8.09.2006

Possibly the Longest Blog Post Ever (Proceed at Own Risk)

So, it’s Wednesday, and only today am I getting around to posting on my very first, honest-to-god, in-real-life-meeting with a fellow blogger (unless you count sweetney, but we've not had a chance to hook up since I took up the blog). Fellers, did you know that Elizabeth from Table for Five lives not quite in spitting distance of me? And only now have we got our acts together to meet? (and the blame is squarely on me for this sorry fact).

One reason I've been remiss in posting is because our meeting and a host of other stuff I've been reading and thinking about lately has had me chewing the proverbial cud over this whole blogging thing. (Yes, you've guessed it, here comes the obligatory post where I pontificate on blogging and its role in my life. I need to apologize in advance for both the length of this one, its potential to disappear up its own academic arse, and the possibility of incoherence. Like right now...)

Be warned, this one is a doozy--so feel free to skip Acts 2, 3, 4, and 5.

YES! This one has ACTS.

Act One: When Blogs Collide
Many of you guys might have had BlogHer, but I got my own little taste of real-life blogger-on-blogger action last Saturday when I hooked up with Elizabeth for ice-cream. The idea of ice-cream was that our kids could come along, and would be relatively occupied while we chatted. In reality, I found that taking my 3 (nearly 4) yr old to a joint that would ply him with pure sugar on an empty stomach was not exactly the ideal recipe for having a relaxing chat with a fellow mom and blogger. Yes, he was compliant for all the 3-4 minutes it took him to wolf down his kid's cone, but this was swiftly followed by some, let's say "spirited" behavior, where he tore around the place yelling "Hey, you guys CHASE ME!!!" to Elizabeth's well-mannered and funny boys (Elizabeth--as I said before, those boys are a real credit for you, and a ray of hope for me letmetellyou ;-).

Herding preschoolers aside, Elizabeth and I managed to fit a great deal of furious chatting into the 45 minutes or so we had (albeit punctuated with "hey, you do NOT whack that woman's butt with your spoon--now say you're SORRY!"). She filled me in a little on BlogHer, and her experience of it, we talked about people she met and I lived vicariously through her "oooh, is she as nice as she seems online?? ooooh!!! you met Amalah? ooooh!!!" We talked about our local school district and it's utter incompetency, about having boys, and we talked about blogging and what it means to us but not nearly enough. It was really quite fascinating how easy it was to just begin talking to her--we had a shared context, shared points of reference, shared friends and aquaintances...and we had never met.

So all this got me thinking. First, that I looked forward to meeting up with Elizabeth for lunch some time when Monkey-Boy was safely ensconced at school (I highly admire all earth-mothers who can integrate their kids effectively into their adult social lives--I am not always able to be one of those people. Especially when there's serious chatting to be done). The rest of it..well read on (at your own peril) and you can see what's been spinning around my brain for the last few days/weeks.

Act Two: Starting a Blog of One's Own
I started this little blog back in February. My motivations for doing so were simple--after reading and commenting on various blogs for a while, I found that I really wanted to join in the conversation more wholeheartedly. One of my early posts tried to articulate the impulse, but when I look back on that one I realize I was still pretty wet behind the ears (and probably still am). Those who know me are all to aware that I am a leeetle bit of an exhibitionist, and I do love to spin a yarn. So the blog was a space where I could "tell stories" and experiment with writing. While the thought of pursuing traditional publication routes tended to paralyze my creative flow, the blog offered a form of instant gratification and (very important to exhibitionist-me) an audience (even if only a couple of people—because that’s all I really need, I’m afraid).

A while back, Mom-101's take on this helped me process what blogging was coming to mean to me--that its the communal and interactive aspect of blogging that becomes the fuel for processing ideas, for writing.

"I'm not the kind of writer who can create just for myself. I have stacks of dusty journals filled with idea starters, creative sparks, writing germs that never went beyond that initial flush of excitement that conjoined pen and paper for a few brief moments. It kills me to admit this, by the way. To acknowledge that I'm not more inner-directed is like admitting I'm not a Real Writer. A Real Writer is angry and independent, free from social expectations. A Real Writer hates parties. (And she has bad hair anyway, so who would want her at their parties?) A Real Writer is reclusive and asocial; she will shut herself away in a friend's lakeside cabin, happy to see noone but the ashen-faced postman for weeks on end until she finishes her manuscript or runs out of Camel unfiltereds, whichever comes first. A Real Writer, or so I was led to believe by misguided writing instructors, doesn't care what you think about anything she has to say."

Yes, in this scenario, I am also most definitely not A Real Writer. And I say this as someone who has produced a dissertation, given conference presentations, even published a couple of articles. (though, let me say, the dissertation process is less an exercise in intellectual rigor than a test of how much you can persist, how much you can be inner-directed).

But it's not until this here blog that I have begun to consider myself as a writer. And I know I am not alone on this score. For many of us, blogging has been a powerful motivational force by virtue of the community that you gain with through the writing. This has even led some of us to think about how we can channel this energy into other types of writing. I have had all sorts of excited conversations with RL friends and my husband about where I might think about going next "as a writer." Kristen and I have chatted via email about this very thing. Kristen, as someone who is very productively (and entertainingly) exploring those opportunities to their full potential, offered some very generous advice and tips on venues to think about exploring for free-lance writing gigs (thanks, lady).

And this is something I am definitely considering delving into.. but there's this other little matter of my job, and the type of publications and research I need to be doing...

Act Three: Wherein I Get A Little Academic on Yo'Ass...
Most of you know that in my professional life, I work at a research center at a large university where I am actually paid to research and think about issues in Digital Culture--and sometimes I even get to teach. Ideally, I would be publishing in this field. In reality, I actually wish I spent a lot more time researching and writing, but I spend a great deal of time overseeing development of software and online content (mainly for educational and scholarly research purposes) . Sounds lofty, but this work often ranks on a par with herding up Monkey-Boy in an ice-cream joint in terms of intellectual fulfillment.

While I have been considering how to channel my writing into other creative outlets, there is the other pressure I feel professionally--to publish or to perish. I would not "perish" exactly in my job, but publications in peer-reviewed journals can take me interesting places if I want to go. It can also get me more credibility and better yearly raises in the place I work now. (Nice!) So yeah, publications would be good. And here’s where the blog has also begun to fuel a bit of creative energy.

Anyone familiar with Barabasi and his Social Network Theory? Me too!
In fact, in many ways we’re all familiar with it—we’re practicing it, for chrissakes. Just big guys like Barabasi get to theorize it for us (and I’ll return to the “guys” aspect here in a few…) For those interested, here’s the bastardized over-simplification of his theory according to moi: Websites (especially blogs) form an ever-expanding “scale free” network. Blogs are scale-free because they are intrinsically connected to other sites/blogs, and this connectedness is potentially infinite. A site’s “status” or degree of power is acquired through the volume of linkages to it (and links from comments are *not* measured in this paradigm—which you’ll see I think is pretty significant). The more a site is linked elsewhere, the higher the “competitive fitness” or “rate of attraction” becomes. Congratulations, you’re an A-list blogger!

Yep, yep—makes sense. And some of the reports from BlogHer indicate that many of the workshops dealt with how to boost one’s bloggy “rate of attraction.” (see how I cunningly slipped in some multiple linkages in this post—I want you to like me, see…)

But there’s something about the unfuzzy and rather neat math here—or rather the use of mathematical principles to create all-encompassing theories about online social networking—that does not quite capture the social. Yes, we can apply this theory and say, “yeah, there are A-listers in the mommyblogosphere, and yeah there is a certain hierarchy, ranking, or even (dare I say it) competitive streak to some of this”—we all love knowing we’ve got an audience, after all—because it means we’re more attractive.

OK--but there’s a whole lot more I see going on in the slice of blogosphere I float around (largely women, largely mothers, largely lefty-liberals with penchant for a drink and a good swear like me) that does not quite fit in this model. (And I am by no means the first to take umbrage with Barabasi’s application of mathematical principles to social phenomenon).

In fact, when I trawl through a lot of these theories, I am struck by how much the discussion is dominated by white guys (not that I have anything against white guys—some of my best friends are white guys). The terminology dominated by references to rank, power, and competition. It’s about the survival of the fittest. It’s about deleting the weakest link. It's all a bit "manly." But is it?

Liz’s mild discomfort earlier this week over discovery of this dark truth of the blogosphere—that “success” is all about linkages and technorati ratings--is just one indicator that there is still a great deal to learn about how our networks or communities reinforce one another. It’s not just about linkages (though this is a key part). The question (as Fred Stuzman and others have asked it) should be not how blogs attain hierarchical rank in the social network, but how we connect.

Act Four: Some Comments on Commenting
It’s connectivity and conversation that most defines our network (or networks). Especially in the female-dominated “mommy” blogosphere in which I participate. Obviously being linked by an A-list blogger can cause a flutter in any blogger-gal’s heart (hands up who is secretly hoping that you’ll turn up on Amalah’s Daily Dose? C’MOOON!) but we know that if you want to bring readers to your site, then you need to interact with other bloggers through the practice of reciprocal commenting. And remember, links from comments don't count in terms of ranking (mainly because then it would count as spam).

There is a whole (as yet) untheorized or unresearched politics of commenting that I am fascinated by (feel free to set me straight on this one). Reciprocal commenting strengthens and broadens our community—or, as Kristen puts it, comments are like blog-crack. In fact, the practice of reciprocal commenting is so central to our community of practice, that many of us in our darker moments have ‘fessed up to feeling a certain amount of pressure to always comment on a post, just to show support (even if you have not read an entire post).

Feed another’s blog-crack habit, so you can get you some in return...

And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, per se (dear God, if you’ve made it this far through this fucking post, you deserve a medal—feel free to Pass Go, and click on “Comments” –or not!) No, commenting for the sake of commenting is not an empty act—it is a vocal gesture of support. (and I hope I am not offending lurkers here—hell, I lurk all over the place….)

Which is why, when someone abruptly stops commenting on your site, many of us can feel a bit slighted. Because it feels like a withdrawal of support. And this is also where the comment-fatigue begins to set in. While we want to support one another—there are so many great blogs and so little time--suddenly the networking and supporting that helped us feel like an active member of the community begins to feel like work. And suddenly you’re realizing that you’ve not posted in (cough) a week, and “oh my god people are going to drop you, and no one will read you, and you’ve spoiled everything you silly bitch.” I’ve weakened my link to the community; I am going to become extinct! Which I am beginning to realize now (seasoned 7 month blogger that I am) is not at all true. (Thank Christ for this article: Why Post Frequency Does Not Matter Anymore ).

But it’s hard to extricate personal feelings about relationships from this work of writing, because it is the relationships, the interactions, that help us write in the first place. Shit, it's those relationships that brought me and Monkey-Boy to that ice-cream parlor on Saturday.

A few weeks ago (like others before me) I uncomfortably discovered how much I was actually invested in the relationship aspect of blogging. I realized that someone who had been an active commenter (and email correspondent) in the early days of this blog had not only stopped commenting (even while I had blithely continued commenting on this person’s blog) but had deliberately removed me from her list of “friends” and even her longer blogroll. I took it really personally (feels stupid to say now) and spent way too much energy wondering what I could have done to be deleted like that. At the same time I was asking myself “why does this matter?” and "why does this feel like High School?" and "what does this tell me about this little writing gig I’ve got myself into?"

Though I did not enjoy the experience at all at the time—it made me confront some of my own insecurities and validation issues that I don’t like to dwell on overmuch--I am now grateful to that person for making me confront this aspect of myself and my blogging—the social aspect.

Act Five: In Which I Dodge the Larger Question (for now)
So the mathematical principles of Barabasi (a physicist) don’t quite account for the phenomenon (phenonemA?) that is mommyblogging, and, I am sure, many other contexts for blogging. In academic terms, we can say this is because social networks are governed not by natural (read “neutral”) laws of evolution and attraction, but instead emerge through communities of practice and their contexts. In other words--if you talk about "blogging" as one thing, it's a bit like talking about all books as one thing. It completely removes the question of context--and why the hell we are blogging in the first place. All of which, of course, begs the question "so what's different about mommyblogging? or women's blogging?" or? or? or? (as if even those terms can adequately account for the various communities within those "genres")

Right now, I can’t begin to answer this or a whole host of related questions fully (nor could anyone, ever) but I do know that I'm going to give it a stab. And some of it might make its way here. I am toying with making an alternate "research" blog--because social network theory bloggers--yes, there is such a breed--are writing some pretty interesting stuff. And I am hoping by having a space to process and write about my ideas will give me the impetus and communal support I need to hone some of those ideas into more "academically sanctioned" forms of publication. Right now "blog posts" don't get you very far in terms of tenure review (which though sucking big ones from a purely selfish perspective, does kind of make sense).

So I'll keep you posted (har har, no pun intended). And if you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Because without you folks I would not be here right now, and I am kind of liking "here" right now...

UPDATED to add: I should also thank Tracey, of course, because she was the one--back in January when I was uhm-ing and ah-ing to her over instant messenger about, "uhm, writing, uhm, a blog"--who told me something along the lines of "you can fucking write, go for it!" Which made me feel kind of warm and fuzzy. (and, Paula, if you're reading this, thanks also for the extra shove;-))

59 comments:

Mocha said...

I'm glad you like it. I like you being here, too.

Now. A confession.

(Damn that, Ginga! I'm confessing! Right here in the open!)

When you first linked me I was extremely excited by it. Was it the A-List status? The pregnancy? The ultimate link-a-liciousness? No. It was because you are a fabulous writer, a stimulating intellectual, and you throw in a good "fuck" for measure now and again. Always inappropriately enough to make me laugh.

When I got back from BlogHer, a few A-Listers linked me. I won't say who (because that's weird) but it's because I met them in person, we connected, and who gives a shit if they are white males who are ranking us? I love these bloggers (male and female, btw) who are writers who are mothers whoe are fathers who are real live people. Comment or not on my site. But it took me a while to get there.

Now, let me gush rhapsodic for a moment: Elizabeth hugged me. She probably hugged you.

Look, Ginga! We've MET. WE'VE MET. You have Mocha Juice on you! I have Ginga Juice on me... wait. That part doesn't work yet. But, I have hope.

Most excellent post, my dear. Just like I like 'em.

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom said...

Great post. I actually did read the whole thing and found it facinating. Being a faily new blogger, I am still trying to figure out this whole medium and how it works. Your post helped clarify some things for me. Keep on truckin' mama!

bubandpie said...

I pulled up this post just before supper and then had to leave it on the desktop until now, so I had lots of time to look forward to it and I wasn't disappointed.

I think you've hit the nail on the head with the rankings-conscious approach to measuring "success" in the blogosphere. I guess if you're blogging for dollars, you do what you can to maximize hits, but I'm more interested in getting responses from regular readers who know me and my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I casually checked SiteMeter and discovered that my traffic had suddenly jumped from about 50 hits/day to over 300. I had been just about to delete my post on Toxic Students for fear of being dooced, only to discover that I had been linked at HigherEd.com (or something). The link was up for a week, during which my traffic was (comparatively) huge. About 10% of those visitors clicked over to the main page, and then I doubt any of them returned, since I'm not actually writing an academic blog. If it weren't for SiteMeter, I would never have known it even happened.

On the other hand, when Mommy Off the Record awarded me a perfect post, my traffic went up permanently by about 50%. So I value that so much more - ten more permanent readers are worth more to me than the 1000 or so hits I got from that one link (not one of whom left a comment).

Izzy said...

Wow! I think you hit all the high points and then some. I've not previously read such an all-encompassing piece on the social networking aspect of blogging. This was a fascinating piece and I thank you for all your hard work. You should have been a panelist at BlogHer!

As for Elizabeth, is she not fabulous? Everyone loved her at Blogher. And she gave YOU rave reviews, too! How awesome is it to be so close to each other?

Also, thank you for the link and for boosting my whatever that gets boosted when a great blogger links to you :)

macboudica said...

Wow, that was a great post. And yes, I did read the whole thing. There definitely is something to be said about the community aspect--I couldn't agree more.

mothergoosemouse said...

Whoa.

Excellent post. I did read it all, and I enjoyed it. I learned from it. I would LOVE to talk theory with you - or, rather, listen to you talk theory. Over some wine. Or ice cream.

(Elizabeth is fabulous, isn't she?!)

Her Bad Mother said...

I read every word of this, and I love you even more now.

I could say ten thousand things, none of which would hold any virtual currency because this comment does not count as a link, but I will say this:

Let's write a book together! About the digi-verse and women and the post-modern condtion! (And then take over the world!)

Elizabeth said...

Aw shucks, Joy, I liked meeting you, too! Thanks for the nice compliment about the boys-manners they got from Chris and me, funny they just do on their own ;) And again, I think your son did just fine considering he had no idea who he was meeting!

This post is exactly why I said you not only need to come to BlogHer, you need to speak at BlogHer. I don't understand everything you wrote, but I would like to. How's about you explain it to me on a nice long drive to Chicago, 'kay?

Oh and Mocha's right, I did hug her, so maybe I did pass some of her good vibes to you at ColdStone! And Izzy and Julie? No, no, YOU'RE fabulous!

Mommy off the Record said...

I read every word of your post. *Bravo* This was a very engaging post on the topic. I look forward to hearing more.

doow said...

Read every word. That means I get a medal, right? Or just £200? I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who writes long spiels now and again. Having done a bit of "how to make every blogger in the world love you" research in the past few days, I'd been a bit disheartened by all the stuff about keeping posts short. Bollocks to that, I say.

I loved what you wrote about comments - there is certainly a slight feeling of abandonment when comments suddenly take a dip. Blog crack, absolutely.

I can't seem to persuade my Real Life Friends to get their own blogs - apparently "I just want to know what you're up to" can only be used by them against me, not by me to them. However, they are getting onto Flickr now and I'm getting very hot and bothered about the idea of reciprocal comment love there from them. Though, seriously, if one of them doesn't hurry up and comment on MY photos rather than just doing so on everyone else's, there may be words.

themikestand said...

It's not often I ignore the warnings about long posts and dive in anyway, but this time something made me think, "Hmm, Joy's really got something on her mind today."

And you did.

Kintz's article is fascinating. It reminds me that people love to find articles which back up their position, and also that I don't think I have a target audience.

So thanks for nothing, Joy.

But I'm glad you're sticking around, at least for the near term.

Elizabeth said...

Joy, when you get a chance, pop back over and read the comment I got from Jenny. You'll love how she thinks your name is pronounced!

Oh, The Joys said...

I read every word - really enjoyed it.

It's interesting to reflect on this whole experience...

sunshine scribe said...

I too read every word. This wasn't exhausting, I thought it was quite a brilliant analysis actually.

I was so envious of BlogHer and meeting all the other bloggers. But reading some of the recaps about all this linking and a-listing and traffic makes me nauseous. Because as soon as I start to over-contemplate that or become too interested in my site meter then I stop enjoying blogging and that would make me want to stop. I am not an a-lister. I'll never be. I don't want to be. But I always appreciate when other bloggers vist or link (thanks hon) because it is validating and inclusive. But I think I'd still write if no one ever read a word.

I like the idea of your second blog. It sounds like a really good thing to pursue. I hope you do it.

Mother said...

I had a comment to this and then I got distracted.

I think things get tricky when you have advertising on your site (which I do), however I write the same - in fact, after blogging for awhile and reading some really great writers, I am challenged to do better.

As a sort-of academic, I had papers published - my thesis - lala - and while that is satisfying, I never got too upset with a rejection. Now, I think it's harder (I mean now blogging) because when you send something off or you put it up there, it's not something "technical" or separate from me, but it IS me - stories of my life and so when they say "no thanks" it's hard not to take it personally.

With that said, I think for the most part the blogosphere has done me well and I'm ever grateful.

I wouldn't have met some great folks (like yourself) who challenge me everyday to write better and be better (person, parent, etc.).

Sounds dramatic - hell it's the internet people say - but we're telling our stories, damnit. How can that NOT be important?

Mom101 said...

I devoured every word and don't even know where to begin in terms of adding to the discussion. But I nodded through the entire thing, and now eagerly await my medal.

I will also say that as a lefty liberal, drinking, swearing mother, I'm happy to be in the GingaJoy fan club.

mamatulip said...

Excellent post, every last word of it.

toyfoto said...

Sorry. It took me a few days to read this in its entirety because I wanted to beable to do it start to finish.

Wow.

I can't wait to read more. Really. With all the competitive stuff aside, link and comment counts etc. and even the quality of writing as the first priority, I am interested in how we are relating to each other in the ethosphere socially. I'm terribly interested to see where this goes. For instance, my mother was friends with my friends from school. Some people she liked and others she could have throttled were it not for me and my little chum. I have made what I think have been some real connections with "strangers" 1,000s of miles away, and yet I can not seem to do the same thing in my own neighborhood.

DD said...

For me, my blog isn't about writing per se, but brain-dumping so I can think clearly for the next 12 hours or so. What seems so surreal then is when even just one person comments!

I for one was rather jealous of those who talked about BlogHer until I thought realistically about it and knew that I would never be comfortable in such a setting. I would probably have to spend the day explaining my site's acronym to a one person after another who would nod, say oh, that's interesting, and then drift and migrate to Amalah's or Bad Mother's direction.

Right now it feels good to see an email that a new comment has been posted by, for example, GingaJoy and I know who that is and what blog they have. A-listers may reap the financial benefits of thousands of hits a day, but I take the emotional reward, which is why I started blogging in the first place.

Ele said...

Oooh, that was quite a bit of food for thought for me on a friday! (I'm a couple of days behind here.)

I've gone from reading this academically minded post on the cultural networking of blogs, to explaining to someone what a blog actually is. (Had to explain to my Mum. Last night in front of the news when they mentioned that terrorists might be using Blogs. That's the BBC with it's finger on the cyberhighway pulse leaving my mum standing bewildered in the carpark.) It seems to me that that's really something; that this form of communication is developing at such a pace, adding central networks to the lives of it's users, demanding academic thought and theorising. Whilst others are saying "Blog-what?"

Btw, I totally empathised with the 'duty to post', to leave a comment on a blog. Well, duty is the wrong word... it's more a desire to turn the 'communication' in to a two way process. A give and receive relationship. Though this might be because I have an inherited inability to listen (or in this case read) without having something to say.

neva said...

i've not yet read each and every delicious word of this post (i will) but i just wanted to say I am forever grateful to tracey for convincing you to write this blog. even if you *do* occasionally write the lenghty post (which i'll read in a minute, i *swear*!) i'd have never "met" you otherwise. and, in case you haven't noticed, i'm very pleased to have done that, my dear!

as for meeting a fellow (shouldn't that be "fella"??) blogger? i treated myself to that very thing several weeks ago and met my NBFF (new best friend forever). someone, i might add, that you would adore! and i'll be telling her about this latest lengthy missive as soon as i finish reading it, myself (I'M GETTING TO IT, FOR CHRISSAKE! HOLD ON TO YOUR CUTE LITTLE PG KNICKERS!!)

also... you look exactly the way i pictured you... all beautiful and Ginga-headed and British. why don't you get a job at Yale?? then you'd be a mere hop, skip and a Merritt Parkway drive away (actually, there are manymany universities right here in the Stamford area). PLUS Baltimore is an easy train/car ride away, so you can even see Tracey from time to time. see how well that all works out? heck, i'll even babysit for you.

now leave me alone. i'm fucking trying to read this long-ass post of yours, and as far as i can tell... it's gonna take the better part of my day!! xoxox

neva said...

WHAT? i'm still reading... (apparently it's taking longer than i thought!) xoxo

Mary Tsao said...

Came here from Elizabeth's blog (although you are also in my feed reader from a great comment you made on a long ago BlogHer post...)

Anyway! Love this post. For me, lately, I have thought that the best way for me to distance myself emotionally from the negative aspects of blogging and community is to look at it from an academic perspective. What is community and how are we (women, mothers) building one?

Unfortunately, community isn't always sunlight and joy. So when you have 200 or 500 or 1000 friends, you also are certain to have x number of enemies -- or -- those who don't agree with you or who, worse yet, don't like you because of your hair or your shoes.

So while we are busy being vulnerable and "out there" with our stories, we also are prone to attack and must develop thick skins. Who knew?

Eeek. Methinks I have a post of my own in here somewhere. Thanks for the inspiration!

lildb said...

a) brilliant.

b) you'd better link to the new blog, because it sounds FASCINATING. (and I don't say that to witness my nose surface in your bowels; really and truly. the kinda shit you referenced in this post is the thing I would probably pursue in a grad degree, if I ever finish my B.A.)

c) it's awesome to come over here and see not one, but multiple, posts to read up on. yay! GJ is baaaack!

Nancy said...

Great post -- sorry I am so late in commenting (I am so, so far behind on catching up with all my favorite blogs, but you are not forgotten!)

Where do I begin to comment?

There have been so many surprises for me in the blogging world. When I started blogging I didn't anticipate the connections I'd make online -- and I never expected to go to a blogging conference and make all new connections in person with some of the most fabulous people I've ever met.

Blogging is fascinating to me because there's so many levels of interaction. And it's not just a linear conversation -- when you post something, your commenters may pick up on several different aspects of your post and start multiple conversations all at once. It's amazing how interactive the medium is.

And as others said, I am thrilled to be a member of the GingaJoy fan club.

Eric Kintz said...

Hi,

Thanks for linking to my post. I thought you would enjoy the follow up analysis on how this post spread virally throughout the blogosphere.
Eric

http://h20325.www2.hp.com/blogs/kintz/archive/2006/10/01/1683.html

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