Several of my most favored bloggers have been posing some serious questions about blogging recently. I urge you to check them out at ginjajoy, Her Bad Mother and BlogRhet. Several questions were posed and I thought that I would answer them on my own blog instead of in their comments section. I apologize ahead of time for my lack of writing prowess but if you’re reading me then you already know about my comma addiction and my tendency to blather on for paragraphs.
1. Who are we? What is a mommyblogger? What kind of mommyblogger (parent blogger) are you? Well, after reading several other replies to this question, I have to say that I may have changed my mind from my original thoughts. Mommybloggers in a general sense are mothers. Stay at home and working moms seem to mix without issues but it does seem that you gravitate to others in your particular demographic. For instance, I find it helpful to read other working moms and see how they handle the stress of work vs home. I gravitate towards mothers of preemies because it is of interest to me and I feel that I have more insight into their situation and may be of help. I think that we come from all walks of life with the caveat that we all obviously own computers and are comfortable throwing out our ideas. Personally my stats are: 28 years old, single child born eleven weeks premature, married and somewhat financially comfortable.
2. Who are we writing to? Who is our audience? I personally write for myself and my family. However since I have begun writing and noticing that more than just family have been reading I’ve been trying to add a little more flavor. In the end, I think my audience is mostly friends, and other moms whom I read and have come here because of my comments on their blogs or other friends blogs. For me, it is a way to keep in touch with the far away families and a way to find a like minded community. I love where we live but I’ve not met a wealth of moms willing to give me advice about what to do when my kid bites me or when I want to hide away.
3. Why are we writing? What is our purpose? Okay I think I sorta answered this already, but I mostly write for myself. To vent the frustrations and joys that motherhood has brought and to remind myself that I am more than just mom. Sometimes I need to be Danielle and not Jeffrey’s mom. This is my online diary and I hope I can use it to look back at my thoughts and panic attacks later on. I also use it to catalogue the books I’m reading, as a way to share them with others out there.
4. What is the context for our writing? What are we saying? What is our message? I pretty much have a different message for each post. It’s whatever is floating through my mind on a given day. There isn’t a central theme other than this is our life, my boy, my job, take from it what you will.
5. How does the medium of blogging affect all of the above (that is, does, or how does, the communication of our messages through blogs, bear upon the message itself? I think that blogging allows us a more free conversation. I can say things here that I wouldn’t necessarily say to someone’s face. When the baby was in the NICU, I was able to navigate and avoid some of the more painful comments by posting here instead of in person. By blogging, you put some distance between you and your readers but you also allow a more intimate conversation. I will admit more freely here because I am still anonymous to many of my readers. Also, by reading someone’s blog you get a window into their feelings and life without feeling like a voyeur. Instead you become more like a friend commenting and advising because you were invited into the space.
6. What kind of citizen are you in the parent blogosphere? How and why do you comment? Link? Give awards? How important is ‘off-blog’ (or inter-blog) activity to the parent blogging community? I hope that I’m a good citizen in the blogosphere. I try to comment on blogs that I enjoy because I love when people comment on mine. It makes it more of a dialogue instead of a diary. I don’t often comment on the large blogs (dooce, amalah, metrodad, etc) because what I want to say is often already there and if I’m going to be the 70th comment, what’s the point? On most of my smaller blogs, I comment most of the time that I read. I try to not just agree or disagree with a point. I try to add some insight or at least give an example of why I understand. I think it helps a lot of us to know that there are others out there that share our fears and joys. It makes the scariness of being a parent less so.
I link to people that I find inspiring or interesting or who I just plain love their blog. I am trying to do linking through my blogroll, but I’m really behind on adding people that I love. Soon I promise it will happen. Back to the discussion. I do a lot of linking to other blogs when they have posts that I find particularly moving and that I don’t want to steal so I just send my readers to them. I’ve never given an award although I read plenty of people who have gotten perfect posts. I hope that I may someday write something so worthy.
Anyway, these are my answers. Hopefully they’ll add to the discussion.