This blog turns eight this year. I know, times flies when you’re having fun. And in those eight years, I’ve seen all kinds of ups and downs and changes in the blog community. In some ways, I feel like I’ve had my personal stamp on some of those changes. I was part of the community, in conversations and we were really setting the rules for how blogging should be defined as a profession. We did all that by coming together as a community.
But times, as they tend to do, change.
In a conversation with some blog friends, most of who don’t blog anymore, we talked about bloggers and the blogging community in Australia. It feels different to us, and maybe that’s just us we are all varying levels of awkward AF. There seems to be a decline in blog events and career or skills development. Facebook groups are more aimed at taking your blog from zero to business at a million clicks per hour. Where are the group lunches, the coffee dates or the low-key catch ups?
Where are the people?
I don’t mean those few friends we all have online. This plea if for the community of colourful, varied, interesting, full of conversation and joy, people. In the olden days, I would put a call put on Facebook or Twitter for people who wanted to catch up and actually get a response. It occurs to me just now that it could just be me… That would be awkward. Are you all out there meeting up without me? If that’s the case, I want back in. Tell me where the next one is and I’m in! I miss the people.
Now, I’m going to do something about it. My friend Gayel is having coffee (tea also available) with real live people and interviewing them for her blog. Vanessa wants to run low-cost workshops in her local community spaces. And me, well I’m going to come up with something. It will probably start with putting together a lunch. Something easy, come as you are, show up and talk blogging with people who get it. I won’t even get anyone to sponsor it. Haha.
Legit old school.
If you’re a blogger who wants to bring the community back, I encourage you to find your thing and do that. And if you’re within driving distance of me, make sure you let me know when your event is going to be. I need to get out more. Let’s get out from behind these keyboards, phones, tablets, desktops (big flash new desktops) and see if we can put some real, unfiltered faces to those social media handles. Let’s get together and talk shop. It’ll be just like old times.
And if you’re not a blogger?
Smaggle wrote a post recently about how to support your favourite bloggers and content creators. It’s for the family and friends, for the acquaintances or low-key fans who just don’t know what they can do to support this crazy thing we do. The rules don’t seem clear, right? This will help. If you’re not a blogger and you’re wondering what the heck you can do to bring ‘the people’ back, this is a good start.
Ironically, I look at this post and I realise some blogging communities made it through. Some have lasted and continue to support each other. Sorry to my team, but maybe I bet on the wrong horse. Bloody lame ducks (I’m looking at you Rah). Haha. It’s time for me to commit some time to rebuild the support network of storytellers, content makers, and creatives. If you want in, I want you here!
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
I agree Mel, a lot of people have disappeared (including me). For me it was just life and mental health stuff that got in the way. I miss those Aussie Curve challenges and link-ups. Maybe we could make our own fatshion challenge month or something? 🙂
You know what, Jenn said something like that to me a couple of months ago. Maybe we should do it. A weekly challenge outfit/inspiration prompt. Something like that. Hmmmm. I’ll tweet you.
Hopefully I can do those workshops in a few months when I’ve recovered more! For now, work is enough haha.
I’m sure it is! Get well lady, then on to other things. x
I would love to attend more blogging events, meet some more blogging buddies and just hang out, it doesn’t seem like there is much going on though… Xx
Kez | acaciasdreams.com
I haven’t seen much, but maybe we can start something again. I love it, it’s always been one of my favourite parts.
Yeah, i’ve been blogging in some form for 16 years this year, and 8 on XLasLife/ now natatree.com. It’s been crazy how many changes the blogging world has gone through over the years. I totally hear you 100% on all of this. I miss events and such, even though I suck at them because I’m shy, it was still great to learn more and just connect with people, especially fellow creatives.
You’re one of the Originals, for sure. I’m sure you’ve seen all kinds of shifts and changes since you started. I loved the meet ups, always nerve wracking, but so worth it in the end. What you said is exactly why. It’s the being around people who make stuff, who get you and who can answer your questions. That was my favourite part, people who knew stuff. Haha.
I started blogging in January 2009 and it’s interesting to think how my blogging ‘tribe’ has changed over the years. At one point I was really entrenched in the dieting stuff and all of my readers and fellow bloggers were from that arena. I had to consciously pull out of that stuff when I realised it was doing me more harm than good (and most of the people I’d stuck with were from the body acceptance / intuitive eating mindset anyway).
More recently most of my engagement has been with book bloggers and authors and now ‘mature aged’ bloggers.
I completely agree with your comments re meet-ups and conferences. I see a few blogging agencies doing things now and it’s all young instagram-loving beauty bloggers, or those keen to monetise the bejesus out of their work. I’ve got no problems with people making money from blogging, but it’s not why I started.
I’m doing a few informal catch ups with blogging people in the near future and am really looking forward to that.
That was the same as me. I started in 2009 and the people that read my blog came because I wrote something every day about life and my job and family. It was a true personal blog. Things change, and while it’s still personal here, random ramblings style posts feel so weird here now. Pointless, almost. Even if I do them anyway (for me).
I miss the people too, the get togethers and meet ups. Glad to hear you’re getting out more, it’s certainly on my list of things to do! Next stop, Hervey Bay.
I think that like everything else, too many people saw dollar signs in blogging and went for it. A few made it and most others didn’t and they quit.
I have been blogging for 5 1/2 years just for the sheer joy of it. I have seen all the link-ups come and go, people come and go, blogs come and go. For me, it is about enjoying myself and meeting people such as you.
There is something to be said for the joy of it. It’s a wonderful thing to write and share things you’ve created and have people see them. I love that blogging gives anyone a space all of their own. And people, man I love the people you meet! Yourself included, of course.
Yup. Totally agree. I have been blogging for 4 years now and the landscape has changed several times in those years. So many blogs have been and gone and it’s the same with linkups – they too seem to be dying off. Newly hatched bloggers must be finding it really difficult to get going – a bit like buying a home in a capital city?!
That it has! Lots of changes, lots of starting and ending.
I agree, when I started there was Blog This, with weekly challenges (including a link up) to share your writing and meet new bloggers. It was the best. I don’t know of anything like that now. Just Facebook groups with the same questions being asked, moderated by people who only really drop by when they have a new post or product to launch. It must be hard going.
Which all sounds SUPER negative, haha, and it’s not supposed to be that. Just miss the feeling of being part of something. I’m not sure that I’ve even met anyone new through blogging for a few years. I miss that too.