Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Where You At? [Soul Searching]

I hear you, that near-constant clamoring outside the gates, wondering where I've disappeared to, just how far underground have I gone?

Well, my overactive, co-dependent personality hears it.

I'm here. Same Bat-place, same Bat-channel. Things have been busy. Fall migration is the high season for migration studies, you know. End of summer gardening and landscaping, teaching a five-year-old to ride a two-wheeler, camping trips, an end of the summer trip to the Eastern Shore. Processing the photos from the end of the summer trip to the Eastern Shore.

And I know all of those are lame excuses. "If you loved it, you'd make time for it" I hear you (or someone in your general direction) say, voice shrill, finger wagging.

You're right. Maybe I'm coming to a realization that I simply don't have that fire about blogging that some of you do. That I don't really like monitoring unique visitors and page views or checking in on the toplist once a day. That there are things I love more than blogging. I've felt bad about the ethereal nature of this blog, honest. That it doesn't have a theme that's deeply meaningful or universally important, that I sporadically update, if that. What's one step below "sporadic"? I feel bad that I don't follow all of those rules I keep seeing in the webosphere, those "10 Things Bloggers Have to Do!"

I read those and get depressed. First, I go through the "I'll never be a real blogger" blues, the sad realization I'm over here on Blogger with a "blogspot" thing in my domain name (hell, it's not even mine!) while the real bloggers have their own domains and use Wordpress. Real bloggers religiously self-promote (because they have something to promote) and go to conferences to learn how to become better bloggers. Then I move to something broader and deeper, something more universal. That not too long ago blogging was fun, spontaneous, free-spirited endeavor. That it's becoming organized and controlled, creating a sense that if you're not in, you're out.

But I've made my peace with all of that. Some people need the structure and methods, they're promoting themselves, their talents, their skills. Maybe re-inventing themselves, maybe hoping to make a living blogging. Blogs are a viable and valuable marketing tool, and to use them as such you need appropriate strategies and tactics on top of what we all bring to the blogosphere. But not all of us are trying to make a living through blogging, which is perfectly fine, too.

And what do we all bring? A myriad of experiences. Unique perspectives. A mesh of styles and opinions, a breadth of knowledge and humor. And a willingness, if not a passion, to put them out there and (maybe, just maybe) have them read.

I'm giving away something Wren might ask if I ever get interviewed on the Nature Blog Network, but I intended to maintain a blog primarily as a repository for trip reports and birding experiences, photos I took (or made, if you're from the south) from those expeditions. A journal I could digitally flip through in my golden years as I fawned over the way it all used to be.

I suspect that changed when I realized someone other than me read my terribly dry posts. When you know someone else is looking, everything changes. Now I wasn't writing for myself, but for you, Gentle Reader. As is wont to happen, communities formed, something I didn't expect: I made friends, many still unmet. Now is a good place to say thank you to all of you who read, and especially those who comment. I hope we'll meet for coffee or a beer someday.

Whether you noticed or not I strived to be more entertaining while providing something interesting to take home. I don't know exactly what I've morphed this blog into, other than I still enjoy writing about my birding local birding and distant trips. I like showcasing photographs (hopefully they're getting better), trying to wrap them with infotainment. I especially love picking fodder based on what excites my daughter. About nature, that is, I spare you the daily tea parties and faux jewelery dress-ups. But if it's in the natural world and gets a five-year-old jazzed it must be good.

So I've made my peace with you, World Wide Blogosphere. If you're blogging for yourself, enjoy your time here and have fun. Relax, let yourself come through your posts, let us get to know you. Visit when you can, stop in when you're in the neighborhood. For those who live here, driven by stats and page views, power to you, too.

Oh, and to make sure I include some eye candy here's an image from earlier this summer. I call it "Two Insects That Chose to Have Sex on Our Patio." That should get some additional Google-search traffic. When do I get to review books and score free trips to birding hot spots, anyway?

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Nate said...

Well, I enjoy your posts, however frequent or infrequent they may be.
People blog for different reasons, some as a means to an end and some as the end itself. Like you said, there's no wrong way. Keep doing what you want to do, and I'll continue to look for them in my google reader.

Hilke Breder said...

I have enjoyed reading your posts, always learned something new. As Nate said there are many reasons people blog and read other's blogs. Just relax: no need to follow a particular schedule or to stick to any guidelines... there are no tests you have to pass :-)

Rouchswalwe said...

Ditto on Nate and Hilke Breder's comments!

noflickster said...

Thanks, all! Even you, Gentle Lurker Who Does Not Comment. Peace be with you.

When things settle down I can finally get back into a rhythm. And if they don't, I'll create a different one. I'm thinking along the lines of steelpan for reasons that will become apparent. One day.


nishiki_85 said...

May your blog live long and prosper. I'll continue to follow, maybe even post a comment from time to time.


Laura K said...

I really enjoy your take on things, whether it is your science-condensation, your infotainment, or polite rants and philosophical wanderings. Be what it will, you better not quit blogging.

noflickster said...

Thanks, nishiki_85! I will forge ahead, especially when the snow flies and there's less yard work to keep on top of (new soul-searching topic for this week: why am I hauling and splitting wood when our thermostat works perfectly fine??).

Laura, I appreciate your candid, unsolicited evaluation of what goes on here. It will be what it is, especially when I finally install and use Lightroom. Thanks!

dAwN said...

I hear ya..When i started blogging i did it as a travelog for my family and a few friends...then I started reading blogs from other birders...commenting then following more blogs..
I started to get others reading my blog..i joined nature blog network..which i love..
but i became obcessed with the toplist..I went from 800 to the mid one hundreds..i was hooked and watched the list way too much..
i finally had to take it off and just link to NBN...
I didnt like what i was becoming..
so now i blog
i dont watch ratings..
i am not a scientific blog..nor anything full of info..
i am a travelblog..
and that is what I want to keep it as..

anyway...enough about me..
I enjoy your blog and will continue to read no matter what direction you go in.
well...maybe not any direction..
but Just want u to know I have enjoyed your blog.

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