Why Are You Here?

What draws you to a blog? Is it the content, the blogger, or the layout? Is it all of that and more? I’m curious because I’m finding that my blog list has expanded and I try to keep up with all of them, but lately I’m wondering why I follow certain ones that haven’t posted anything interesting in months. (interesting to me, I mean) I think this is the first post I’ve ever done about blogging and reading/following blogs. I don’t recall writing one anyway.
I’ve started examining why I have this blog and what my ultimate goals are in writing it. First, it’s an outlet. Anyone who has visited the Edge knows I tend to rant now and then. This is an excellent place to do that and to also gain perspective. Not long ago I ranted about the whole agent situation and received feedback that made me realize I’d been looking at it all wrong and had no reason to be upset. Sometimes it’s good to know you’ve overreacted. The other major reason is platform. I don’t have a website, and I have to have some kind of platform other than the nonfiction writing that I do as a “day job”. So this is part of that. I also enjoy connecting with other people in the writing/publishing industry I’d never have known otherwise.

My goals? This was tough to answer. Ultimately, my goal is for the Edge to be informative, entertaining, somewhat professional and it has to feel like “Me”. I want my writing style and voice to come through, but I also want everyone to have a good feel for me as an individual too. The design plays a big part in that. I love dark. I love simple. Oddly enough, I also love eye candy. So I hope that the Edge is all of those things…is that possible? Don’t know.

When I follow other blogs I do so for several reasons too. Sometimes I find one that is packed full of information. Agent blogs are in this category. Others I follow because I love the voice of the blogger. Maria Zannini, Vegetarian Cannibal, and The Backwoods Betty are examples of some of the blogs I’ve followed because I love the style and voice of the blog writers. I have several that I follow because they’re friends. Now, I still find them interesting, but I didn’t go through the same process of discovery as I did for the previous examples. I knew they had a blog, I followed it, and I lucked out. I have interesting friends.

Last are blogs that I am a little ashamed to say I followed because they followed me. I’m all for supporting others, and I do read these blogs. Most of them are great, but some of these are the ones I’m wondering about. For example, there is one blog that I’ve followed for a short time now and I’ve dutifully read every single post. I like this particular blogger, who is a nice person and a decent writer. But then I commented on a post that discussed the pros of self publishing and why one would opt for this route. My comment was nice, intelligent and I asked questions that I was really curious to know the answer to because the post made some pretty strong statements about agents and the publishing industry. Now, some might have felt defensive at my questions, but that’s not my problem. You want to go around boasting about a certain thing being the best and making negative comments about another thing you know little or nothing about, well you’re gonna get some feedback. Anyway, the blogger deleted my post. Now, my finger hovers over the button to ‘unfollow’ this blog. Why? I don’t like being censored, especially when I take care to be unoffensive and friendly. These things aren’t easy for me, folks. So when I try to be nonconfrontational and open minded, someone better damn well appreciate it.

This brings me to what I don’t like and don’t plan to do with my blog. I don’t like censoring comments that are legitimate and relating to the blog posts. I do, however delete ads. If you’re selling, the Edge ain’t buying and I sure as hell won’t clutter my comments with such nonsense. I don’t like blogs that post daily. I cannot keep up. I couldn’t do that if I wanted to anyway. I don’t like whiny ranty blogs that basically just bitch and moan about life and all of life’s jokes. Come on, be happy now and then. Jeeze. I try not to do that. Do I whine? Tell me if I whine.

I don’t like blogs that have nothing to say. If I’ve followed a blog for a few months and cannot figure out what the heck it’s about, then I’m through with it. I like the idea of a link exchange, but I hate blogs that have the rule that you have to follow back or contests where you have to follow this blog, that blog, post on a million sites, and then stand on your head and drink a milkshake while tapping out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with your toes on a piano just to win a stinking book. Sorry, not doing it. Oh, and I’m not fond of reading blog novels or whatever they’re called. Why? I don’t really know exactly. I don’t mind reading writing samples, actually I like that. But these blogs that post chapters of novels week after week, eventually posting the whole thing, they just bug me. Honestly, I’m not sure why. Just one of the many things that annoy Renee. Like the McDonald’s kissy sound commercial. Ugh.

Wow, long post. What do I like? Humor, information, fun, writing, and I want to feel as though I’m getting the ‘real’ person behind the blog, not some personality they’ve created. If it feels fake, it’s not as fun to read. Maybe that’s just another ‘annoys Renee but no one else’ thing. Probably half my blog list has me completely fooled. Maria is probably a 45 year old German transvestite who huffs paint to pass the time, and Michael is probably that stalker chick that I banned from my home, so she created an identity online in order to be close to my awesomeness. Creepy “Michael”….very creepy.

So tell me, what makes you love or hate a blog? Why do you keep coming to the Edge? What do you wish I’d stop doing? Don’t worry, I can take it, be honest.

9 thoughts on “Why Are You Here?

  1. I'm here because you're endlessly amusing and I can't pass up a blog that mentions… well… me! Also, a stalker chick and a German Transvesite + hate for the disgusting McDonald's lip-smacking commercial?!! Purely awesome. If I were the kind of person who liked to actually leave the house, I'd totally stalk you too.

  2. And I visit the Backwoods because you're awesomeness far exceeds my awesomeness. I mean, Derby Chick (do you guys like to be called 'chicks'? No? Suck it up. That's what I call you) and I hate leaving the house or I'd totally stalk you too.

  3. I yam what I yam. Though I'd kill to be 45 again. LOL.Ref: censoredI'd unfollow the blogger. If you were asking legitimate questions, I have to wonder if the blogger was truly presenting a valid statement or if he was just parroting party lines. I've only deleted a couple of posts from spammers. And one from someone who after being warned, again commented with a plea for money. Sheesh!Ref: your blogI like the honesty of your blog. I like that you can dish it out as well as take it. (a rarity in the blogging world) And I LOVE your playful nature and banter. I could probably do without the cussing. Not that it bothers me on any moral ground, but I see it as unprofessional. –Yes, I know. Lots of 'big name' authors (over)do it, but I don't think too highly of them either.For the record, I don't think you cuss too often–unlike these other yahoos–but the posts might come across as less 'drama queen' with expletives deleted.I love visiting blogs and catching a glimpse of how other people live. I like hearing how people eat, what they do when they're not writing, and how they handle adversity. In a way, it helps my writing too. I'm more aware of other personalities and other ways of thinking. Reading blogs is one of my favorite indoor pastimes.

  4. Interesting on the cussing. Yes, I am fully aware I can get my point across without it and I agree 100% that it gives one the impression of 'unprofessional' or drama queen. In fact, I often weigh my words, cuss words that is, carefully and for a long time each time I use them. My dilemma is that with them, it's going to offend some, and without them, it just isn't me. My mother hates that I still go off on profanity ridden tantrums. But I am a drama queen. Not the snotty I have to have my way or else type of drama queen. But I am definitely…expressive. I think swears are colorful and truly believe that for many of them, they can drama in a way no other words can. However, there is a time and a place for them. Is that here? Part of me says yes, of course, and the other part says not so much. You'll still see them now and then, but I do try to keep them to a minimum. The f-bomb is usually reserved for very serious tantrums. That word I think is overused. We can be more creative than that. Would it surprise you to know I don't like reading blogs full of swearing? I don't. It should serve a purpose and not just to shock. I like your answer to why you read blogs. "Catching a glimpse of how other people live" is very much a draw for me too. I like to see other points of view, other ideas. It's interesting how many ways a person can spin a topic.

  5. hmmm…. i think if i can relate to the voice of the blog or the content of the blog then im following. Even honesty will work to get me to be a new follower. So pretty much the same things you say here. im also a firm believer in the saying "if your not going to do something right just dont do it at all" if i see a blogger who pulls out all the stops, and you can tell they took the time to write their posts because they care about what they are putting out there…. like the blog is a living room and they cleaned up before you came by… im going to either follow or comment on that too. Because it takes time to write something your proud of, and if you took the time to entertain then im grateful and obliged to read it. did that sound pretencious? i dunno.. thats just how i choose.

  6. That's not pretentious at all. That's honest. What appeals to one is different for another and I get where you're coming from. If it's evident they've put serious thought into their blog, of course they deserve to be read. I don't always comment and I feel guilty about that sometimes. Usually I read and if I have nothing new to add to what's already been said, I don't comment. I wonder, would bloggers rather have a comment that says nothing more than "awesome post" than no comment at all? Personally, I'm happy anyone is reading. Commenting isn't necessary (though I sure do love them). I think you choose wisely, you're looking at effort, and that's important.

  7. I agree! Michael is definitely the stalker chick. Also, it's refreshing to hear someone say that we don't have to post everyday. So many out there say that if you don't post several times a week, then you are mot doing it right. For me, 3-4 times a month is all I can do without affecting my writing time.Writing should always come first. Blogging is the little reward we get to do when we've caught up on all the writing.

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