When I started blogging back in November of 2006, a mere nine months ago (but time really does fly), I felt that a whole new world had opened up to me. I was stumbling across tools and other blogs that gave me ideas and inspiration. I ventured into the world of social networking, and at every turn I discovered people and communities doing really cool stuff.
In November, I felt as if I was diving in with my whole self, embracing my inner geek, and I have been having loads of fun writing, sharing photos and sharing my newly discovered links (I really love Ma.gnolia). When I speak about blogging and social networking to my friends, many of the either have no idea what I’m talking about, or they think that it’s simply about a MySpace page, and I am too old for that. I admit that I feel a little old sometimes out there. It does seem as though many bloggers that I come across are a good decade younger (at least!) than I am. But many are not, and I found an article recently about how folks are using blogs and web presence to enhance their resumes.
So far, I have met and corresponded with a few strangers with shared interests, giving me a little taste of what it’s like to have an on-line community. I have found many great resources this way, and encountered a few blogs that I now like to check out regularly. Admittedly, I have not been producing enough content on a regular basis that would be of interest for readers to check back regularly. I guess I am still a bit of a lurker, in a way. I haven’t quite found my place in Cyberspace.
But when you have more of a personal blog, I realize that it is a really cool way to keep in touch with friends and family. Indeed, that is how many of my younger friends are using blogging and social networking. I guess my close friends and family just need to catch on, check in regularly, and leave a comment now and then.
Yesterday, I had the experience of finding a bunch of websites that really put things in perspective for me. Some times you find a link to a site or blog that becomes a portal to another world that takes you to places you didn’t know existed. I love the Internet for that. One of my Ma.gnolia contacts posted a link to the blog of librarygrrl, which for those of you who know me that blog name has appeal for numerous reasons. I had to check it out.
librarygrrl’s blog, cool in and of itself, has a blog roll for other websites run by librarians. I found the The Cool Librarian, The Library Spot, Library Thing, The Beacon for the Freedom of Expression. What a gold mine! And this is just a sampling. I kind of went crazy with Ma.gnolia with all of this.
By absolute random coincidence, by searching for favicons in WordPress blogs, I found the blog of a Quaker Ph.D. candidate from LA at gatheringinlight.com, and through his blog I found the Convergent Friends blog, for Quakers responding to the challenges of defining what it means to be Quaker in the world today. I am not in the world of Quakers too much these days, but as a formerly Quaker-identified progressive Christian, I am delighted to come across these sites. I now have a place to check once in a while to see what people are talking about in these communities, and perhaps even find a place for me there.
All of these discoveries yesterday I now am aware of how much I have to learn about blogging. I don’t think I will ever fully be on the tech side of things. I blog more for sharing content, and beyond adding specific functionality to my sites, I really don’t care to delve that far into the world of programming and web development. I do find this world and the language they speak a little intimidating, so I guess my struggle will be not to let my limited abilities hold me back.
As in real life, I am a Jill of all Trades, Mistress of None. My interests are broad and varied. And even if I was able to pick just one topic to write about, I don’t think that blogging would give me the satisfaction and even the focus that I find in it. I guess one of my passions in life is information. I love information, hence my excitement about the library links! Blogging and social networking give me the media and tools through which to find, organize, and share information about everything that piques my interest. Perhaps my blog will be a portal for someone else to make their own discoveries, leading to their own blogging revelations.