Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Want to join the club? No dues and no meetings

So what is it that brings you here to this blog site? Is this a first-time visit, or do you belong to the club? I’m referring, of course, to the regular members of the blog-reading fraternity. (Or is it a sorority?) I’m not sure what our members are called. Are they blog junkies or blog groupies? Whatever we call ourselves, it feels as though we have stumbled onto a most engrossing, stimulating, and sometimes addictive diversion---a perfect retirement pastime. If following the blogs of your choice is not already a part of your routine perhaps you ought to consider it. Are there times when your present world is not big enough to suit you, or doesn’t take you to the places you would like to go? If so, latching onto a blog or two can be a fun and painless way to expand your horizons. 
If there is a chance that might work for you let’s begin with the obvious---a working definition. Blog (noun) - a website on which an individual or group of users regularly record opinions, information, etc on a particular topic or range of topics.
However it happened, you have managed to find this blog, and I thank you for that. But did you know that there is a blog, or blogs, for just about everything under the sun? The bloggers you read may be seasoned experts or overeager novices. But no matter what the subject, someone out there is offering their own opinions and information on the matter---as well as creating a dialog about it, Take any interest, hobby, habit, or obsession imaginable and you can be sure that any decent search engine can locate one or more blogs that deal with it.
It is an internet-enabled pastime of course---a bit like visiting with your neighbor over the back fence. Except in this case your “neighbor,” the one who wants to talk with you about your favorite subject, may live on the other side of the world. Chances are he or she will bring unique insights and ideas to the conversation---something new for you to consider or explore. Best of all, you get to choose when to visit, whom you will visit with, and when to add your own input to the dialogue.
Perhaps you’re a “show me” sort of person. You know, someone who says “I’ll believe it when I see it.” If so, the test is oh-so-simple. No special computer skill is required. Just go to any search engine---enter a topic, any topic, in the search line, then add the word “blog.” It’s hard to imagine a legitimate subject that won’t produce multiple responses. Simply review the results of your search, choose a site that appeals to you, call it up and read. If you decide to join the online conversation you will be coached through that process.
At once you will find that you have stumbled onto a new kind of community, a virtual-village of folks who are excited by what excites you. For me that process began when I logged on to an inconspicuous website called Hitch Itch, where I was introduced to the world of full-time RVing, something that interested me a great deal. (Sadly my wife did not subscribe to the romance of making our home in a tin house on wheels.) She preferred her own fan collecting and genealogy blogs.
Anyway, there on Hitch Itch dozens of folks were posting their blogs---proclaiming the virtues of living full time in an RV, sharing their travel experiences, and staying in touch with each other. Though I am usually a silent observer, I occasionally add my input to some ongoing dialogue. On an irregular basis I follow the travels and trials of folks I’ve never met, and probably never will. 
We have become new-age Pen Pals. (Remember those?) In the same way the blog you are reading right now allows, those blogging Pen Pals have invited the rest of us to join them on their own unique journey---while we learn who they are and what keeps them going. It has the feel of an old-fashioned party-line, an intimate conversation posted for the whole world to read
As for myself, I have several reasons to be blogging. This October Years space is clearly labeled “a writer’s blog.” I use the format to explore, explain, and (gasp) promote my books. Hopefully that is enough to keep people returning to these pages.
Personally, I enjoy resurrecting some story I wrote years before to ask what I was trying to say and judge how successful I was. I’m always working on a new story, looking for ways to make them better. Writing a blog helps me do that. If, at the same time, I nudge some blog reader towards reading one of my stories I’m okay with that.
Finally, whatever your reason for being on this page at this moment I hope you’ll return often, and tell your friends about it. As always, I’ll keep asking for your comments, though few of you have taken me up on that.
 In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out other blog topics that interest you. There is a whole world waiting out there, tens of thousands of conversations going on at this very minute. Chances are there is one or more that you’d enjoy being part of. You have the computer and internet connection. (That’s how you’re reading this.) Why not visit Blogsville and see if one of the conversations ought to include you?

1 comment:

  1. I like it. I think I'll give it a try.