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Fast Times at Blogger High ~ Guest Post

March 24, 2010

Only three short months ago, my finger hovered over the “publish post” button for the very first time. I was a brand new blogger, and I felt about as clueless as I did on the day I started high school.
 
I remember walking through the big double doors and gazing at the maze of hallways and the laughing faces of my fellow students.
 
My peers wore jackets depicting their team affiliations; they stood in tightly knit, impenetrable groups; and they pushed and shoved with good-natured aggression born of familiarity. 
 
I gnawed my hang-nail and stood out of the way, fearful of getting knocked over, paralysed by insecurity. 
 
Time passed (thank goodness), and after five long years, I found myself assimilated; as confident and comfortable as it’s possible to be at eighteen.
 
But when I ventured into the cyber hallways of the blogosphere just a few short months ago, I was engulfed by a wave of ineptitude that I’d recognize anywhere. It felt like the first day of school all over again.
 
I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of blogs. I hadn’t a clue where to begin.
 
Of course, much like in high school, I found the most popular blogs first. The equivalent of pretty, high-ponytailed cheerleaders, these blogs announced their presence with attractive, custom templates, inviting colours, calligraphy fonts and cute-as-a-button avatars that seemed to scream “My cartoon-self is prettier than your cartoon-self.”
 
My cyber-self-esteem quickly plummeted.
 
By comparison, my unremarkable Minima Template looked staid and boring. I wanted my blog to be pretty and popular. Similarly, the cheerleaders of the blogosphere have thousands of followers and receive dozens of comments. I was lucky to inspire one or two thoughtful missives. My (seven) followers were real life neighbours and friends.
 
As in high school, I thought the solution might be to run with a faster crowd. I noticed a tendency for the cool, edgier bloggers to stick together on the periphery. They reminded me of the pierced and tattooed kids who sauntered out of class to have a smoke, talking about awesome concerts at clubs named The Seeping Pit, by bands named Misery’s Handmaiden.
 
I tried punk on for size back in high school, but only briefly. I donned ripped corduroy pants and dirty t-shirts bearing logos like Jim’s Gas or Brian’s Auto Parts. Regrettably, we asthmatics tend to look anything but cool when taking drags of pilfered menthol cigarettes.
 
In much the same way, while I loved reading these sassy blogs, I was pretty sure I didn’t have the street cred to pull off even an anonymous comment. I’ve never felt comfortable swearing in writing. Sober second thought always prevails. Besides, what if my mom reads it?
 
Square that I am, I thought “mom blogs” might be a better hang-out. But there’s a glitch. We don’t yet have any ankle-biters of our own. And the mom bloggers demand lifetime membership and never-ending dues. I look forward to jointing that club, but not quite yet.
 
So, I started to hunt for my own “clique.” And I’m still looking. But along the way I’ve discovered that barriers within the blogosphere break down much more readily than they do in high school.
 
And given that they are virtual, this makes perfect sense.
 
It turns out those pretty bloggers with the lovely avatars are often happy to share their hot pink buttons and blinkies; the edgy bloggers welcome a little *clean* friendly banter, and mom bloggers are a pretty inclusive bunch. They are moms, after all.
 
Perhaps other bloggers have been happy to discover We Believe Blogs for the same reason that I was. Everyone wants to belong somewhere.
 
In high school that’s a fantasy. But in the blogosphere, maybe we can make it real.

 
About Suzanne of  Thirty: Own Up To Being Grown Up

I’m an Ottawa based writer. I like books, travel and frozen pizza (really, I do). I hate participating in any activity that involves strapping something to one’s feet. This includes, but is not limited to, skiing, skating, snowshoeing. If you’re wondering about a Canadian who dislikes winter sports, well, I guess don’t go out much.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 5:43 am

    This was a great post!! It is really scary when you first enter the blogosphere. Having done it just under a year ago, I could empathize with your post!

  2. March 24, 2010 8:02 am

    Great post! You are so right, it was just so weird and a little intimidating first entering into this world. I first stated blogging after seeing my sister-in-law’s blog, and it was and still is a little more low key.. but once I started discovering the “big blogs” I was like, how in the world do they do that? do I want that?? And I still find myself going back and forth with that at times.. but mostly I am comfortable and happy with my little corner I have created in the blogging world.

  3. March 25, 2010 11:45 am

    Once again, great writing. I started up my little (and it’s very little!) corner in Blog Space last fall, and it IS very intimidating. I think my parents might read my stuff…..

  4. March 25, 2010 6:27 pm

    There’s always the clique of “the honest”. I might write a sassy blog but I follow a lot of other blogs that aren’t necessarily out for the humor. What every single one of them shares is a beautiful level of honesty. Be it fear, discovery, sass, or love… if you blog openly I’ll probably follow you. The joy of the blog is the ability to have just a little anonymity (even if your not doing an anonymous blog, there’s safety in the computer) and therefore a place to be yourself.

  5. March 25, 2010 8:30 pm

    Excellent! As a blogging mom who sometimes complains and bitches and swears, I have taken some crap for not having the family-friendly vibe that people expect in a “mommy blog.” But being someone I’m not doesn’t work for me any more than it will work for you. Congratulations on having found your voice so quickly!

    And I am so with you on the winter sports. Snow is why they make buildings . . . so you can be inside . . . dry and warm.

    Snoeshoes are for idiots.

  6. April 12, 2010 11:49 am

    Great post! I started blogging about three months ago, too and you completely nailed the experience. I am a mom blogger but still felt the blog envy. Thanks for voicing it so well.

  7. April 21, 2010 1:55 pm

    Wow! You pinpointed all my feelings. I started my blog, but did nothing for a while. Now I am more active, but I have no place in the bloggy world either – but partly because I am not sure where I fit. But I have made a bunch of bloggy friends and they are all pretty nice (when they aren’t calling me a dumb*ss :)… I am glad you are here!! We can be those newbies together!

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