I started blogging about eleven years ago. I guess it wasn’t really blogging then. It was a website. I forget the host now, was it angelfire, or something like that? It was free, it was clunky, but it was a place for me to record what was happening in my life. I was a member of a few forums and my ‘friends’ from those forums visited my web page. Other than that I kept it a secret.
Since then I have always blogged in one form or another. There have been many online tools over the years and I’ve been terrible at keeping track of them all. The best and most consistent for me so far have been Blogger, which I use for personal blogging, and Edublogs, which I use for my classroom blog. I love blogging and I love all the extra tools around to support and extend it. The different ways of linking with other people, of sharing and reflecting.
I started The Rockgarden in early 2009 to record my pregnancy, and it continues to record our family and life. Or a version of it. It’s a space for me to record the little things so that they don’t get lost in the rush of life. I blog because I enjoy writing and I enjoy technology. It is my fun. I have a public blog because I like getting feedback and I like knowing others, if only a few, are reading this too. A private journal just wouldn’t do it for me. Luckily I have found some fabulous bloggers along the way, and maybe a few of them have found me too.
It feels to me as if blogging, in Australia, is now going into hyper drive. There are blogging conferences, meet ups, people have media kits for their blogs, PR companies have asked me to write about brands on my blog, other bloggers are being sent on overseas jaunts on the back of these brands. Bloggers are mentioned in the glossy magazines, on radio, on TV. And they are ALL. OVER. THE. WEB. All over it. There are so many forums and groups and pages and I am dizzy with it all.
Occasionally I try to keep up. I join in with Twitter for a night or two, then end up feeling kind of like a douche. I was probably behaving like one too, I have almost no idea about Tweeting etiquette. Just stalking Twitter makes me feel giddy, it’s so hard for me to keep track of it all, I don’t know how y’all do it. And that infuriates me because I have always been able to keep up with the techies, with the latest fun tools, but over the years I have just never been able to make Twitter work for me.
I’ve briefly and sporadically tried joining forums and websites to play there too. There’s Kidspot social, Digital Parents, Connect2Mums, to name a few. There are Facebook pages aplenty. There’s instagram, web.stagram, and just this week I found out there is something called Klout. WTF is Klout?! There’s nuffnang, Google Follows, Pinterest, flickr, Google+….. I. just. can’t. keep. up. And you know what? I really don’t want to keep up.
Last night, after reading her a story, I kissed Pebble goodnight and, as usual, I sat on the chair next to her bed waiting for her to go to sleep, the glow of my smart phone lighting my tired face (without this distraction from the waiting-for-sleep I might quietly go insane). Soon enough Pebble’s breathing changed to that sweet sound of slumber and I came out into the lounge room to chat with Paul. Our evening debrief. My shoulders were so tense, and my brain was going a million miles an hour. All from reading a few blog posts. Lately it seems that the more I read, the more left behind I feel by this social media whirlwind. It leaves me feeling very…. anti social. After I unloaded my thoughts onto my always understanding and listening hubby (love you babe x) he gave me a really good analogy. He is The King of Analogies.
He said something like: “I played soccer for fun for years. I did it because I enjoyed it. Others got paid millions of dollars for it. I wasn’t doing it for money I was doing it for fun”.
That’s right. I do this for fun. Would I still be having fun if I was up until all hours surfing the social media wave, writing sponsored posts, handling media enquiries, being asked to go on TV (aaaarggggh!!!!! NO!), having 100,000 readers and all the positives and negatives that come with that kind of attention? For me, personally, NO. I would not be having fun. Not to mention that all of those things would take away from the main reason that I write here in the first place: my family.
I really needed this reminder of why I’m doing this thing called blogging and what I want to get out of it. I will ride social media wave by watching others enjoying their journey, and what amazing journeys they are having! Let’s face it, I don’t think The Rockgarden will be dominating the interwebs anytime soon, so I’m in no danger of getting swept up in it all unless I really want to. I will keep loving writing this little blog and if you want to visit then you are more than welcome. If you don’t, that’s great too. I’ll be here, having fun, either way.