Yesterday I had quite the surprise. I was on someone's blog and skipping around their blog roll (I sure wish people would have blog rolls. I love to see what they're reading and find new blogs this way), when I happened upon a blog that sounded vaguely familiar.
Then I realized who it was. Do you remember Rue's Peanut Butter & Jelly Life? Well, she left the blogging world for some years, and has just come back with another blog. It is called: An Old-Fashioned World.
I immediately left a comment and got back in touch with her. She wonders where the bloggers are that were around when she left. I tried to see all this through her eyes.
Blogging has changed immensely. She must have felt like she entered an altered world. In many ways she did.
She wondered why blogs were lacking in color. I often wonder that too, color queen that I am. She commented on the fact that so many blogs are businesses now.
There is not the closeness and camaraderie there once was between us early bloggers years ago.
The last month, I've been thinking about this a lot. I miss what we were. There still is a core group of us (you know who you are) and then there are the bloggers that swept in and set about doing things differently. Setting the world on fire with their enthusiasm and telling us all how to successfully blog.
How to blog? We've been doing it for years, thank you very much. And it was fun and there wasn't all this competition and showing of huge grand homes and becoming ambassadors for brands. Why, we wouldn't have known what that even meant years ago.
Of course there are ads. I have to have ads to survive. I can't work for free anymore. But I try to keep them as unobtrusive as possible. And let me know if you find them obtrusive in any way, will you please?
Yesterday, after reading her short list of Archives, I realized how very much I missed the old way. There is a "distance" between us now that I find unappealing and sad. Many bloggers are competitors now rather than friends. Although they'd never ever admit it.
Two weeks ago, I deleted my Facebook account. Someone had hacked into it and was posing as the writer of my blog, and writing in a foreign language. And from what I could read, it was not a family-oriented blog. I was appalled.
I didn't know quite what to do. Trying to sift through the angles and figure it all out, it occurred to me: Why do I even need this trouble? Facebook is great for family and friends, but now seems to have taken over everything.
They make you wait two weeks before it is final. I suppose there is an angle there somewhere. But yesterday they emailed that I was no longer part of the huge conglomerate that is now Facebook. I cheered.
I don't participate in any social media except Pinterest, which is for pure enjoyment. Who could resist all the pretty pictures!
I'm not trying to set the world on fire. I just want to blog and read blogs and make some money to pay the bills. I don't need or want that world where social media becomes so big and important that you need them far more than they need you.
I know taking this action would petrify many of you. Facebook has become part of the landscape of our online world. But doesn't that tell you something? That maybe it is a bit of an addiction of sorts?
I'm noticing that bloggers far and wide are simply cutting ties from many social media outlets, and just walking away. As I did.
There is something very freeing about just walking away from things that have become too complicated.
I simply want to focus on my blog and my blog friends. I want to step back in time. But is that possible? We all know you can't go back. But how about we move forward with a new purpose? A new goal?
We can do it if enough of us truly want it.
So Rue, the blogging arena has changed a lot since you've been gone. I'm sure some of it is disconcerting, as I sensed from your words.
Let's try to piece our little blog world back together. To be close again as we once were. To share happy times and bad, and be there for one another to lend a hand.
All we have to do is step back from the rat race and do it. Who wants to make this blogging thing more meaningful as individuals? Who wants to bring the community back that we once enjoyed?
You readers out there, what changes would you like to see? I know one reader wrote that she misses color in our headers. She misses the photos of our lives we once showed in collage form. I told her I'd make one soon. She said that made her happy.
I welcome your comments and suggestions, bloggers and readers alike.