First anniversary of blogging-the importance of friendship in the blogosphere

Friends are the most important things you will ever have. By Some dude on Flickr [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Doesn’t time fly. On the second of November 2014 I signed up to WordPress on a whim, with the sole intention of reviewing a few books. I had no intention to become a part of one of the internet’s most kind and caring communities, no thought of making good friends. But that is what I have done. I’ve learnt about tags, images, books, interests, but I still think the most important thing I have learnt on here is that you can be good friends with someone you’ve never met.

Even if you go on a hiatus for days, weeks, months, blogging friends will still be around to welcome you back. I went away twice, once for GCSEs and once for the start of the school year, and my blogging friends were really thoughtful and considerate upon both my returns, and I had had several emails after my unplanned second break inquiring if I was OK.

Something I’ve noticed in general online is that many people are inclined to be more open online. Although bloggers often don’t post personal photos, most post personal details which, although not significant, do massively aid building a relationship with readers. When I started blogging, I had in mind that I would be impersonal, my posts would be strictly relevant and read solely based on literary merit and verve. What I quickly came to realise however is that people don’t want to read a mechanical post, something which has no empathy or sparkle. People want to read something different, something that relates to them, something human. Humans want to read about the failures and fallibility of others, we want to know their successes, we want to know more about them. Humans are social creatures, we thrive on interaction and friendship.

A large number of bloggers when they are starting out read as much as they can about traffic, they focus on it all consumingly. They try and establish why their posts are not getting many views, why there are no comments. The more cynical sites suggest commenting as widely as possible but with a comment which is actually meaningful. As time goes on blogging though, commenting becomes less something done for benefit, and something done out of friendship, something in return for reading a good post. And whilst some bloggers may comment on scores of other bloggers’ posts and bring in thousands of views, one can’t help but feel they are missing the point rather. Blogging for traffic and views makes blogging a chore, a business to be run and manipulated to produce an end result. Though that is not to say that traffic and views are interesting and entertaining, but it is missing the point. It is not the ends, but the means that is so important-you may not get as many views when you build relationships, but it is a whole lot more fulfilling.

So if anyone is interested in the most important lesson I have learnt in my first year of blogging it is this: cherish and make friendships, for friends are the ones who will keep you going, they are the ones you will build relationships with, and they are the ones who ultimately make blogging worthwhile.

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23 thoughts on “First anniversary of blogging-the importance of friendship in the blogosphere

  1. How have I not come across you sooner?
    When I first started blogging I was pretty much starting from blank, no experience, or knowledge of how to interact and what was right to say online. As I now am reading more posts and falling in love with more content people create I am starting to slowly figure out what blogging really means to me.
    Thanks for this great post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much, I agree entirely that after creating an account, pretty much everyone goes ‘so what do I do now?’ There is a whole load of great content out there from people whose quality of writing is incredible, the only constraint is how much time you devote to reading the posts of others! I found that once I identified an area or blogs that I especially enjoyed, coming back again and again and becoming friends with the author was fantastic.
      Best wishes for you and your blog, Matt

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt is been real
    You have made me feel welcome from day one
    We’ve lost contact but then came back
    Your flash fiction
    Gave life to now what I call flash poetry
    Writing on the fly
    You keep on doing what you do
    And I’ll keep writing
    Creating
    We will make wp a even more welcomed community
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Matt! I couldn’t have said it better myself! I no longer go look every day to see if I have more followers. If that’s why people are blogging, they’ll be disappointed because when you compare your daily stats with how many folks are following your blog, there is usually a HUGE difference. That’s how I came to value my loyal friends who bother to show up! They are the ones I invest my time and emotions in. Friends like you. I have so enjoyed reading your flash fiction feature and your reviews are always so thorough and well thought out no matter WHAT you’re reviewing. And that you do all this while going to school is amazing. So congrats on your anniversary and i’m patting myself on the back for finding you for a friend! {{{Matt}}} ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lovely post and I completely agree.
    I started out wanting to be completely anonymous, I gave myself a whole new identity and while I’m not ready to share my blog with people I know in real life, blogging has made me want to open up more to my followers, hence sharing different social media accounts, and it’s really opened my eyes to how wonderful the blogging community is. I may not have been doing this long, but I feel like I have made so many friends through blogging and it’s the thought of making more which encourages me to post, rather than the thought of getting likes or followers etc. I may not have many followers compared to others, but considering the amount I talk to I may as well have loads and I consider them all to be friends and that is more satisfying by far.
    Thanks for the post and congrats on your blogging anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean exactly, I was struck when I started by the fact that I could be anyone, I could create a new personality for myself-before I realised that it is best just to be myself. I feel that whether people blog for views or for friendship can often come out in the style of writing and the interactions they partake in, and I far prefer reading and commenting on the latter (like your blog!).
      All the best, Matt

      Like

      1. Yes, I feel like I’m far more myself on here than in real life, so even then there is a slight personality shift. Yes, definitely! I love interacting with everyone. If possible I’ll try and turn a comment into a conversation, rather than just like it. Aw thank you, likewise!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on the anniversary, and I echo your sentiments entirely. Just the other day, I came across this from Britt Skrabanek (link below): “When you write a blog post, don’t worry about its success—number of shares, views, likes. Write what you want to write from a beautiful place inside, then release it into the world.” that’s what you’ve done, Matt – thanks! http://brittskrabanek.com/2015/11/05/how-in-the-hell-can-we-writers-stand-out/

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are absolutely right, Matt. Although blogging is a thief of time I find the range of content I follow is far far wider than I could have imagined, it’s like having a huge magazine at my finger tips. I flick past some blogs, but return to many again and again. Then there are a few, like yours, that are so interesting and/or fun that I go out of my way to read, participate, and recommend. Sometimes life gets in the way and I don’t visit a blog for a while, but then it feels good to catch up again.

    Now I’ve stopped to think about it, those blogs that I really love are where it feels like I’m corresponding with a friend or among a group of friends.

    Best wishes from your friend, Yvonne x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree, especially about catching up with a blog-it’s almost like seeing an old friend again.
      I really appreciate your friendship, one of the best things WordPress does is to foster a sense of community and friendship amongst bloggers!
      All the best, Matt

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post Matt, and so true! I spent an age trying to work out what my blog would be about, and in all honesty, I still don’t know, it’s like a welcome to my world kinda thing… The Stats page was frequently visited, then slowly it stopped. I was obsessed with my blog, but through my obsession I have found some amazing friends and it’s not about numbers now… It’s about writing when my heart has something to say, taking part in certain challenges (FFF anyone?! 😉) and being in touch with my blogily!
    My one year anniversary comes up soon too!
    Here’s to many more years for you Matt! 🍻!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Matt – found you through Calensariel’s reblog, and couldn’t agree more with what you say and with the comments from others. I kicked my blog off in earnest in August this year, with no idea what to expect. but probably hoping that many people would read what I’m pushing out there. What I’ve now found is a small circle of very good blog-mates, which I realise is really what I wanted – it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the quality. I’ll follow with interest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Howard, I think that when most bloggers start off (myself included) they hope for huge audiences, but as you say smaller audiences are far more intimate and encourage friendship. Thanks for the follow, your blog looks intriguing. As an English A-level student at present I’ve taken a look at a couple of Shakespeare’s pieces (most recently I blogged about my visit to the Barbican where I was lucky enough to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Hamlet); but I always find the views of others on Shakespeare and media more widely to be very interesting, and it often opens my eyes to aspects I had previously missed.
        Best, Matt

        Like

      2. I’ll look out for your Hamlet piece, Matt. I saw it broadcast into the cinema, but didn’t write it up because it wasn’t at Cineworld (which is the rule). I thought BC was very good, and Ophelia was much better, and less drippy, than usual, but didn’t like Polonius and underwhelmed by Ciaran Hinds as Claudius. The set looked good – must have been very impressive live, which is something you lose in the cinema broadcasts.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations!!
    You are one of a kind, people like you make this place special. When you reciprocate the love you get this is what happens, what more can I say look at all those comments.
    Congratulations again!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations Matt.
    What a fantastic post. So brilliantly written. It is so much about interactions within the blogoshere and friendships and some are like family☺

    Like

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