Sunday, July 26, 2009

Texan Mama: the Non-BlogHer

Okay, let me premise all I'm about to say with, if you went to BlogHer '09, I'm jealous. I really considered going, but because I had a severe brain fart and decided to take my 4 children on a cross country torture session trip, I had used up all our family funds that had been earmarked for personal travel. I'm smart like that.

But, even if I had gone to BlogHer'09, I don't think I would have fit in. I mean, first of all, I couldn't care less about increasing my Google page rank, or monetizing my blog, or getting a better Technorati number. I'm happy with my 2-column page layout and I have NO idea how feedburner works (but someone set it up for me a long time ago, so if it ever quits working I'll never get it back on track.) If I had been at BlogHer, it would have been like the scene from Legally Blonde, where Elle shows up to the "costume party" in her pink bunny suit, only it wasn't actually a costume party.

I'd love to know what BlogHer is all about. I have a feeling it's about learning how to make the jump from hobby-blogger to serious-blogger, and I don't think I want to make that jump. I like being able to write what I want the way I want to, without worry if I'll lose subscribers. I really appreciate the group of readers I have gathered in the past year, and I'm happy to consider those people closer to me than some of the IRL friends I've made in the past year. I guess I just feel like, part of the reason I got into blogging was because it was free, and it didn't require any special skills that I didn't already have. But once I start paying hundreds of dollars to attend a conference and begin taking notes on a legal pad about html code, it won't be long before I quit enjoying my blog and start feeling like it's an obligation.

At this point, I probably won't quit blogging anytime soon. But, if I did, the only regret I would have would be that I couldn't keep talking to all the awesome online friends I've made. I don't think I'd feel like I would be letting people down, or like I'd be giving up on something I'd invested SO much time into. Blogging is not a business venture, at least not for me. Heck, it's not even an extension of the career I wish I had (I am a high school math teacher by trade, and so long to get back to it, but that's for another post.)

I guess I kinda look at it like this: If I wanted to be the next Heather Armstrong (Dooce, for all who don't know her name), what would I have to do? How much time would I have to invest? And, would it even be possible? Hasn't that goal already been met by someone? I mean, once you've appeared on Oprah, can anyone really ever top that?

I would say that I am a big-picture type of gal. I like to consider, "Where am I going with this?" So, I've asked myself, "Where do I see myself with blogging in 3 months? 6 months? A year? 2 years? etc." I have tried to figure out if I would really reap any benefits from the endless hours spent building my blog. Would the amount of time invested on the computer end up being worth more than the time I would lose with my family. Realistically, I enjoy what I write but I think I sound a lot like dozens of other mommy-bloggers out there. What would I have to do in order to separate myself from everyone else?

And, I guess that's where the division happens: Blogging is the current trend of communication. Anyone who doesn't know what a blog is, probably will within the next few years. So it's not hard to understand why someone would want to be a serious blogger: it's popular, it's easy to learn and do, and it's accessible to everyone. And all you have to do is have some thoughts, and an ability to put those thoughts into words with a bit of style and wit. But the women (and men) who become really successful bloggers are the ones whose websites are more than a hobby. And I guess, to a certain degree, I admire them for being able to do what I don't have the energy or drive to do.

But for now, I'll just be happy still being able to blommit my thoughts all over you. Thanks for reading, and wearing protective eyewear. And, for the record, if I ever got the chance to go to BlogHer without emptying my savings account, I'd probably go for it. I would just have to live with being the big nerd in the corner who knows everyone's name but no one would know mine. So, no big leap from real life there.

21 comments:

McMommy said...

Am I one of your awesome online friends?

I better be.

Or else I'm forcing you to go to BlogHer with me and do all sorts of things like attend a "Blogger vs. Wordpress" panel and attend a "Nair loves Bloggers!" swag party.

And when the weekend is over, I'm giving you one of those BFF necklaces where you wear half and I wear the other half.

And you'll finally tell me "You aren't just one of my awesome online friends. You are an awesome IRL friend."

McVal said...

Hey Texan Mama! I'm with you sister! My husband asked when I was going to start making money with this thing, but it's really my online diary and if someone out there enjoys reading other peoples diaries... I'm fine with that. Besides it'll give him a good picture of the year when he gets to the Christmas letter. Otherwise we're stumbling around trying to remember what happened this year and we have to make things up.

OHmommy said...

Quote from one of my most favorite panels:

"I didn't come here to learn how to make money, or learn HTML, or how to brand myself. I came here to meet my friends."

That was the best part. I think many others would agree. I know I did.

Anna See said...

This was great! When I went to a one day blogger conference I left feeling inadequate and pressured. I want to keep having fun with my blog. Loved the part about knowing everyone's name but having no one know yours. This is my life! I can tell you who someone is, which house they live in, where their kids go to school, etc, but they'll be like, "Oh, it's nice to meet you"-- and it's evident they've never laid eyes on me in their lives.

jori-o said...

Worrrd. I'll sit in the corner with you!

Loukia said...

You have to come to BlogHer '10! I'm totally planning on going to NYC next year! You have a great blog, and I think you should go! It would be so much fun!

Jennifer said...

Maybe next time we can go and sit and be nerds in the corner together. Because I don't really care about any of that stuff either. Or at least that is what I keep telling the competitive Jennifer that will never see Oprah. ;)

Stacie's Madness said...

I agree, I don't care to make money on my blog, I just want comments and to spew all the crap out of my head!

Cynthia at A Shimmy in My Spirit said...

I didn't go to BogHer either and am regretting not going. Maybe next year?

Casey said...

Stopping by from SITS to say hi! First of all I love the look of your blog, very Texas! I live in North Texas! I didn't attend Blogher either and honestly my blog is just a place for me to ramble about anything I want. I am surprised people even read mine!

ItsKelly said...

Hey fellow Texan! I can totally relate- I feel the same way as you. My blog is just a hobby for me- very fun, but a hobby.

J said...

I don't plan on making any money with mine or changing anything, really, but I'd really like to meet all the other ladies whose blogs I follow!

And I do like hearing people talk about the topics I wonder about, like privacy and stuff like that.

I am definitely going next year, to visit NYC, meet some of the ladies, get out and travel with the new baby, and maybe learn something, but I don't plan on having it change the fact that I blog mainly for me an the 10 people who read my blog :-)

Jen said...

Well that being said, you still want to go next year right? Come on, if for nothing else a change to get away and relax for a weekend. ;)

Tattooed Dork said...

Hey fellow Texan. I've always been that nerd in the corner so don't feel bad about it. If I were you I'd go next year and have a great time no matter how some of those hoity toity bloggers act!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Have a happy Monday~ I am slowly making my way through all of the comments that I so lovingly received last Thursday when I was featured on SITS. Thank you so very much for visiting me.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

"blommit!" lol

I want to go to Blogher someday. But then, I DO want to increase my blog readership and so on and so forth.

Christine said...

I think I have decided instead ofvthe big deal that blogher seems to be, I will instead navigate the much smaller waters of the Mom 2.0 conference in Houston in February. I think it seems much more manageable and more my scale to figure out a few more things without being overwhelmed or bannned to the loser table in the back LOL

HaB said...

I'd be in the corner with you.

I started my blog as a place to keep track of all the crazy things my daughter does. I am not a pen and paper, build a scrapbook type of person - but I can online journal and blog with the best of them. I just hope that the day my daughter reads my blog she will appreciate my sense of humor and know that I did it out of love and a means in which to share memories with her - not to make money off the internet in my spare time, gather followers and review free stoves and fridges.

Wendy said...

I found Dooce by total accident, a link off of a news story or something, no idea who she "was" in the blogging community. I had a vague idea what blogging was. I read her site & LAUGHED & LAUGHED & LAUGHED. And thought, "here's a good way to get my need to scribble down thoughts all the time out of my system." I started a blog the next day.

Once I experimented with ads but it made me feel a slimey, so I took them off. For a while all my traffic was from EntreCard, but then I quit that, too.

Now I'm just garnering readers from commenting on blogs I like to read, and that has worked best of all. Plus it is far more interesting.

Maybe someday I'll be a Dooce. But I highly doubt it. If I ever got more than 100 followers the pressure would stifle me completely.

coco-ono said...

I feel exactly the same. I tried to do some regular give aways and get more serious for a while but then realized the constant work was really taking the fun out of something thats supposed to be stress release.

Sturgmom said...

I'm with you. I didn't even consider BlogHer b/c really, I'm a complete nobody in the blogging world. What would I even do there? I'm actually glad I don't have any committments that force me to blog everyday. I could never keep up.

On the other hand, I've been reading blogs of a few people who went and seem like "somebodies" in the mommy blog world and I don't really "get" the appeal. They are decent writers, but their blogs are like "we did this today, we did that yesterday, blah blah blah." YAWN! What's so great about that?!?!