Tag Archives: friendship

Meeka's Mind is 8!

Blogs are strange beasts. Sometimes they start with a bang and fade away to nothing, and sometimes they start with one, lonely voice and grow into a home.

Meeka’s Mind has been my home for the past eight years, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s ever popped in to say hello, or simply came looking for information and left a ‘like’. You guys are the reason this blog is still going strong.

You are the reason I still love blogging. All the very best for 2020!

-massive hugs-

Meeks


Blogging – as a filter for community

friend filter

I’ve known that blogging was a way of making friends for a long time. What I didn’t know was the mechanism by which it happened. Now I do, and Renard Moreau is the blogger who triggered my little epiphany.

Quite simply, Renard asked ‘Have you been following too many blogs?’ But the question goes deeper than mere follows, it asks how many blogs any one person can reasonably interact with instead of just following.

Now I know that I have only about 500 – 600? followers all up, including both my blog and FB-Twit, yet even with such a relatively small number, I struggle to visit a 10th of those people in a month!

A friend of mine [who shall remain nameless] works his butt off every day, answering emails, replying to comments and tweets, and generally interacting with the hundreds of people he follows.  But what of the people with tens of thousands of followers? Surely it’s not possible to interact with all of them? Yet how do we choose who we do interact with?

The answer, I believe, is that we unconsciously filter out 99.99% of the people we meet – either face to face or online – on the basis of ‘interest’.

For example, I’m interested in a fairly eclectic range of things, so that diversity is reflected in my posts. They dangle in the www, offering a certain type of ‘bait’ to the metaphorical fish that pass by. Those that like a particular type of bait will come to nibble. Those that don’t will ignore it, and me. Thus we have our first visitors.

But what makes those visitors come again?

I used to think the process was all down to luck, but now I think we are all subconsciously looking for others like ourselves, so when we bump into someone who may be like ourselves we stick around to find out. How we find out goes something like this:

– I stumble on a post I like, and follow the blogger who wrote it. If I really like that post I’ll comment. This is first contact.

– If that blogger keeps publishing posts that grab my attention, I’ll start to look out for their name. This is acquaintance.

– If that blogger stops publishing posts that grab my attention, the thin connection between us will fade away.

– If that blogger interacts with me in some positive way the connection between us will strengthen.

– If we discover that we have other interests in common, we may become regulars on each others blogs. Whilst we’re there, we may meet yet more bloggers who are similar to ourselves.

– In time, we discover that we have a small community going on. At the heart of that community are the friends we visit all the time. These are the bloggers we help without a moment’s thought. These are the bloggers we miss when they stop coming. These are our friends.

Radiating out from this core are

– the friends of friends who may become good friends in the future,

– regulars who may become good friends,

– acquaintances who may become regulars,

– and ‘blow ins’ who stumble in by accident and leave by design.

And that explains the odd graphic at the top of this post. We bump into each other almost by chance but stick through shared interests.

Apologies if this process was already crystal clear to everyone else. It all seems so obvious now, yet I really didn’t put it all together until about an hour ago.

-hugs-

Meeks


Why do you blog? No, really!

Apologies for the ‘me,me’ tone of this post but I feel I have to expose something of myself before I can ask you to comment with honesty.  So here goes.

I started blogging because I felt I had to. Pure and simple. Every marketing how-to I read said that creating a blog was the first step in developing an online presence that would help sell the book I had yet to finish.  So I signed up with WordPress, chose a theme that looked ok and then I sat there, staring at a blank ‘Add New Post’ screen. I knew how to write a post but I had no idea what to write about.

The idea of just posting whatever I was passionate about evolved out of my certainty that no-one would ever read what I wrote. However as people started to find me [in dribs and drabs] my motivation began to change. I started looking forward to logging in each morning – just in case someone out there had stumbled onto my blog while I was sleeping. Like someone addicted to gambling, every time someone did view my blog the addiction was reinforced and the days on which no-one came did not deter me. I continued telling the world what was on my mind because each post was a way of saying ‘Hey! I’m someone and I’m here’.

You all know the feeling, that buzz you get when you check your stats or notice that you have comments. But what is that good feeling?

I know that for me that good feeling is part ego-stroking and part joy at not being alone. I’ve always been a fairly self-sufficient person. I have a small circle of very close friends and family. They have been with me since forever and they are as important to me as breathing but I’m also quite comfortable just being on my own, which is probably a good thing as writing fiction is a pretty solitary occupation. Nonetheless even hermits need human contact sometimes.

Before I stopped thinking of my writing as some kind of  ‘hobby’ that no-one else would ever be interested in I used to get my social contact hit from the people I met while playing mmo’s [online games]. In fact I still chat to a few gamers I met while playing World of Warcraft but after I left WoW I found new online friends much harder to find and my social contacts dwindled to a few stalwart friends.

And then the blogging miracle happened. I met people, nice people, funny people, kind people, people who cared about many of the same things that I cared about. I met kindred spirits and suddenly blogging was no longer just about ‘marketing’  or having my ego stroked, it was and is, about connecting with people. In short, it’s about making friends.

I’m still passionate about writing and bushfire survival and climate change and good food and wonderful music and politics and…  Ahem, you get the picture. I’m still passionate about all the old things that define who I am and I still get an ego buzz when my stats spike for some unaccountable reason but now I also have something more, I have friends.

So now I would love to know if I’m alone in this or if other people feel the same way that I do. Have I finally ‘got’ what social media is all about? I know that every blogger is different and unique and writes for different reasons but do we all have common themes that are somehow universal?

If you feel like sharing then I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

-hugs to all-

Meeks


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