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08 January 2008

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hrsj

Hello,
I want to thank you for visiting our Noticing Project and for your nice mention. I'm liking your week of photos above and seeing them together. I appreciate your images of real life, sunny days and laundry days. :)

Becky

Well said. ;) I love reading your blog, by the way... and I'm looking forward to the "real-life" photos!

Alicia A.

Great post, Ali. And thanks for the mention about our photography project. Best of luck with yours!

Kitty

Oooh, I think I might be one of those 'unfamiliar' people who put you in the sidebar *blush* ... but I love your blog, it exudes 'style' in my very humble opinion. x

martha

Ali - I love the photographs. And I know what you mean with lurking. It is so easy to read through one post and skip to the next without taking the time to comment on what someone has done.

jen j-m

you said it so well - this is something i've been thinking about a lot lately, too.
thanks for the reminder to stop and connect.
+ happy new year!

Sharon

Hi Ali,
Your photos look great.
I think you're right about the self-censorship, happy and positive seems to be my default setting to show to the outside world, even if I'm feeling the opposite!

Kathryn

That was a lovely and thoughtful post Ali and it has prompted me to post a comment - I lurk on your blog all too often and yes, you are in my sidebar! My blog maybe isn't old enough for me to get too much blog angst but I will try and make it a good intention to post a friendly comment or two more often rather than flipping madly through all my bloglines feeds on a daily basis.

Ruthanne

Hi, I all too often flick through the blogroll and look at the pretty pictures but I'm slowing myself down to say hi to people following your post! Now I really do have to dash to cook dinner!!

Zoe

makes me sad too...so HI! how are ya? I like the photo a day idea...might try that. Although, I'm a few days short already. Can I do a project 357?

Autum

Beautifully said Ali. I've made myself remove some blogs from my bloglines for that very reason, I find myself skimming through because there isn't time to give my full attention to them all. As much as I wish I could read and comment and still post on my blog and reply to comments, you just can't do it all. I do want to keep that human connection with my blogging so less has to be more for me.

Michelle

Absolutely, Ali. Sometimes I feel sad that a lot of times I'll tell my husband or family about a friend and I realize I've never met the person who I'm talking about, and probably never will. How do you feel about that aspect of our connections? I'm not quite sure what my take is on that, yet...

Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

seemownay

I have read your blog for the last two months and -yes, I am one of those who linked you first then started commenting on your posts.

I just wanted to say that you often write right into my heart. Like this post - it is so true what you say. And firstly, I would like to apologize for just adding you to my blogroll. I liked your blog so much and didn't know about "blogging rules".

Secondly, your pictures are great. Are you taking your camera everywhere? Have you taken classes? Is it self-acquired? I just got a D40 yesterday and it seems I have still a long ways to go.

Thanks for writing and being honest.

snapdragon

I began my blog as a part of my business - a back story kinda thing rather than a sales kinda thing. The people who read it allknew me on a customer level, they had seen my home at least from the outside, they knew the garden, they definately know me in all my bullishly skatty glory.
Perhaps because of that my blog has always been very, perhaps too, honest - there are no set shots, no glossing over bad days. The most I will do is crop a photo of flowers to eliminate the climbing frame or a discarded bike.
As I began to pick up readers I found it slightly odd - particularly as they tend to come in waves of people who already know each other in blogland - people arrive on the doorstep and say "I read your blog - I wonder if I can have a look round".
About a year ago I got a very nasty and disturbing email about my children and I had to make the decision about what to put in the blog, or in fact if I should stop it altogether. For about 6 months I didn't mention the girls - but then I thought - for goodness sake, just don't post skimpy photos!
I am actually a very private person on one level - the amount I put in my blog still amazes me.
I think your new photos are lovely - there's a lot more life in the shadows.
J
x

snapdragon

I began my blog as a part of my business - a back story kinda thing rather than a sales kinda thing. The people who read it allknew me on a customer level, they had seen my home at least from the outside, they knew the garden, they definately know me in all my bullishly skatty glory.
Perhaps because of that my blog has always been very, perhaps too, honest - there are no set shots, no glossing over bad days. The most I will do is crop a photo of flowers to eliminate the climbing frame or a discarded bike.
As I began to pick up readers I found it slightly odd - particularly as they tend to come in waves of people who already know each other in blogland - people arrive on the doorstep and say "I read your blog - I wonder if I can have a look round".
About a year ago I got a very nasty and disturbing email about my children and I had to make the decision about what to put in the blog, or in fact if I should stop it altogether. For about 6 months I didn't mention the girls - but then I thought - for goodness sake, just don't post skimpy photos!
I am actually a very private person on one level - the amount I put in my blog still amazes me.
I think your new photos are lovely - there's a lot more life in the shadows.
J
x

Dragonfly

hmmmm...you're right. It is so very easy to get drawn into world full of sweetness and light. Reality isn't really like that though, is it?
Although I'm relatively new to this lark, I'm trying to keep it real more now that I commit myself to blogging.
I really like the 52 Blessings photo-thingy, but have yet to sign up properly. You're very brave doing the 365 one...
T x

kirsten

hey, ali! how's it going today? your haircut photo is way fun, btw.

i've noticed that i read a lot of 'pretty' blogs - but my favorites (and the ones i connect with and make friends from) are the ones that totally keep it real. you can't get to know someone who doesn't, right?

seemownay

OK, I forgot half of what I wanted to say or rather ask: I still have you linked in my blogroll - please tell me, if you are uncomfortable linking to your blog.

Is there a good website telling about blog conventions? How to "integrate into the community"? I'd love to read and maybe post about it. If you came across one, it would be nice if you shared it. Thanks.

Gill

You've given us all food for thought here Ali, I guess we're all guilty of skimming through Bloglines and not bothering to comment on every post (who has time?).But I still appreciate the effort that someone has made to write a post and do try and leave regular comments even if not to each and every post. Some blogs have such a huge following however that I just enjoy reading them and think that my little comment will be lost amongst the other 250! But you're right it's the human element that makes blogging so rewarding and I've loved connecting with other like-minded people. I'll be making an effort to say hi more often this year!

Alice C

I think that blogs begin because people have something to say. They may not always be able to articulate - even to themselves- what is that they need to communicate. And then one day the blog has fulfilled its purpose. Perhaps everything has been said or the writer has moved on to a new phase in their life. At this stage a blog begins to lose the initial impetus and drift slightly. You can see it, even in quite 'famous' blogs. I can imagine that you would have to re-assess the purpose of the blog at that point and decide whether it would be better to change direction or to sign off. I can see that it would be very hard to go - especially when there are so many lovely people out there in Blogland.

driftwood

I can't imagine anyone flipping through and discarding your blog. I know I'm guilty often of not leaving comments on blogs with lots and lots of subscibers because I think someone else will have said what I was going to say, but may be that's not very fair. You were the first commenter on my blog, and I remember how special it made me feel, and I still get a thrill when someone stops to comment and take time over something I wrote. thanks for reminding us to keep it real, and being a great inspiration.

AnnieB

hi - not sure if I have commented on your blog before but it is certainly in my bloglines (and would probably be on my sidebar but I have been too lazy to update it recently!)
I'm new to blogging so haven't experienced the phenomena you describe yet...we'll see. No-one reads me apart from family and friends so it's easy for me
I have been commenting on as much as I can the last few days, as I agree that that human connection is very important (and I LOVE getting comments on my blog too I guess!)
I like your blog - I like that entry especially.
I'm trying to do project 365 too but came to it late - could do a rolling 365 I guess...
though maybe project 52 is more reasonable!!!
keep up the good work, and let us see the clouds too. No-one needs more junk mail catalogues...

Kristy

I know what you mean about lurkers.Apparently nearly 300 people subscribe to me over at bloglines and I know from a few others places too.The most comments I've ever had is in the 40's.I'm guessing there are a few hundred people who just lurk! That's just odd isn't it? I mean I don't comment all the time but I do comment at least every now and then on all the blogs I read.

lucykatecrafts

great post, you have put into words some of the things that have been swirling round in my head these past few weeks. i'm guilty, as a lot of people who blog are, of keeping my posts mainly craft based and light hearted, i'm as yet unsure about exposing my whole life and family openly on the world wide web too much.

i enjoy reading comments and the blogging trail it can lead to, following them back to the person it has come from and beyond. most comments are flattering to the blogger, but i also like comments to be challenging, i like it when someone is brave enough to say something like 'yeah, thats nice, but have you thought about this instead etc...' and come up with something new, that i may not have thought of otherwise. i wish i was braver sometimes in my own comments.

following on from your 'make a connection today', i came across a really interesting project through wisecraft earlier, blair has teamed up with another blogger for a monthly project for 2008 called 'eight by eight', it's a really interesting idea, check it out if you get chance.

amypardo

I love to read your blog. I thought that I would share that I updated my blog and I referenced you! I made the puppet theatre from the Bend the Rules Sewing book and you were the initial inspiration. Makeminemallyjo@blogspot.com

I am new to this so I am attempting to do my best to post. You are on my regular check list because you not only sew, but you are a MOM!

Thimbleanna

Hmmm, I suspect that at some point many months ago I creeped you out. Sorry. I try to comment a lot, but tend to comment more on the blogs with whom I've made that human connection that you've so carefully described! Love your blog -- you were one of the first ones that I found way back when....

Jox

you always manage to put into words the ideas I have swimming round my head.
I've got out the habit of commenting on the blogs I read, so I'm off to post some comments!!

capello

oh crap. i should totally do that photo thing. i've abandoned my flickr account the past few months because i've been too cheap to fork over the twenty bucks. hmph.

yeah, i think a lot of people make their blogs a happy shiny place, sometimes intentional sometimes accidental. mine's like HEY, COME LOOK AT MY DIRTY LAUNDRY, ISN'T IT FUNNY?!

somehow, it works for me. :-)

Lesley

Hi Ali,
I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments!! I love looking at other blogs and prefer to comment whenever I can. What has thrilled me most since blogging is the connections you make. If you live in an area with, apparently precious few creative people, as I do (but then have I really put myself out there and looked? - no!) the folk you 'meet' through blogging can delight and surprise.
There are so many po-faced antibloggers out there right now that it makes me value it all the more!!!
Oh my, I'd better not get started as I'll be here all night!
love Lesleyxxx

Lisa Lam

Hi Ali,

eloquently said (as usual).

kelly

great post today. rings very true. one of my resolutions this year was to be better at communicating + that encompasses blogging too which is a big part of my day to day. i'm trying to be more spontaneous...if not i do mean to go back + leave comments but find i rarely do. a bit like when i flick through magazines thinking that article looks good...i must go back + read that later...then another magazine/book comes along + i forget. so it's a new leaf for me! i delight in the comments i receive + it's important to pass on that friendship/encouragement. thanks for reinforcing the sentiment : )

oh + i'm doing a 366 photo project too on flickr! x

Amy

Thanks for your words about the crazy world of blogs, Ali. I am always interested in your perspective. I've just finished an essay length email to Emily on my take on blogland and my blog -- your thoughts are quite timely and more for me to think about.

I'm glad you are gaining inspiration and persepctive from your new photo project -- couldn't ask more than that from a creative endeavor. And I'm glad I'll see you more over at flickr where I am much better at commenting and connecting :-)

Lina

I agree with Alice's comment about blogging starting off with a purpose and then often drifting elsewhere. As a relatively newbie I'm still in the "honeymoon" phase but I'm trying to keep it real (and manageable)both by what I post on my blog and what comments I make on other peoples.

blackbird

hey! hi!
I don't know where I found you - how I came here, but I'm looking forward to your pictures!

Florence

Ali, your posts so often say how I am feeling! (You did it once before with a post suggesting that blogging may be putting off actually doing something..). But I think you have such a point about the photos. I feel strongly that I want my blog to be full of nice images...but in editing things out in this way, it can present a completely false impression of what life is actually like...but maybe it's about the way you take the photo and that's where your 365 project is good...because your pile of washing (waiting to be ironed/put away?) is my favourite picture here...and it still looks aesthetically pleasing...Hmmm, don't know what I'm trying to say here, but your post has made me think and that's a good thing.

Bloglines is fantastic, but a couple of bloggers have started making only the first two lines of their post visible in bloglines, which may be a better way - it makes you click through to the actual site where you're more able to leave a comment and you actually get so much more of a sense of the person when the post is in the context of the header and sidebars than you do in the bloglines browser...which I do think depersonalises the whole thing and makes it easier to lurk!

Ramble, ramble! x

Lindy

I am guilty of reading blogs and not commenting. Some are really popular bloggers and a little part of me thinks 'oh they'll never notice if I comment or not'. Hmmm that's bad- isnt't it?

Tracey

Delurking to say hello. The photo idea sounds great. I like the 8 photos shown together like you have then.

cathy

well said - I enjoyed reading your post and have made me think about where my blog is heading. Good luck with all your photos.

Ginnie

Hi, Ali,
I've enjoyed all your posts, the light-hearted and the serious. When I started my blog a couple of months ago, it was to focus on life's small joys. My husband was diagnosed with memory loss nearly 4 years ago, and that is a tough disease to live with, and will get tougher for both of us as time goes on. My purpose in writing a blog is to remind myself that there are lots of things in life that are amusing or beautiful or to be thankful for.

And reading other people's blogs also reminds me of life's joys. So I wouldn't criticize yourself if sometimes a picture or post looks shinier than real life - no picture or text can be as real as the life you're living.

And clearly you have gotten a lot of us thinking (and commenting).

Victoria

Hi Ali

A great thinking post! I don't comment nearly enough and you probably get most of them (so now you know quite what a lurker I am!). You've given me the nudge I needed though and I've a new resolution to comment more often, espcially if I haven't before.

I agree it is a bit strange to know so much about people via their blogs but not connect with them. I think we're all probably a bit lazy sometimes and also too busy to comment on everyone's posts, all the time but that doesn't mean we can't just say "Hi" now and again.

Loving your photo plans - I think the first time I contacted you was to ask about your camera after admiring your pics! I'm off to check out the 52 Blessings as don't think I'm quite up to Project 365 just yet....

V xx

Stacie.Make.Do.

*sigh*
I think you have diagnosed my problem somewhat. Not that I have many readers (I don't) but that my blog and many others feel like they are becoming less of the personal sharing realness and more of the "pretty things" and staged photos-ness. Some days I just want to scrap it all...
Whose idea was it to make Oxfordshire so far away from Montana? Couldn't you stop by for coffee sometime?

June

What a thoughtful and well-written post. I was pondering the same subject the other day and wondering whether blogging is driving my world or am I truly just sharing my experiences/adventures in life? I don't think of everything as a blogging opportunity but it could easily become that if I let it. My blog is, I think, a pretty good example of how I think and what I do in living my life but it is not the controlling factor.

In reading other blogs, I try hard to comment as frequently as possible but my blog reading list has grown to such enormous proportions that it would take almost 3 hours a day to read and respond properly. There is much living to do with those 3 hours each day so I have to learn and find ways to manage this. The obvious answer is to cut down on my blog reading list--I'll have to think more about this.

julie

beautifully said Ali. It is the human connections which make blogging such a compelling and satisfying thing - especially in a world where kindness to strangers has been erroded and many people seem to live in a bubble of negative thoughts. I'm off to comment somewhere new and spread a little of the good vibes that you generate with your thoughtful and beautiful blog.

Victoria

Hello, thank you for such an interesting post! I don't know if I have commented here before because I am normally a shy little lurker but your post has really made me think about why I read blogs and what I get from them. Do I read them for pretty pictures or because they feel like people I can relate to? And I realised, of course, that it is a bit of both, for inspiration and for interest. Happy blogging in 2008 x

Paula (Momma Pajama)

Hi Ali! Yep, I agree. I have ended up not blogging much lately because I have not been so happy and don't feel like pretending I am and yet my blog is not anonymous (mom's given the web address out to lots of family) so I don't feel like I can change my blog from happy-arts-and-crafts to abuse-addiction-separation. Blah! So, therefore, I lurk...

beki

I started blogging for the connections, so I continue to make them, though I find that it's harder to do with the volume of comments I get and blogs that I read. I must admit, that I do get weirded out if I think about the blog too much, and about the people who read it. But oh well, life goes on. I really like your photos, I wonder if it's too late to jump in? I've been thinking on taking on some sort of photo challenge, but was afraid to commit.

Gen

I'm a lurker, your post was wonderful, thank you for sharing your life with all of us :)

Angel Jem

Who was it said, 'Only connect'? (I think it was E M Forster, but he was talking about the reader-writer relationship)
You see, some of us don't have clever, crafty or artistic friends nearby, so we reach for the global village and we sort of have a carte blanche in blogging to see other peoples' lives, but like you say it is selectively, through the blogger's lens. And, as a blogger I suppose the natural inclination is to be positively selective. Is it naturally wrong to seek to present the best? I don't think so... as long as we can also be aware of it and that we feel able when we need to to present the worst. Friendship, like the yellow pages is not just there for the nice things in life!

monica

well said. I'm infested with lurkers. And it is sad... it's like when people pass you in the streets and avoid your eyes. How hard can it be to simply say 'good morning'?

well said.

nuttnbunny

I'm grateful for connection. Funny, I was talking with nuttnhubby and Z over dinner last night about a potential UK engagement for hub. I told him "Why don't Z and I come with you? He and I could visit Ali and her boys while you're at work."

Crazy? :-)

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