Everything You Never Needed To Know About Blogging
Midnight has come and gone and I am still awake. This is not good because it means that I have broken another promise to myself.
Broken promises distress me. I don’t make promises because I don’t like being obligated to do things unless I think they are truly important. But there is nothing that irks me more than when we fail to keep the promises we make to ourselves.
A smarter man than I would simply stop typing and go to sleep but I won’t. That is because I have this feeling that if I keep writing something good is going to happen. I have this feeling that every time I sit down and start tapping and slapping these keys that I am going to solve this crazy puzzle and that life will change.
Not that it isn’t changing right now. Change isn’t coming, it is happening right now.
I have heard the echoes of the future and agreed to go meet them and maybe that is why I am still typing. Maybe that is why I keep writing and rewriting this particular post.
Maybe it is why I have listened to Springsteen sing Happy and Thunder Road four or five times tonight. Those words have meaning and I feel magic in the night air.
Lurkers and former commenters
I am always fascinated by the lurkers. That describes most of you. When I look at my stats I see there are tons of you who swing by here on a regular basis but rarely comment.
You intrigue me. I always wonder about who you are and what you are doing. Can’t help but make up stories inside my head about your lives and why you visit but don’t speak.
Those of you who have been around a long time know that sometimes I will push you to shed your cloaks of invisibility and reveal yourselves. I am intrigued by all of you but those who hang out here and my “story” blog really catch my eye.
But the people who I wonder about most are theÂ regularsÂ who used to be among the most visible members of the community but have since disappeared. I run into some of you around the blogosphere and wonder if you have become bored with the words you read here.
It wouldn’t surprise me. It happens. There are blogs that I stop reading because I have gotten all that I could from them. There are blogs that I stopped reading because they managed to offend me.
That could happen here too. I don’t really have to know what happened to the old regulars, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t curious.
That video catches my eye because it is another reminder to me to focus on the people that are important. There are one or two who used to be a part of my life who I need to reach out to. I need to tell them a few things and then see what happens.
I want them to know these things because they are important to me and I will regret not trying to make sure they know how I feel.
Life is short and I don’t want any more regrets than I have. I really don’t have many, but those that exist are enormous.
Courage and newsletters
I have made a point to step outside of my comfort zone. That is part of how I recognized that the echoes of the future are calling me. That is not as hokey as it sounds. Those echoes are the visions I see of the life I want to lead.
Why shouldn’t I try to meet them. Why shouldn’t you.
Fear and uncertainty have sometimes prevented me from doing what needs to be done to make them more than wisps of imagination. But those days are gone, or so I have promised myself.
I may slip up from time to time. I may break a few promises to myself here and there but I think blogging can help me stay on track. I think blogging can help me be accountable to myself.
The newsletter I started is one example of a promise I made to myself that I have kept. Now I just need to finish writing the book and the ebook.
But I suppose that if I am going to do those things I ought to get a little shut eye. Sleep well my friends and I shall see you in the morning. With a little luck those whispers I hear in the back of my mind will become a bit clearer and I will have news to share with you.
Mocha Dad February 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm
I was reading through my comments on Mocha Dad and wondered the same thing. I decided to pay you a visit. I still don’t understand lurkers.
Jack February 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm
It is good to see you. Lurkers are puzzling.
charlieandsheba July 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm
Hi Jack, I’m afraid I’ve become a bit of a ‘mare for a blogger, I visit far too frequently and always leave comments. To be fair (to me) it’s a sport blog, dedicated to my favorite team. But to be honest, a bit of a crush on the blogger as well. Lately he has stopped making remarks to my comments, think he is trying to give me a hint, to cool my enthusiasm. This hurts, but on reflection, looks like I’ve invaded his comfort zone. How can I repair this, or is itÂ too late? Really would miss the fellowship of others who post comments at the site, we’re kinda like a family, supporting our team. Please help!
TheJackB July 30, 2012 at 12:47 am
Â @charlieandshebaÂ It is hard to say what is going on from a distance but if he feels like you have invaded his space back off a little. Make him feel like he has room to breathe and things might snap back into place.
charlieandsheba July 30, 2012 at 6:42 am
Â Thanks Jack, appreciate your input. Will put this plan into place. Have a great day.
JimGenet July 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm
“I have heard the echoes of the future and agreed to go meet them and maybe that is why I am still typing. Maybe that is why I keep writing and rewriting this particular post.” … interesting how the future calls to all of us, but is so seldom heard or if heard the message is ignored. There are times when I feel a tug as if strands of my own story have some how intertwined with realities that have yet to be seen. There are times that I too stand and agree to meet with and live in this new future and there are times sadly that I choose the comfort and safety of the “known”.Â
Enjoyed the visit,
an occasional lurkerÂ
TheJackB July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Good to see you here. The comfort of the known is something that many of us like for obvious reasons. It is easier to deal with expectations based upon experience as opposed to hope.
I can only speak for me, but I have reached a point where I know what I want. I feel like I have a particularly good window of time to work with to make those dreams come true so I am working hard to facilitate it.
But there are moments…
ChopperPapa July 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm
I’m thinking that commenting is becoming a dying art form, like the Renaissance and letter writing, actual letter writing. I’ve notice a serious decline in my commenters as well. If you’re experiencing the same problem, and you’re a better writer than I am, maybe it’s a global phenomenon or just summer. Either way I feel a tad bit better.Â
TheJackB July 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm
Â @ChopperPapaÂ Hi Kyle,
Summer time in the blogosphere is always a bit slower, especially if you aren’t frequenting the business blogs. A lot of us slow down for vacations with the family.
If things stay true to form somewhere around late August, early September you will see things go back to normal. At least that is my expectation.
Jens July 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm
Gene Simmons and Kiss was in Norway this weekend. I didn’t go to the concert, as I was hiking instead.
I’ve been away for four days, it feels like a month. That’s what not being online feels like to me. I’ve been reading your newsletter, and like your blog, it’s really captivating and impressive. I can hardly wait to read your book and ebook.
TheJackB July 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm
There is something to be said for being disconnected. I don’t do it as often as I should, but when I do I go through this period of time where I feel a bit crazed because I am offline.
Eventually it passes and I remember the pleasure of not needing to constantly check my email and or see what is new in the world.
Hiking is something that I used to do a lot of, but haven’t done enough of lately. Been thinking about it because I think it would help my writing and peace of mind.
Hope you are well.
margieclayman June 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm
I usually read but don’t comment because I seldom have anything useful to add to your blog posts. They’re insightful, they resonate, they make me laugh or ponder, but I don’t like leaving short fluffy comments, and apart from occasionally saying, “Awesome post,” I just eat your writing like fudge and then move on :)Â
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm
Â @margieclaymanÂ Hi Margie,
You often have good insights that are worth sharing, don’t be afraid to share them here even if they are just a few words.
Of course there is no obligation to comment either… Hope all is well.
Late_Bloomers June 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm
This is your sometimes lurker: what would you do if everybody who swings by would leave a comment? Sometimes I do not feel like leaving a comment, it is like real life, sometimes I do not get what you are talking about, why should I leave a comment then?
I really like Gene Simmons but I felt uncomfortable watching the video (and I am not used to seeing flowers in a Jewish cemetery but I live in Europe and we tend to be more conservative) and I cannot help having second thoughts.
Well, good night to you and look forward to those news!
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Â @Late_BloomersÂ Hi Barbara,
I don’t know what I would do.There are posts here that have generated 80 or 100 comments. I like those and am proud of them.
Even if I account for half of them it means that I received 40 comments. It is time consuming to respond. My goal is to let the commenter know that I Â read and appreciate their words, but sometimes it is hard to get it done the way I want to, there is only so much time.
Flowers are very common at Jewish cemeteries in the states. When I have gone to visit my relatives in Israel I haven’t always brought flowers, oftentimes I have just left a rock.
Anyway, I will keep you posted. No news yet.
Hajra June 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm
I might be a lurker sometimes. I do read all your posts; but I don’t necessarily comment. I don’t know why. Maybe I just don’t know what to say sometimes… but yes, I love your writing… 🙂
And this time I made sure I said something! 🙂
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:15 pm
Â @Hajra Â Hello Hajra,
And your comments are always appreciated, however often you have time to leave them. I like them all.
jessiestank June 28, 2012 at 8:25 am
I guess you could consider me a first-time lurker/commentor. Since I’m here I figured I might as well make it known! I often wonder about those blog stats too.. Who are all of these people from Russia and Ireland who are always visiting my blog? It’s puzzling to say the least. Nice post 🙂
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm
Â @jessiestankÂ Hi Jessie,
Welcome to the blog. I know what you mean about some of the visitors from overseas. I often wonder who they are and whether they understand what they are reading. It is really cool to see people from so many places and to know that the world has gotten to be so small.
richescorner June 28, 2012 at 8:16 am
I lurk on occassion and I comment on occassion. I don’t always comment because I want to stick to a rule of commenting only when I feel like I can contribute a meaningful comment. Sometimes a post is so well written, it covers all the bases and I don’t have anything to add other than “nice post.” Othertimes, it’s so thought provoking that I need to think about it and come back to comment later. This is my effort to try not to leave a spamlike comment on someone else’s blog.
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Â @richescornerÂ That is a very reasonable position to take and one that I sometimes adopt.
I say sometimes because I tend to alternate between just reading and making sure to leave a comment, even if it is only “great post.” I always hope that people recognize that I really mean that and it is not just something Â I say.
CrossBetsy June 28, 2012 at 5:41 am
Moving. Thanks for the video. In the end, which every day really is, it truly does boil down to our relationships and how well we choose to nurture them, online AND off.
I think about how it appears to stop visiting blogs that I went to whenever the author posted. But I don’t let that thought overwhelm me because I have things I have to do and that I want to do and I can’t be everywhere. So, instead of reading everything that interests me, I’ve chosen a few and am sticking with those. That’s the best I can do. Most of the time I stop going because there’s no reciprocity, no real relationship building.
Those are my thoughts for the day. Have a good one, Jack!
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm
It is impossible to be everywhere we want to be so we have to be careful about where we choose to spend our time. Lately I have been quite cognizant that I haven’t visited a lot of the blogs that I would like to.
It is frustrating to me because I feel like there is a lot to learn and I am missing out on some opportunities, but we can’t help but make choices.
I think that you have made a smart decision and it is something that I am trying to do too. I want be in fewer places but have a larger presence there because I am present and less distracted.
Faryna June 28, 2012 at 3:08 am
I made this comment over at Biebert’s blog, but I think it applies to the things you made me think about as I read this blog post.
Yesterday, I started a social experiment in change-making. It’s about a small change in the big picture: the reinvention of a sustainable game development model. And yet this small change I am trying to drive has everything to do with community, collaboration, and the untapped potential of social.
The triumphs and challenges for any kind of desired change through social may be unveiled by this experiment. And, maybe, some other things will come out too. Encouraging and disappointing – as all lessons must be.
You can read about it and -please- join me in the adventure here:
My experiment may begin to answer several questions about the optimistic assumptions I have about social, blogging, etc:
1. How much change can be made by a tsunami of voices via social?
2. Will people collaborate via social in the hope to make change?
3. Will people help others out on causes to which they have no gain?
We all talk a lot (too much) about how awesome social is but we all seem to not act on our enthusiastic assumptions of what can be done, how we can make it happen and who can we count on.
In other words: Lots of ideas. Lots of enthusiasm. Little action. Few or no results. Even less collaboration. And, worse, triumph has become more legend, myth, and fiction than truth.
Good night, Jack.
TheJackB June 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm
I believe in all that you wrote and that we can make it happen. The hardest part isn’t getting people to believe, but to act. I see it as being similar to trying to move a boulder.
It is quite heavy so it requires a bit of rocking back and forth but once you have it moving you gain some momentum and things really start to move.