Monday, October 29, 2007



I am currently re-evaluating whether to participate in NoBloPoMo. I spent a few hours yesterday and this morning randomly rambling through the Randomiser. It seems to recycle the same twenty blogs or so.

At the risk of sounding alienating, which is not my intent, the content of those blogs simply didn't speak to me at all. It's the same old thing. I don't live a mainstream life dominated by household concerns. And unfortunately most people like me do not blog.

(Clarification: I am not meaning to imply that everyone should think like me or be like me. What I'm saying is that I'm finding very little diversity in terms of lifestyle or ideology. )

I couldn't bring myself to comment. It wasn't lack of desire. I'm big on commenting. When people write, they want to be heard. I get that. Totally. I feel the same way. I suspect most of us write because we want to connect with others. Otherwise, it becomes little more than m@sturbating in public.

At the same time, my fingers froze over the keyboard. What could I say? Moreover, what could I say that would be honest, authentic and legitimate? How can I say something that won't sound canned?

I can imagine they will have the same response to me. They'll want to say something. That's the spirit of this, after all. NaBloPoMo is all about making new connections.

Yet their fingers will freeze over their keyboards, too.

How do we relate to someone who lives such a radically different life that there is barely a string to connect us beyond the fact that we are both bipedal and presumably eat and eliminate? I'm really feeling defeated by this right now.



niobe said...

I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help to you, because I've always been fascinated by people who have lives, concerns, and beliefs wildly different from my own.

In fact, in some ways, the less I can identify with their day-to-day lives and their ways of looking at the world, the more interested I become. I see it as a way of stretching myself, to try and understand someone else's point of view or life choices.

In terms of commenting on blogs of people like that, if I really can't think of something to say because I just can't relate at all to what they're saying, I usually ask a question to try and better understand or make a comment that attempts to empathize as best I can, like "Although I've never experienced X, I imagine that I might feel Y. Have you ever felt something like that?"

On another point: What's NoBloPoMo?

thailandchani said...

Niobe, I agree. I put a clarification in the post that will hopefully bring this to more light. It is the lack of diversity and ideology that I'm finding difficult.

NaBloPoMo is a program to encourage people to post every day in November. National Blog Post Month. :)

Drhaggis said...

The diversity of content in other people's posts for the month of November should have no bearing whether you decide to post for the month.

While community building is a component of NABLOPOMO, the real thrust of the project is to inspire the individual to write and post and contribute.

Anvilcloud said...

I've never been interested in the NaBlo thing, but to each their own. You're a pretty regular blogger , so it shouldn't be too great a stretch for you. Sometimes, I find it really hard to comment. It's a personal failing. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

In keeping with your authenticity, which you give more conscious thought to than many people, you shouldn't comment if nothing in their posts compels you to.

There are so many blogs and so little time that I read the ones that do resonate with me. Commenting to them is never a problem.

You are not being judged by some universal entity like Santa that KNOWS if you've been a good or bad blogger based upon how many comments you make.

Julie Pippert said...

If I have nothing of worth to say in a comment, I usually do not comment unless I've built a relationship already.

But, then again, I usually have something to say. And with that I'm really not bragging. I say it a little self-deprecatingly.

Give it a little time. I'm sure your role will come to you.

Using My Words

liv said...

I think this next month will be about caring less, and writing more. It helps me to think little of an audience and try to write for myself as an exercise in articulation. I don't comment if I don't want to, and I feel free to mark "all as read" in my reader. So. there. (stomps foot!) hah!

Anonymous said...

It's a lot easier to make a connection in the real world than it is in the virtual world.

In the real world you can always fall back on the weather or what's happening outside the window, and you can kick out a dozen topics until something clicks, and you can tell by smiles and gestures whether it's worth the effort or it's time to move on.

Black text on a white background just doesn't give you many options.

Christine said...

if you don't have something to add or to comment on, then don't. you wouldn't feel true to yourself. if napoblamo feels like a chore that i say don't do it.

flutter said...

I say do it if you are inspired to do it, not out of a sense of obligation.

Add your voice if you feel like you want to.

Blog Antagonist said...

I like the idea of inspiring people to write. But imo, writing just for the sake of getting something on paper (or screen, in this case) usually results in weak content. I'm really not interesting in posting drivel just to say I posted.

And I do understand what your saying about diversity. There are so many blogs that have the same tired content. YAWN.

And commenting...well, you know how convoluted my feelings about commenting are. I comment only when I have something of value to add. After 84 comments, I figure it's all been said.

Carla said...

The concept is great...but I don't like my content to be forced. For me it would be more an exercise in writing, which is great, but wouldn't want to force unworthy reading into the blogosphere. Mind you, you always have such interesting content. I love to come here to see what's on your mind and listen to the discussions.

KC said...

If it's about making new connections, it seems it should be not "random". otherwise, it's just for a temporary effect right?

Janet said...

I used to try and comment on every post I read but I have given up on that ideal. Sometimes I'm not in the mood. Sometimes 41 people have already commented and there is nothing left to say. Some days I comment a lot, some days I don't.

slouching mom said...

I've always thought that the purpose of NaBloPoMo is to help someone learn to write in a more disciplined way.

But you already write thoughtful posts every day.

So I'm confused.

mitzh said...

What slouching mom said.

Anyway, I joined NaBloPoMo then just decided to delete my account the very next day. I guess, I just don't get it. ;P

meno said...

i will not be nablopo-ing this year. I had a great time last year, and met some wonderful new people. At the same time it was somewhat stressful.

I think it's a great thing though, and i know i will have a pang or two during the month.

Do what you need to, as lomg as you enjoy it.

Snoskred said...

I find it really easy to comment thanks to last year's commenting challenge that I did with NaBloPoMo. As silly as it sounds the more you do it the easier it gets.

I struggled with commenting on religious blogs because that isn't my kettle of fish, you know? I don't get it. I did get it once but I now find it somewhat silly. But the amazing thing I found is, I do have a lot in common with religious people. I found a lot of blogs I love that happen to belong to people who are religious. In fact I have a lot in common with most people. I found that looking for the commonality made it easier to see.

I think the connection is there. but I think you personally struggle to find it - and I think pushing yourself to find it is probably the only way you truly will learn to climb that mountain. That's if you want to. It may not be something for you, yano?

The connection is more than just being bipedal eating and eliminating - we all have beliefs, thoughts, hopes, dreams etc. It is just yours are so different to most peoples.

When it's a blog about kids I see it this way - I don't have kids myself, but I have two cats that I love just as much as I would love kids. I look after them. I clean up their messes. I tolerate their cat hair. I tell them no when they do something bad. I am essentially a cat parent. You have a dog, right? Does any of what I just said about my cats resonate, even though they are cats and not a dog? If you parent your dog, you are a parent. Your child may not be human but you are a parent all the same.

And some people might disagree with that but that's how I feel about it - and that is how I relate to parenting even though I don't have or want kids of my own.


Snoskred said...

By the way, I wrote an article on commenting after last year's challenge -

Challenging Yourself To Comment

That might be useful to read. ;)


Pam said...

For me, blogging is the pleasure of exchanged thoughts, ideas and lives, similar or different. I don't know what this deal is, but doubt if I would be interested. I'm happier finding my own way at my own speed with no worries.

Anonymous said...

I'm dreading the whole thing because if too many of the people I currently read participate then there will be too many posts for me to read and comment upon. I don't have time enough as it is, it will only cause me stress in something that's supposed to bring me pleasure.

hel said...

When I talk with people I struggle to relate to I try and find something I find beautiful about them and I focus on that. Their eyes, their smile, their hands or their ears.

Maybe this could also work for commenting. A sentence or word catching your eye. a memory triggered. This said if you can't think of anything then don't comment.

Otherwise blogging becomes a task instead of a joy and soon you can't even think of comments for people you usually have lots to say to.

Aliki2006 said...

I agree with what others have said--participating in something like this should be a desire, not an obligation. I have a habit of over-extending myself and taking on too much, so I purposefully avoid taking part in this, because I just know I won't be able to meet the obligations I'll feel once I take part!

jen said...

i suppose i don't really understand how it works - i thought you had to post every day but i didn't realize you also had to comment on all the blogs? whew, that's too much for me to handle!

Mary said...

I don't know much about NaBloPoMo but I think I get what you are saying. Do you know how many times I have read a riveting or delightful blog, written by someone new, and sat there staring at my keyboard with nothing to say? Sometimes, the words just don't come. And I tried to connect many times. Still, no words. Frequently, they are people who are highly intelligent and have lots to say about everything.

Honestly, there are a few people on my blogroll that make me roll my eyes a second before I click on their blogs... "Oh, God, help me. Here I go again." I've been visiting less frequently because if there is no real connection, then why bother?

"Otherwise, it becomes little more than m@sturbating in public." THAT'S FUNNY!

Ian Lidster said...

I have dropped people from my blogroll for assorted reasons -- in one case a perceived stalker, which was creepy -- and in other cases because I came to realize there was nothing in common.
I love diversity in blogging, and I love those who make me think and hopefully expand -- like you, for example. I am consistently intrigued by your take on many things. Some of them we share, others we don't. I found you Via Susan at Heart in SF, and am so delighted that I did.

Catherine said...

Yes, I totally get this, Chani...

Anonymous said...

Word to heartinsanfran.

I've only had the barest mininum of time to read your words and am warmed by your genuineness. Compromising congruence can be painful.

"Be" you.
What a light.
Thank you.


Anonymous said...

holy cow, am I late to the discussion or what?

I think you cant give up now. Wait until you find something that sparks your interest, and comment on that. Its like playing double dutch, you gotta jump in when the timing is right.

Giving canned answers is worse then no answer in my opinion. It lacks interest. It says you read it, but didn't digest it and are glossing over it.

You know what to do, and you are attempting it, don't give up until you see there really is nothing that interesting out there.

painted maypole said...

you don't have to feel defeated by it. it's perfectly OK to just think "this is not for me, and not a good use of my time and energy" and gracefully bow out.

I'm not doing it because frankly I'm already terrified of the number of blogs I WANT to read that I know about already. I don't need any more! and I know that I keep meeting new bloggers, etc, and keep adding them to my list, but I prefer that to happen more organically.

And how am i going to keep up with ya'lls daiy posts? gack!

Sephyroth said...

Being that I do post every day already, it was an easy choice to simply go ahead and sign up for NaBloPoMo myself; the same goes for the commenting.

I have to say that the new site is much more suited to having a sense of community, instead of it just being a somewhat decentralized link list to all the blogs that are participating in the project.

While I wasn't a part of it, taking up the challenge of not only posting every day, but commenting on as many blogs as possible helped me to become a better blogger, I think.