Popularity, wow what a topic this has been lately!
It started out innocently enough, this past Saturday I had the joy and pleasure of meeting M., who is the webmistress of a blog titled Velveteen Mind. After a bit of conversation about our families and backgrounds, we got onto the topic of blogging. She has kept journals for most of her life, but is still on the fence about committing to writing in a medium where other people will be reading her work. She had a lot of really interesting questions about opening yourself up to that kind of exposure, what it does to the way you write, and what happens when people start to notice what you do. She worries that it seems pretentious to promote your blog among those who know you, and how she imagines it would get a little addicting to have a lot of people reading and commenting.
(Interestingly enough this was not long after Her Bad Mother’s now infamous blog on the meaning of narcissism as it pertains to blogging.)
With all this in mind, she asked me where I saw myself going with my blog, and what my goals were. She mentioned that in reading my posts, you could see the turning point of where I started to pick up more regular readers and comments. But what is my end goal? Where do I see myself with this down the line?
I admit, I like knowing people are actually reading what I put out there. It isn’t always brilliant, it isn’t always fascinating, but its usually somewhat entertaining, and if I can touch someone and make them smile, or give them one of those “Oh, so other parents go through this too!” moments, then I’m a happy girl. So far this philosophy is serving me well, I have started promoting my blog a bit through blogrolls and MyBlogLog and such, and wow! I used to have a few close friends who read and commented, now I’m getting more and more readers every day. It is exciting, it is fun, and yes, I admit it, I kind of like it. I am nowhere near and probably never will be near the likes of some of the big-name mommy bloggers, but I am doing well in my own way, and the future is looking bright.
But with popularity comes a price. People dish about everything, from whether a person replies to their comments enough(I’ve also seen a lot of comments in various places about how there is no point in commenting on the blog of the bigger names, because you’d just get lost in the crowd, and they probably don’t read them anyways.) to whether the blogging community is an overall good or bad place and if BlogHer was full of mommy cliques. I’m not saying all this is bad by any means, just that if it is out there, whether in cyberspace or real life, people are going to talk about it. And once you put yourself out there you open yourself up to criticism as well. I admit this concerns me even being as small potatoes as I am.
So is blogging popularity a bad thing? Have you ever been talked about online due to something you posted? If a blogger gets a lot of comments, does it say more to you about the company they keep, or the quality of their writing?
I’m curious on thoughts from all bloggers, big and small.