then as well. But then I hear about all these other bloggers and their “blog friends” talking about their communications with each other, and it makes my blog commenting and tweeting relationships seem quite miniscule.

    I realize that we all have lives outside of blogging (I have a hubby and child)…and of course there isn’t enough time in the day…but sometimes all I want is one “good blog friend”..haha..I realize how silly that sounds, but I guess all relationships aren’t grown overnight!

    Thanks for the great post!

    Natasha ~ Required2BeInspired

    Reply
  14. Gina

    I think you can have any kind of blogging relationships you want. Commenting will help make your fellow bloggers feel encouraged (bc someone is actually reading!) I think emails are more personal though… even when i fall off the blogging wagon, it makes my day to see an email pop up in my inbox from a blogger friend. 🙂

    Reply
  15. Courtney | Those Graces

    I think that Twitter can be used as a substitute for a comment. I sometimes get more feedback on Twitter and links for a post than I do in the comments section. I think it’s fairly easy to tell who’s following to get attention and who you really click with.

    Reply