When I first started blogging years ago, I never imagined that it would be what it is today. I started up a little online journal and really had nothing much to say on it. I posted things like “My job sucks” “so and so irritated me today” “I wish I had more money” and on and on. It was pretty much just something for me to waste a little time on when I was bored and to practice my html skills.
Then something happened. People started reading it. Suddenly my private little journal became public. And I liked it. I became addicted to comments. I started writing in hopes of getting a reaction. I started reading other people’s blogs and became part of a community that I didn’t know even existed. Before I really knew what was happening, I had all of these online friends. People that I had never met cared about me and came by daily to see just what was going on in my life. I have to admit, I liked the attention (and I started being a little more positive in what I posted).
Eventually, I had enough of my free hosting site that was constantly going down and started up my own site. Some of my blogging buddies got lost along the way, but I found more…and more…and more.
The more blogs I read, the more I became interested in this new social arena.
At that point I still didn’t really know what was going on. I started learning about professional blogging and people that were actually making money off of their personal blogs and I was intrigued. Eventually I got a paid blogging gig myself and started learning a lot more about blog promotion, SEO, social networks, and how they all worked together.
I ended up quitting the paid blogging gig when I got pregnant with Evie becuase I just wasn’t able to keep up, but a lot of the things I learned there have stuck. For one thing, I learned that if you want to get anywhere in the world (blogging or otherwise), it is all about having the right contacts. Perhaps that is why I find the new social media world so interesting. Even as a little unknown blogger, I can easily strike up a conversation with some of the internet’s finest. For someone like me, who is greatly intimidated by face to face contact, sites like Twitter or Plurk are fantastic. I can ask a quick question or post an observation to the general public or I can send a direct message to someone for a more private conversation.
I have to admit though, I have formed a bit of a bad habit of signing up for every new social site that I hear about. Some of them, like Twitter, stick. Others, like Pownce, I try out and then forget about because it just didn’t do anything for me. If I only had more time in the day, I would be more active on a lot of social sites because I just find them so fun. It makes me feel like I am part of something bigger in a world where I often feel overlooked.
These days you can find me on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, FriendFeed, Brightkite, and MOG, as well as other sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube. Those are the ones I have yet to abandon anyway.
Of all the social sites I am a part of though, Twitter is by far my favorite and I can pretty much narrow it down to one reason – I have more contacts there than any of the other sites. For those of you who have never heard of Twitter, it is a micro-blogging site. The basic premise is that you answer the simple question “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less and it builds a timeline based on your answer to that question. The fun part is that it has evolved into so much more. You can “follow” people who you find interesting so that their Tweets show up on your page and it really gives you a much better insight into a person than even reading their blog.
One of the things I really like about Twitter – besides the social part – is the timeline and the fact that I can send Tweets from anywhere using my cell phone. I recently set up Twitter sites for both Evie and Zach so that I can send a quick message when I want to remember something they have done or said. My memory is terrible these days and I am really bad about writing things down in the baby books as they happen so Twitter is a way for me to keep up. Then when I get a chance I can go back and catch up in the baby books.
The only downside to Twitter (and most other social sites) is that I can’t seem to get my real life friends to join me there. MySpace is about the best that most of them will do (which is the only reason I’m there). I can see it having a lot more uses if they would join me.
I sit back in amazement today thinking about how much the internet has changed my life over the last 5 years or so. I never would have imagined that I would be where I am today just because I wanted to find out what those “blog” things were.
I had a lot more to say on this topic, but it is getting entirely to late and my brain is fried so it will have to wait for another time.