Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh, how I love my online community.

This post is to welcome Amna into the blogging world, and to tell you dear readers how grateful I am to have started mine.

It wasn't long ago when Boysie had urged me to create a blog. I never thought I’d actually do it with the intention of addressing issues of interest to me. I felt it was more of a personal thought journal. I never had the intention of using it for anything other than personal. It was limited in scope to a few of my good friends and anyone who ended up running into my blog.

Soon, though, it became a vehicle all its own. I was surprise I got readers from all over the world as shown from my counter widget, and more anonymous hits than I thought were possible. I would write about any and everything that came to mind, and people would respond positively.

Tracey stumbled upon my blog and left a comment, so I also checked out her blog and found the recent post surprisingly amazing because of the things she sew during the night that she shared in her post. Over the next few weeks, she left more comments at my blog and I left some at hers. It was so strange to me that 1) someone I'd never met would be interested enough of my rambling to come visit every couple of days and leave a comment, and 2) that I would do the same to someone I'd never met.

But then something weird happened. I now follow lives of people from England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, United States, India, among others. I’m subscribed to other blogs, but this particular group is interconnected. Each of these people read and comment on each others’ blogs. And maybe this relationships might even extend into the physical realm as there were those who wish to send cards or package.

If I was told one year ago that I would actually feel some emotional attachment to complete strangers like this, I certainly wouldn’t have believed it. And what’s even more amazing is that these “virtual” friends really do scratch a social itch. The feeling is very much like that in my real life friendships, it’s just that we don’t meet up on Saturday night for scheduled merrymaking or had a coffee during the afternoons.

The tiny little “community” that has grown up around it is one of the most surprising and gratifying things about the whole blogging endeavor. And yes, I also get annoyed when people talk about online life versus “real” life, as if this is all just a Sims-style game, as if we weren’t really connecting with other people. I consider you all to be real friends. Not online friends or some other ridiculous qualifier, but actual honest-to-god friends.

Blogging has been an informative experience for me, not only in terms of what I write and share with you, but also what you write and share with me.

I never even knew what people meant about writing blogs a years ago. Now, I am an addict, hahaha!

Constantly I find myself writing from either a personal or objective stance. It has become a tool for me to become more self-aware, share experiences, give and seek advice, and to record moments of my life. If it wasn’t for you, I never would have dared to embark on this writing adventure.

So to all of you, and you know who you are, thank you for guiding me to the world of blogging!


Sheila said...

I agree! I have had lots of support from the blogging community over the last few years, and consider the people I blog with 'FRIENDS'
Thank you for the award and the kind comments you leave on my blog

Tracey said...

It's just incredible isn't it!
I didn't know anything about blogging a year ago either, other than I used to read craft ones, then one day I thought I can do this....the rest is history!
Love Tracey x x x

Mar G said...

I agree too....I value my online friends very much :-) The support I've had recently especially after my op has meant so much to me & has really kept me going!
I may not update my blog as regularly as I should just now but I try to keep up with all my friends! Love Mar x


It has certainly been a huge learning curve for me too! I am glad I have met you guys, and apart from my school books have given up on books, to follow my fellow bloggers daily posts!
I would dearly love to meet you, and Trace, and Amy and others who I have met along the way. I never believed online friendships could be so deep and meaningful.
I am privileged to know you Odette, you are an intelligent, strong, empathetic and beautiful woman.

Amy said...

My mum started her blog last August (i think) and used to go on and on at me to start one. I was real bored one night in january and decided to start one and i am so pleased i did...i have got to know some brilliant people and you are lovely!


rattles said...

i feel the same i love my online mates the same as my so called real life ones! And in some cases share info into the ether that i may not share with my mates in person for fear of what they would say. I often find i am more honest about how i feel online where it did start out as more of an outlet to vent my thoughts and frustrations! :-)

I love chatting to you guys and finding out about everyone else's day etc. I think your great odette keep it up! :-)

Speak soon lotsa lv and virtual hugs Xxxx

Odette said...

thank you all for the comments. wouldn't it be nice if we do finally get together someday? i love you all all guys!

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Well written Odette.. imagine, people just think we are messing around on the computer!

Yes - it is wonderful to meet people - and care about them from across the miles.

As well as just friends, I feel better informed about world events this way too - let's face it - we hear about events so fast this way!

Mimi said...

What a nice post, Odette. I agree 100%. I have met some wonderful people through blogging-like you!

Sid Brechin said...

It was you Odette that got me into blogging. As you know I don't blog daily but when the fancy hits me. I tend to either educate, inform or entertain. As my genes are not going to be passed on the things I have learned in this life is all the contribution I can make to the future. Perhaps a number of my actions during my life have had consequences that will ripple out for years to time.

Many of the things I did was because I was the right person in the wrong place at the right time. Every so often I have to cure people of using the Saint Sid label on me. It would be redundant anyway since Sidney is just a French way of saying Saint Dennis. Also many of the things I did and do that earned me the nickname I owe to my Military training and then my job experience in a pretty dangerous environment to hone those abilities. Having the un-controlable urge to always study everything tends to add to the "myth" as well. Working on 6 languages in a town were most find the second compulsory high school language their hardest subject gets me regarded oddly.

Some people who read my ramblings have been urging me to put things into book form. So for now the blogging is great for getting me to let things flow out for practice.

With a book I would have to stay on topic. Blogging I can jump all over the place and eventually gather the related material together with thoughts and research already down in black and white.

Odette said...

i am glad you took up the challenge coz you do have so many informative things to share to the readers. besides, when you have nothing else to do, its one way to pass the time away, plus you get to interact with people from across the globe.
you arent sleeping, yet?

living_with_ba said...

My blog will be a year old on June 26th I think and although I've been blogging on LJ since May 2004, this has been an interesting ride with many friends jumping on.

amna said...

thanks for the special mention and warm welcome though i'm not sure if i can make it like you guys.
truth is, my close friends are mostly on-lines, and whenever i have time, i hang around with the senior citizens group, i find word of wisdom from them, vice versa, i tell them new generation trends which they find so absurd. putting laughter on their faces and make them feel so important, being cared and loved is my biggest accomplishment at the end of my day.
wee hours at night, i'm with my on-line friends until i retire to bed. I pick up so many valuable lessons from these courageous people who shares their innermost in order encourage others who faces life miseries not to give up. this is what i have found most in blogging community, most has its own life story to tell and i'm glad to be part of it.


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