Networking in the blog-o-sphere is very tricky. Finding good, solid followers that actually engage with you is also very difficult. Finding a blog to follow is even harder.
I was lucky enough to make some good "blog friends" early on, and after a little tour of their piece of internet real estate, I discovered networks to join.
These networks like: Lady Blogger's Society, SITS, Mama's Nestwork, BlogHer and SheWrites are excellent ways to break into the whole "network" of fellow writers. It is truly a very strong community. It is a completely different subculture.
These little network groups provide opportunities from time to time to openly meet other writers and even publicly discuss the content of the blog. It is a good day when people choose to review your posts, and in turn, you get a few new readers. However, more often than not, I think many people with really good blogs get looked over.
You guys know I have been vehemently against Blog Hops since my FIRST one. I followed a "Friday Flip Off" blog hop, and was a little confused on how they work. So I linked up, then was getting ready to write a post and was immediately called out by one of the participants for not doing it right. That rubbed me the wrong way.
Later I joined another one, I liked the theme - it was about "Living Green." I linked up, then headed back to my blog to figure out what to write about. No sooner do I figure it out, I noticed I had a new comment. The organizer of that Blog Hop basically said she would pull my entry because I did not have a "Green" post. Seriously people? This is a networking opportunity.
Long story short - my favorite networking opportunity was the Lady Blogger Tea Party. For whatever reason, there is only one or so a month now, and that happens to be one of the ones that is a WONDERFUL strong resource for excellent networking, however - you really have to work at it to meet new people and find excellent blogs to follow. You see, I don't do it so much for the "followers" as I like to find amazing things to read!!
Yesterday, I bit the bullet and joined up with another Blog Hop. I was really wanting to find some new blogs to follow. I love to start my morning off with a cup of coffee and reading what others write.
I was leery, but I did it. To my regulars - folks, I feel like I attended a progressive dinner party, and several of the guests stopped by Destination: Unknown for a quick cup of coffee. Excellent! The "guests" did not just post - "I am following you, follow me back." It was more like actual answers, and when I checked out their blogs - there was good stuff.
In my little "circle of regulars" we are a fairly tight knit group and our circle has enclosed with each other supporting the other. My friends, I am proud to say - I made 8 new connections yesterday and I welcome each of you with open arms!
No, I have never claimed to be the best writer. Sorry, I am not a mommy blog. No, I don't have all the answers for weight loss, budget tips, nor do I claim to be an expert in blogging (so don't expect any professional tips or meme ideas.) But I do like to express myself, share my life and just have a good time with this.
With that - I welcome all of you, and feel like I just left a really GREAT party! Cheesy, right? ;-)