April 07, 2010

Why I Think Blogging is a Lot Like Junior High


Note: I realize that this post will probably lose me some followers - I'll be sorry to see you go, I got used to your smiling faces and cute icons on my list. And just because you leave me - it doesn't mean I won't continue to read your blog.

In blogland, I often feel like the new kid in 7th grade - I don't know where I fit in here. Everyone seems to be in their little clique, and I don't belong to one (unless you count the old lady blogger clique, not the most popular in the crowd).

When I started The Ratio of Failures almost a year ago, it was about the writing for me. That has not changed, though I've succumbed to more trendy memes from time to time. I really write to tell MY story, how I got to where I am, after almost 53 (yikes) years on this Earth.

What I am not about?

  • Hawking products - no PR-friendly stuff here.
  • No cute button from me, no pixel-limited picture defines me.
  • I don't dispense awards (I think I passed on two I received); I don't receive many, but I do appreciate the thought, even if I don't play along with passing them on.
  • No fancy templates - just stuff I've swiped from free places. I won't be paying actual cash for any updates.
  • Likewise, no dot.com for me, or migration to a paying version of Wordpress. I'm happy enough figuring out what Blogger has to offer.
  • I am pretty confident that I'll never attend a blog conference, or write a book and appear on national TV because I have a blog - and I'm okay with my status of relative obscurity.
In short, I'll never be asked to the popular kids' sleepovers. I don't wear the stylish blog "clothes", don't have the right 'haircut', I'm not in the "club".

I was the girl in 7th grade who had a few good friends, who got good grades, who liked to read (and practiced good grammar when writing). Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes tend to make me click to the next blog. Sorry, I'm a grammar snob.

I'm the woman who has called companies and told them of misspellings in their signs. I even called an exclusive private school whose TV commercial had misspelled words. It may have been a "privelege" to attend the academy - it was then MY privilege to call and correct them!

Confession time, sorry if you think I'm harsh. If I see a blog, I expect to see content to READ, not just ads for great stuff I promise I'll never buy. Please don't overwhelm me with giveaways - I have enough stuff already. I like your photos, but tend to lose interest when there is no text describing what you're showing me (so the Wordless Wednesday meme is probably off limits to me).

If your blog is a PR-heavy, giveaway paradise, I probably won't visit often, unless you also wow me with YOUR story.

I don't 'get' joining SITS, and cringe anytime I receive a comment starting with 'Stopping by from (pick your affiliation), without any other comment. These type of comments cause me to wonder if you even READ my post, and if you did, what did you think? How did it make you feel? I crave need feedback, people!

Another thing about commenting. I don't get the "comment goals" thing. I only comment if I have something of worth (at least to me) to add. I may read your blog every day, but don't hold me to commenting every time. If a post touches me in some way, or tickles me, or makes me mad as a wet hen, you'll know it - from my comment.

I don't write hateful comments - I try to be supportive and kind. But be advised that I might venture into the slippery slope of advice-giving if I feel I have some information that I think you might be able to use. I apologize if you interpret my comments as intrusive; that is never my intent.

I guess I'm not a joiner. I'm a loner, but a loner who has stuff she needs to get off her chest. My writing is an extension of who I am, not who I wish to become. I am already me, I'm not looking for fame or fortune (I'd just like to find a full-time job).

Writing allows me to vent. It gives me an opportunity to snicker aloud when I write something I consider to be funny (and I only hope others get my jokes). I appreciate comments, I really do. I know there are millions of other blogs that are better than mine; thank you for taking time out of your busy life to read what this middle-aged crazy woman thinks and feels.

I really do hope you stick around. I love reading YOUR stories.

I hope you like some of mine. If not? I'll still be here, writing for me.

21 comments:

  1. I like your commenting approach (I have a similar one). Of course it makes me think much more highly of myself considering you have taken the time to comment on two of my posts :o)

    Yes it is like Jr. High but you are not a loner. I subscribe to your blog for your wit and insight. It will take more than this post to make me stop following you :o)

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  2. Still a follower, I always enjoy your posts, even if, like you, I don't always comment!

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  3. You keep writing for you and I'll keep reading for me!

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  4. I hate the jr. high clique-ness also - facebook is so much worse, I think that is why I try not to go there much anymore.

    You'll have to forgive my lack of grammer skills - I was never good in English class!

    I do mispell words and my sentences run on and on and on and on....

    But I love your blog!!

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  5. Don't worry. I'M still here. ;D

    I feel like this too, sometimes. I don't have all the bells and whistles. Just...a blog. Where I write about whatever I'm thinking about at the time.

    I, too, read often and comment sometimes.

    The SITS comment-thing has been swimming in my head for the past few days and is gonna end up being a blog topic sooner or later. I don't mind visits, but if it's just to say 'stopping by!!' and picking out a key word? No thank you.

    My grammar is off a little sometimes but I honestly have trouble reading word for word to proofread. My brain does sentences at a time. Stratera fixed that for a while but I stopped taking it because it made me feel funny. (My Dr. said that the 'funny' is 'NORMAL'. HMPH.)

    Aaaaaand I'm rambling.

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  6. Yes, blog land is much like school, and often I feel like the new kid trying to fit in, trying this club or that sport to see if it clicks.
    I agree comments with substance are better, but it is also nice to know that someone just stopped by to say "hi" and give a smile. sometimes, like you, I don't comment, and sometimes, I don't know what to say, but need to say something, so it is an empty comment. Blogland is much like the real world. You try different things, try to make your mark, & be nice to people along the way. And, sometimes, that's just a nod and a smile.
    As for PR, well, if someone wants to give me a pat on the back, and say "keep up the good work, we care about your opinion," well, that's good, too. I still write for me, but I like things for free.

    Enough about me, let's talk about you: Keep doing what you do, how you want to do it, because, like Noelle said: You write for you and I'll read for me.

    Let's value each other's differences.

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  7. Hi! Stopping by from...just kidding!

    Thanks for all the positive comments. And like I wrote, I'll still read your stuff - I'm nosy like that. And typos and stuff? I can still usually figure out what you're trying to say, so it's all good.

    It helps me to not feel so isolated out here in the great, big world.

    Thank you all!

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  8. This could easily be me. I only do giveaways/PR for stuff I like. And that means books :) I do reviews for tween books and I actually enjoy reading them (aka I get free books so that's good!) I hope my not always awesome grammar doesn't offend you. And I do sometimes suck at spelling.

    But I try to be me. That's what blogging is for. I like you. I like your blog - even if I don't always say so.

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  9. I for one love your posts and you're going to have to do better than that to get rid of me :-)

    I just wonder how come I only get offers for Viagra and never for the really good stuff to do giveaways with? I end up just giving away something on my own that means something to me, (is about me, or brings attention to me which is what my blog is all about, right?).
    You have made me nervous about my spelling now and my need to have the longest run-on sentences in Blogdom.

    ;-)

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  10. Oh this is a wonderful wonderful post! I do have some giveaways but I pride myself in my blog being more about me than anything ya know. I dont visit or comment on blogs that I dont have anything to say, I think "Stopping by..." "cool post" etc are worth my or the other persons time. I dont follow to gain numbers i only follow blogs ill actually read! It shouldnt be a numbers game it should be about making connections, writing, & having your own personal space! I say youre the cool kid.. can I join your club? LOL

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  11. I'm here to stay. What you've posted today echoes with me. My thoughts too. Wordless Wednesdays make me crazy, although I do like looking at pictures. I just want to know what it is I am looking at and why. I look at lots of blogs everyday without leaving comments too. I don't like the PR stuff either. I don't like the giveaways from companies very much. If its a giveaway from your own pocket that might be a little different for me, but otherwise, no.

    I am now more conscious about my grammar! I wanted to say "I wanna" but I backspaced and forced myself to say "I want" just for you. ;)

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  12. Thank you for this post. I so needed to read this today.

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  13. I couldnt agree more! If I have 5 people that comment with meaningful comments so I know that they actually read what I wrote that is much better than 30 people saying stopping by from...

    My blog is just that...mine. My place to vent, to laugh, to cry. I dont want it to live up to some standard, it was meant to be a personal diary and it still is.

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  14. I agree and I relate to what you are saying; however, I'm also thinking "hmmm...that sounds a bit like whining."
    So, stop that! :)
    You are SO much more popular than I am. I guess I'll have to aspire to such popularity in 13 years. (Guess my age.)
    LOL! I hope you get my sense of humor.

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  15. I enjoy your blog, but then I'm an "old people", so that probably doesn't count! :)

    I can relate to some of what you are saying -- my senses are sometimes just over stimulated when I go to a blog that has SO MUCH going on. All that busy-ness makes my brain hurt.

    Keep talking. I'll keep listening.

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  16. Great post! I wrote a similar one a while back, and have many of the same thoughts as you. Preach it, sista!

    Thank so much for stopping by my blog on Monday for my BON moment. I love your blog, love your moniker. I saw "June Freaking Cleaver" in my inbox and knew I needed to visit your blog as soon as possible, which happened to be not until now!

    You might have lost a follower or two from this post, but you've also gained one!!

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  17. I actually read this when I was half asleep the night before last and THOUGHT I'd left a comment but I guess not! I totally enjoy your blog. It's YOUR blog. You do what you want with it!

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  18. : )
    I have my blog for the same reason. I need to write it for me. I like that a few people who actually seem to give a crap about what I write read it too.. but it is about what I need from it...
    I'm glad that I found yours and will keep reading often and commenting when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say! : )

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  19. Prior to February I thought the computer was for shopping and porn. I've been lost in world wide web trying to get design ideas for my infant blog when I stumbled upon yours. I didn't even know blogland existed let alone there was a hierarchy. A scorching case of acne kept me down in Jr. high, but now I have something to strive for. Not really, but this post made me hit your follow button immediately. Of course, now I'll have to proofread this comment for fear of spelling something wrong to make a good first impression. I look forward to reading more.

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  20. I'm 42 ... and I'm I in the old lady blogger club?

    And well said, my friend! I've fretted at times about "not being a big enough big girl blogger" but ultimately, my blog is about writing what makes me happy and having "real" comments and "real" "imaginary" friends!

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  21. This was written a while back before I 'discovered' you thru WOW but I had to add my two cents to it because we are SO much on the same web page about this. Like Popeye, "I yam what I yam". That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. And the giveaways and the M for Monday, T for Tuesday, blah, blah blogs are not my cup of tea. Too 'Social Club' for me. And I don't Follow and I don't list Followers, either. If someone wants to 'follow' me they have to figure it out for themselves.

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!