Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Blog Meme

Barb at a Chelsea Morning left an open tag for this blog meme, so I took her up on it.

Do you like the look and content of your blog?

Love the look! Thanks to Susie at Bluebird Blogs. I am little bossy opinionated at times. I have loved so much of her work, that I just told her that I liked blues and reds and greens, but I didn't want it to look like 4th of July or Christmas. I had envisioned pictures, you know Snapshots, of my life across the header. I found the one of the books, and told Susie that I liked the colors there. The church is really my church. The kids are really my kids. Since the header is permanent and I can't switch out the picture as they grow (too fast), I loved this picture that I took of them sitting on the front porch looking out. From the back, they haven't changed that much, yet.

I'm pleased with the content. I think that I hit my groove after blogging a couple of months, and then I was totally bitten with the writing bug. Since it was summer, I had fewer commitments, and I threw myself headlong into the whole writing/blogging thing. With summer over, it got harder to make the time to think and to develop the thoughts that were still swirling in my head. I'm trying to find a balance between just slapping any old thing up here and forgoing all other responsibilities in my life completely. I think I'm doing pretty well at that this new year.

Does your family know about your blog?

Yes, I think everyone knows. My dad and my sister-in-law and my sister-in-law-to-be are regular readers (and regular to occasional commenters).

Can you tell your friends about your blog?

Sometimes. Several of my friends know and read regularly (and comment rarely). If the subject of writing or blogging comes up, I sometimes feel free to tell them about the blog, but it's hard to do so without feeling like they are getting the unintended message of, "You must read my blog. It's really great and will truly change your life if you spend 2 minutes a day reading what I have to share."

Do you just read the blogs of those who comment on your blog?

No. I'm in a quandry about my personal blogroll on my sidebar. I just deleted it, but am going to decide how to bring it back. I want to include the must-reads--the ones that I check them daily, or at least every few days (one way that I have substantially cut down my blog reading time is to check most blogs only a couple of times a week. It's easy to catch up that way). On top of those, there are probably 20 or more blogs that I check in with, and enjoy, less than once a week. Some of these are commenters. If you comment here, and have a blog, I will probably stop in to check out your blog.

The blogroll is a very sticky issue. Yes, at times it seems like a popularity contest. I don't mean it to be that way, or hurt anyone's feelings. The reason that I have decided to keep mine is because if there's a blog that I really am enjoying, I like to see which blogs she enjoys, and I check them out. I think that my personal blogroll should be fairly short, because if there were 50 blogs on there, it would be hard to peruse them. Additionally, once you add someone to your blogroll, it's hard to take them off (if I read less because I'm reading fewer blogs in general). So, before adding someone to the permanent list, I want to read them for a number of months and make sure that it's something that I really really like and want to endorse. So, I'm thinking that I will post the top 10 blogs that I absolutely read on a regular basis, and then include some rotating spots. They will be blogs that I am really enjoying, right now, and I will encourage people to check them out.

Stay tuned in the next couple of days. My sidebar, blogroll included, needs some serious housekeeping, so I'll announce when I have the new info available.

Does your blog positively affect your mind?

Probably. I enjoy doing it, and the practice of writing almost every day has definitely fed that creative part of me that should be fed. I like the comments--not just as empty puffed-up praise, but to hear how what I wrote made you respond or think. The downside would be that it sometimes overtakes more of my mind than it should.

What does the number of visitors to your blog mean?

It means that all the time that I am spending on the blog is appreciated by someone. I won't lie and say that I don't care how many people read my blog. Would I still do it if half the people came by? Yes.

Do you imagine what other bloggers look like?

Yes. I really like it when someone has a picture in their little blogger profile, so that the pic comes up with their comment. I understand that some people don't like to have their picture out there and that's fine, but I like to put the real face with the real "name."

Do you think that blogging has any real benefit?

I like the community that's created here. People care and share and it's fun. It's a group of people who have decided to pursue the same hobby is the bottom line. Many of us share interests other than blogging: our faith, or children, or reading, or cooking.

Do you think that the blogosphere is a stand-alone community separated from the real world?

Yes and no. Yes, authentic relationships can be created. I think of the blogs as sort of a gateway. Maybe there will be people with whom you really connect, and begin "real-world" relationships, via personal emails or phone calls or meet-ups. If not, I think that there is a definite connection and fellowship, but it is indeed separated from the real world.

Do some political blogs scare you? Do you avoid them?

I don't even read the newspaper or watch the news, so I certainly don't read political blogs. I try to avoid things that raise my blood pressure and extreme blogs on politics (or other topics) fall into this category.

Do you think criticizing your blog is useful?

I don't really get this question. If someone had an honest constructive criticism, I would invite them to comment or email me, but in general my mantra is, "It's my blog and I'll write what I want to . . . . "

Have you ever thought what would happen to your blog if you died?

Ha! Yes. Katrina at Callapidder Days is my real life friend, so I think that she would be sure it was laid to rest properly.

Which blogger has had the greatest impression on you?

That would again be Katrina. I had only read one blog, after hearing about it when a book was released. It was sort of a project blog, and ended after the project was over, but I was intrigued. I decided to start my own, but I think it died after a couple of posts. Then I found out that my real life friend Katrina had one, and somehow I decided to follow along in her footsteps. It's been a lot of fun to go through things together in the blogosphere. She is a great writer, with a talent for humor and instruction, writing about deep topics as well as light ones, and I'm proud to consider her as a sort of mentor.

Which blogger do you think is the most similar to you?

Oh, I think that I'm funny like Boomama and Big Mama, I'm warm and genuine like Bev and Barb, deep like Heather at L'Chaim, a wise Mommy like Katherine, and organized like Laura. If that last one didn't alert you to the joke, then I'll tell you I'm just pulling your leg. I do think that there are a lot of people who I would love to meet in real life and would probably get along with really well, and there are so many things that I admire about each of you.

Name a song you want to listen to.

I'm with Barb. I don't get this question, but when I was listening to our newest TMBG CD with my kids today, it sort of reminded of that song, "I get knocked down, but I get up again. . . . " I'd like to hear that one again. It always lifted my mood.

I will also leave this as an open tag. I would encourage any of you newer bloggers to do it (or just do a few of the questions--it is a long meme), and anyone else who wants to examine their blogging life. Please let me know in the comments if you do it.


Dianne said...

I had seen this meme somewhere and wanted to do it, but then couldn't find it! So I'm glad it showed up here - I'll be taking you up on your tag. Loved reading your answers, btw! It has been neat seeing your blogging skills develop so quickly. I'm sure you're an inspiration to many.

Kathleen Marie said...

I have done this meme but it is saved. I want to re-read it in a couple of days and see if something needs changed, tweaked...

I enjoyed your answers. It is nice getting to know you better.


Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

that was really fun and interesting to read. thanks for sharing all those thoughts.

Katrina said...

I always enjoy reading your thoughts on blogs/blogging. And yes, I'd make sure that your blog was handled well if anything happened to you (you're too funny). I may be taking you up on this tag, too.

Heather said...

wshoo. it is a long meme. and some of the questions are odd, like what would happen to your blog when you died? to be honest, i don't think i care. except, of course, that, since i'm unappreciated in my own time, i will be widly famous post-humously, winning Nobels and all sorts of other awards. they may even honor me at the grammys or oscars. so i'm sure my blog will be preserved for prosperity's sake.

org junkie said...

I found myself nodding in agreement to your answers as I went along even to the part where you say you are organized. I believe it, I remember how well you did on the Org did awesome!
I love reading about how others handle their blogroll (I'm always looking for ideas) and look forward to seeing how you plan to handle it.
Thanks Jennifer!

Susanne said...

Enjoyed reading this Jennifer. I found your blogroll ideas interesting and am looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Barb said...

I can't figure out how I missed this, Jennifer. One day last week, all my new post notices in bloglines just disappeared so I'm thinking this may have been one of them. I hope you find this comment after all this time.

Your answers to these questions are obviously well thought out and I agree with you on just about everything. I put my blogroll back into my sidebar, too. I did it more because I want to know I can access everyone if bloglines is misbehaving. I don't read all the blogs I follow all the time. I have them divided into prioritized order, too.

Don't laugh. I know you're going to. I swear, all this time, I thought your header was a picture of bolts of fabric. I swear I didn't realize it was books. I'm soooo observant!

And I had no idea you and Katrina were friends in real life. You probably know that she and Bev go to the same church. Small world.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.