It's no secret that I love blogging. And if you're here reading this, you probably do too! There's all sorts of people in our little/big community here: writers, readers, those who comment, those who don't, passer-by, regular guests. We all play our little roles to make up this larger tapestry often referred to as the blogosphere, our wonderful virtual world full of creativity and buzzing with connections. Most of the time it's a very positive place, but sometimes it isn't. Just recently I saw a slew of nasty comments pop up on a friend's blog and as usual, I was appalled. Why do people find the need to be so hurtful while hiding behind a computer screen? Rhetorical question for sure because I don't think anyone but the commenter ever knows. But it got me thinking...what can we do, now, to make our blog world a happier, more positive place? For one, absolutely ignore those negative nellies. They unfortunately do play a role here, but we don't need to acknowledge them. Instead, let's do things that build this community, foster connections, and encourage creativity. Sound good? Below are five quick things you can do now to keep this world turning in a positive direction, or at least in our little corner. I did all of these things this week, and it was not only fun to reach out, but I made a handful of new friends in the process. So awesome.
1. Take 20 minutes and click on 5 random blogs you otherwise wouldn't have visited. You can do this by checking out familiar blog's daily reads (mine will be updated this week!), profiles, or if you really want to get crazy you can use the "explore" option in Google Reader. Check them out, read through a few entries, and if you're intrigued, click the follow button. At the least, be sure to leave a comment saying hello and that you're just stopping by and share how you found them.
2. Really read. And really comment. It's hard to read through the hundreds of blogs many of us subscribe to, but if you find the time, really take in an entry or two, think about it, and leave some thoughts in the comment box. It's so fun to read comments that really tell me something and respond. And there's no greater feeling than hearing "me too" or "I love this, etc." with some details after you've put a little piece of yourself out into the world.
3. Reach out. Write an email to your favorite blogger or a new blog you recently discovered. I read a huge array of blogs, and I don't always reach out and say hello. Yes, I am one of those readers who takes in every word but doesn't always comment! It's something I'm definitely working on, because I know how much every single one of the comments here warms my heart. But even better is just writing a quick email that lets someone know how much you enjoy what they're creating. I finally reached out to one of my favorite blogs this week, and she responded and told me that she was actually thinking of stopping because she thought no one read it! Ahh! I would have been so sad, and it only made me think more about how great it is to actually reach out.
4. Share the love! I started doing a blog spotlight feature here because I feel like there's nothing better than supporting other people in their creative endeavors. It's so fun to pick a blog from your daily reads and share them with the world, and it's something everyone can do. I love discovering new sites, and a spotlight or links feature is always a great way to give exposure to others that you feel are just awesome!
5. Finally, try something new to keep YOUR creative self moving and grooving! Perhaps do one of the popular "photo an hour" posts, a "what's in my bag" post, or a random facts share session. Video blog, interview someone, reach out and create a feature series with a friend! When you feel inspired, you inspire others, and what better way to beautify the world around you than by starting with yourself!
Good luck and happy positive-blogging! xoxo