Friday, October 28, 2011

Thoughts on Blogging

Well, I got one picture up. This is a tin I bought recently. I tried to load a picture of the Churn Dash quilt I sent to BASICS in New York and it dragged on forever. I also tried to load a picture of my latest ATC for the Bead Journal Project, with the same results. Makes me wonder if there's actually a problem within my Picasa program or between my camera and the software. Ick. I don't have the knowledge to fix that kind of thing.

I am not a tech person. Blogging is my replacement for the social interaction I used to get from my quilt guild. It's how I do Show and Tell these days. Believe me, I'd rather do it in person but I'm grateful that this platform is available. I just need someone else to fix the glitches!

Serious or in-depth troubleshooting is beyond my skills and patience. In order for me to participate in the online world things need to be simple and straightforward, the more obvious the better. That's why I chose Blogger. For the most part it's been a good match. I've been able to keep up with the changes or choose to update things about my blog. However, I do not appreciate having "new and improved" shoved down my throat by Blogger or any other manufacturer/provider. New and Improved! always meant the product had been altered for the worse in my experience.

I don't blog to make money for myself or anyone else. I don't even do it to promote myself or my artistic efforts in any way. In the beginning I visited a lot of blogs on a regular basis. Now I find myself spending the most time with a handful who have become like close personal friends. I'm an introvert; chat rooms and social networking sites aren't usually my cup of tea. And if I'm spending all my time on the computer I'm not sewing! It's been tricky for me to find a balance between the two. I like to see what others are doing and making, what's popular and all that, but I am also easily overwhelmed. My muse will run and hide if she gets the impression we aren't doing what we "ought" to be doing (ie: what everyone else seems to be doing).

The other side of that coin is the support and encouragement I receive from my blogging friends. Simple comments at least let me know someone else is out there, sharing in what I've posted. I feel much less alone in the world when someone leaves a comment on my blog. (And for someone as isolated as I am that means a lot.) When those comments are thoughtful and sincere it means that much more. It occurs to me that a thoughtful comment could be the equivalent of a hand written letter in days of old (eek!).

The time I spend reading or surfing other blogs fluctuates widely and without a discernible pattern (so far). I tend to spend the most time online when I'm stuck or between projects here in my own studio. That doesn't mean that I no longer enjoy or support those blogs I do visit and enjoy. When my own blog is quiet, not receiving comments, I try very hard to remind myself that my cyber friends and acquaintances are busy doing other things themselves. I try not to take it personally. It's not easy, and it doesn't always work, but I try. The sheer numbers of quilters and artists out there make it impossible to visit everyone and participate in everything, much as I might like to.

Oh, and this business of having - or collecting - followers? I choose not to participate in popularity contests. Nor do I like having information filling my dashboard or inbox willy-nilly. When I have the time and inclination to go see what other bloggers have done or said I will go visit them in person, so to speak. Does that make me a control freak? Oh well, so be it.

9 comments:

Quiltdivajulie said...

Amen ... very well said.

Re followers - I have the feature enabled for the sake of those who do use it. Me - I use Google Reader to help me keep track of what's important to me.

I wish I didn't have to remember as much tech-stuff as I do. It would free up space for more color!

Ann-Maree said...

Hi Magpie Sue
I agree with your thoughts...I'm a sometime blogger and only for my own benefit....I just love the tin! What a crack up.....I am in a sewing group that meets once a fortnight, but I don't have many close friends. Anyway, your post has brought me out of lurkdom to say hi and I enjoy your blog!
Ann-Maree in Sydney

Michele Bilyeu said...

We are more alike than different. And I think readers would be amazed to know what an incredibly isolated life I live..in two different states!

I read hundreds of blogs ..hundreds and hundreds...for an amazing number of hours a day. I try to leave 25 comments a day and at least 3 have to be at someone's blog that I don't 'know' and have never visited.

Most of us who blog want others to come to us, see what we are doing, reach out to us, comment on our blog.

My purpose..overwhelmingly... is to give to others and share bits of me each time I do it..hoping I am doing good in the world in the process. I've always been like that.

I never realized that the making contact and getting to know others who touch my heart...like you..would be such a bonus and truly, a way of making friends in the world outside of myself, and my little life.

Barbara C said...

Your tin made me laugh, and I hope that posting that picture means that technology is again on your side.

My experience blogging is much like yours. I do it to maintain contact with a fairly small group of on-line friends who have become very important to me. I also like being able to look back on some of my past projects, and I've even used my blog to remember how I did certain projects or techniques. As a consequence I don't search out many new blogs to read. My creative time is very limited, and the computer can be a big time-eater.

Sharon said...

Oh, I so agree with you about "new and improved"! It almost always means NOT improved, but a bad change. I don't like "new" shoved down my throat either.

I wish there was someway to contact Blogger when there was a problem. I have 2 tech people in my house, and sometimes even they cannot solve my problem. I'm so sorry to hear that you are still having problems, with no resolution. Ugh.

I started my blog to connect with distant friends and family after I moved here to WA, as a way to "show and tell" what I was up to. Now it keeps me in touch with the other quilt bloggers that have become friends or otherwise important to me. I'm torn between using the computer and actually sewing.

Lately, I've been having health problems and haven't been getting out much or even feeling up to doing any sewing either. That is when the quilt blog community becomes my life-line and social interaction. I don't always leave a comment, for many reasons. But I try to when I can, because I know how important it can be to know that someone "out there" is reading my blog. I think we all like some encouragement, don't we?

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I enjoyed your thoughts on blogging. And cute tin! It would fit right in in my house. hee hee!

jinxxxygirl said...

Reading about how you blog i could have been reading about myself. I'am so not techno savy. AND i don't want to be. I joined blogger because it seemed easy and straight forward.

I too try not to take it to heart when i don't receive many followers or comments...but its hard. Especially when i show a new piece of art. A part of me wants to hear ooooo's and ahhhhs :) We'll just have to hang in there until its no longer fun. Hugs! deb

Clare said...

Aaarrghhh! Don't talk to me about new and improved. It's driving me nuts!

I'm sticking to the LQ web ring and a few others at the moment. It takes too long to visit everyone every day and leave a comment.

Re photos. Have you checked the size? If they are too big they won't load.

Finn said...

Hey Sue, happy gray, cloudy, gloomy November day to ya! I think we have that Seattle weather pattern stuck overhead! Oh well, at least it's not snow, not yet, LOL.
I'll add my "amen" to your post about Blogger, new and improved and the whole rest of the 9 yards. I'm not much of a follower, but then I'm not much of a leader either. I'll just stay over here in the slow lane and watch it go by, thank you very much. Feel free to join me, I love the company!
I haven't tried posting any pics since my triple post of 10/29. Even with the pics smaller it just wouldn't load the 4 picture post. I use Picasa also, and have wondered how some of these gals get 6 and more pics to post for them. Must not be Picasa they use. Oh well, it is what it is, I guess.
I truly hope you won't quit posting, even if it's just one picture at a time! Sending big chemical free hugs, Finn

Susan Elliott said...

At many times in my blogging life, I have felt many of the emotions that you expressed in this post...I just want you to know that I enjoy reading your posts...and learning about your life...and I rarely comment. I wish I had more time...My mom always said that you can really only have a few good friends and I think that's right. And it's true in the blogging world.

For what it's worth, I write my blog for me. I am delighted when folks choose to participate through commenting...but I am no longer able to respond to each one. And that makes me feel guilty sometimes. I have to continue to tell myself that my blog is for me. And that helps.

Your blog is for you. And I'm grateful that you make it public so that I can share in your creativity and all the unique-ness that makes you, you.

But don't ever feel like you have to comment back or follow my blog. I'm just happy to see the piece of you that you choose to share here. And it's a beautiful piece.

Many blessings to you, your needlework and your blog, Susan