There’s been lots of chatter as of late about bloggers, clique’ynessment (technical term) & the integration of newbie bloggers into the proverbial fold.
(translation: I had an entirely different post planned for today, caught a glimpse of my navel, & decided to keep on gazing. I apologize in advance for the length.)
Lest anyone think Im singling her out—this discussion has not been limited to healthy living bloggers either.
One the most interesting ‘sessions’ at TypeAMom conference was a Town Hall meeting. In this session various bloggers (previously selected which I found to be a smart move. otherwise mayhem could easily have ensued) took to the microphone and voiced what was on their minds.
In a tangential way (the topic was more what do established bloggers ‘owe’ up & come’ers in terms of mentoring?) cliques were address there in the mom-sphere as well.
While this topic has been addressed more eloquently elsewhere, Ive received so many emails asking about my thoughts & experiences I wanted to share en masse (briefly. Im getting to the brevity I promise).
Ive had two experiences which, I hope, will shed some light on the whole Are bloggers clique’y topic.
Ive blogged at MizFit for almost four years & in general for almost ten. When I launched MizFit I’m a little embarrassed to say I burst on the scene like a house a’fire. Id planned the launch for so long that, well, I pretty much assumed everyone else in the blog-world was a dripping with anticipation as was I.
Including those whom I perceived to be the big bloggers of our Tribe (many of whom no longer blog).
Ill admit I was a wee bit miffed these women didnt descend upon my blog from day one and commence commenting.
I commented on their blogs (& had long before MizFit) & they seemed to comment on each others.
And then I watched. And then I read their comments (this was before Twitter). And then it slowly dawned on me they were FRIENDS and in a not only a blog-commenting sense of the word. They knew each others story. They had inside jokes. They, like any friendship group, had a shared history.
And so I reached out. I asked one of these ‘big bloggers’ to do a guest post on my new little blog.
And you know what? She said no. She told me she was slammed & no longer did guest posts.
And you know what? A friendship was born.
I was so thrilled she responded I barely registered her NO & we’ve been close virtual friends for almost four years.
My point: Sometimes what appears to be cliquishness is merely a friendship group. Many of us have known each other for years. Many of us have met offline for conferences & trips. I lean really damn hard on some of these bloggers via phone, text, DMs, emails, & IMs Many of us communicate regularly off-blog about NONBLOG issues just like regular friends and now have shared history. This in no way means there’s not room for new friendPEEPS —- it simply means, as with all friendships, it takes time.
My next experience is far more recent (& sparked this powerful post which I encourage you all to read).
Lately Ive had the amazing opportunity to hang out with bloggers outside our Tribe.
They’ve all been amazing conferences and yet, since they were a little outside my comfort-zone, Ill readily admit to having some of those same Uh ladies? You are so clique’y!! feelings as I did before.
My name is MizFit and Im socially awkward.
Seriously. In that I was alluding to MISFIT (not Miss. Fit) when I created my brand. Im fine in a room of total strangers when we are ALL new to each other. Place me in a room where 99% of the women know each other (or at least read one another’s blogs) & Im pretty damn paralyzed.
Please to see Blissdom, cross-reference under Yahoo! Mother Board and find me FINALLY getting it at TypeAMom.
Yep. I was essentially the newbie blogger (few of these women were familiar with MizFit) who felt both PERCEIVED cliquishness & though these more experienced bloggers should reach out & lend me a hand.
I watched them (I did a lot of watching at Blissdom. 500 women & I knew one. There was only a certain about of clinging I could do to that one.) chat, laugh, network & reminisce and grew a little pissed surprised no one introduced herself to me and asked how I was/who I was. Until I remembered all my rambles above.
My point: These women did all know each other. The woman at Yahoo! Mother Board had been reading each others’ blogs (outside our genre) for years even if they’d never met in person. These women were friends offline & outside of their writing/vlogging. And you know what? These women were very friendly. It was simply incumbent upon ME to suck it up, introduce myself & let them know I was there alone. I needed to take the first step and they were more than willing to meet me half-way. Exactly the same as when I emailed the ‘big blogger’ when I was a Tribe-newbie.
**steps off soapbox, grabs some beef jerky & takes a big swig of water**
I really do wanna wrap this post up here and not only because it is far too long already.
Your emails asked for my thoughts, opinions & experiences.
Ive given you mine and now I long for yours.
Do you perceive a certain level of cliquishness in our Tribe?
Do you feel, as I do, that the groups are more friendship based than anything else?
Have you ventured off-Tribe & had the same fleeting feelings of raging insecurity as I did?
Please to hit us all up in the comments….and feel free to be anonymous if you choose.