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Blogging 101 – What can we learn through others?

Build Blogging Relationships by Commenting on 4 blogs you have never visited in the past.

Cheers - Confessions
How often do you share your pain points with strangers?

One of the most powerful aspects of blogging is the interaction with our readers, their comments, their questions. How do you build a readership? Enjoy this blogging 101 post on “Building friendships, leave comments on at least four blogs you have not previously visited”. You never know what friendships you will build in this internet universe. Today I am writing about my history of building fantastic relationships with my internet friends and followers.

Building Internet Relationships

How can we be more open and honest with a perfect stranger then we can with our best friends?  How many times have you found yourself pulling out your deepest and darkest secrets or moments in your life to a near stranger, no wait, a perfect stranger?  Don’t worry, we all have.  Heck, we have been doing it long before the internet came around, and no, I am not referring to moments on your therapist couch.  Just ask yourself, “How many bartenders over the eons have heard a tale or two from you?”

One of the greatest benefits if the internet and in turn a scary reality, is its anonymity.  We can be whomever we want to be and we can slowly creep out of our shell and expose ourselves in ways we never would have dreamt of in “real life”.  We live adventures through online-gaming, build friendships with people in distant lands (a shout out to Maggie in Sydney who I have chatted with since 1998), talk for hours and debate the topic of the day, and share our worst fears or hurt on a daily basis.

Once Upon a Time, There Were Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)

Trade Wars 2002 (BBS Retro)
Trade Wars – One of the original MMOPGs back in the days of dial-up BBS systems.

I have been around the internet for a long time — probably even longer then some of the classmates in Blogging 101 have been alive — lets put it this way, Internet Explorer did not exist, nor did any other graphical interface we have come to adore, you had to use dial-up (yes, using your house telephone), and log into a Unix text-based account and fire up programs like Lynx to surf the internet — if I had to put a date out there, let’s say 20+ years, and before that Bulletin Board Systems (BBS).  What is interesting, is that from the first moment we could connect digitally – communicating amongst strangers has been a common theme, and has driven much of what we see today.  BBS Messages hopping between computers once or twice a day, to text-based chat rooms, the first MMORPGs such as TradeWars, popular applications like ICQ and Yahoo Messenger that allowed your to search for random people based on information in their profile, or location, more internet chat rooms, the desire to explore people has been as popular as exploring information, to tweeting our lives 150 characters at a time.   This topic alone could be a Blogging Series, but let’s move on.

The Evolution of Blogging

I look at Blogging as the latest evolution in our desire to reach out and touch the world. Blogging is an amazing forum to share our experiences, our life, and I admit, what I have really come to enjoy with my short time in the WordPress world.

WordPress is an amazing piece of software — which I have been using on www.makingyouthink.ca for a few years now.  However, I really used the Content Management features of WordPress over the Blogging and storytelling.  99% of my content was static pages over posts much like any other website, and when I did write a post, it was for a purpose — to speak about my a new technical crazy, or the merits of backing up your digital photographs, and rarely was it personal or opinionated.  Well not opinionated in a sense of exposing myself to the world.  😉

My second generation of Blogging has been much more personal than ever before, and hope that I have helped those that read my rants, as much as many of them have helped me,  by simply expressing my words, and thoughts.  If you want to know how it feels to prepare for a Colonoscopy, just give this post a read.

We write for countless reasons — for some, it is a form of confession, for others, much like myself, it is a way to help us organize our thoughts and ideas, from which to establish a game plan or next steps, and for all of us, it is a means to seek out that “virtual Bar Tender” and get a second opinion on life.

Today’s Blogging 101 lesson was to: Be a Good Neighbour: leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

Ever since our second assignment that pointed me to “Reader” I have been hooked with exploring everyone’s stories.  Truthfully I was a little embarrassed to admit that up until that moment I thought finding a good Blog to follow was similar to finding anything else on-line, attack Google or DuckDuckGo.  How wrong could I have been?

The reader is your portal to the estimate 60 million WordPress websites ¹ , wow, that is a lot of storytelling, and interesting enough where I have been finding myself exploring, many times a day.  To say I have enjoyed hearing peoples stories would be an understatement, many of which you can’t hold back and simply smile, while others, make your eyes swell up and the tears flow – simply give Goodbye Earl a read.  We are the most passionate when we are the most vulnerable.

We all share common topics, experiences, and interest, however, our views are as unique as our fingerprints.  All of us come from a different mould, our experiences, our upbringing, our convictions, all impact how we react, and what we take from the words we read, and as a result, our replies are as varied as our experiences.  And it is these experiences, and in ways, what we have learnt about ourselves and how to preserver and succeed through these experiences, both good and bad, is what we use to drive our replies, and in turn. take another experience with us.  I think I have read a few dozen blogs over the past week hoped my comments have helped everyone that has read them.

Although we are only into week two of our class, if learning how to find, read, and reply to our Blogging stores was all I take away from “Blogging 101”, I would be more the content with the course.  It is probably a good thing that there is not a way to go back and list everything I have written or commented to others over the past week, no matter the number of words, this desire to explore Reader is building more and more each day.   Even if 1% of what I write is taken to heart, the effort is worth the time, the moments reading, as enjoyable as the last, and stores as varied.

Keep up hitting publish as we are all here to read, reply and help out where we can.

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Mark is a foodie in training, photographer, Starbucks addict, runner, cyclist, and single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with Crohn's Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and RPP can be an interesting mix.


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