There is so much greed in our world (at least the capitalist Western world). People will do pretty much anything to get ahead, and I find myself often questioning people’s intentions – are you offering to help me because it will benefit you in some way? Are you interested in this so I’ll be interested in that? While this isn’t always a bad thing, I do like to know people’s intentions.
Since entering the real blogging world, I have realized that blogging is about a lot more than just writing posts. It’s about engaging with a community of people who are doing the same. It’s about sharing experiences and ideas, making blogging friends, and helping each other out. I can accept that last part – that if I get to know people online, they’ll send me more readers my way (and I’ll send readers their way, of course).
But what I’m not certain about, yet, is whether someone is genuinely interested or if he/she is simply following blogging etiquette (bletiqutte?) or trying to make noise in order to get more hits. When someone comments on my blog, is it because they’re looking to get ahead (more readers) or because they have a sincere thought to share? When someone follows my blog, are they doing it so they are notified of my new posts, or because they want me to “return the favor”? When does etiquette become meaningless exchange?
One of the reasons I’ve started blogging is because I am hoping my posts might spark some thought-provoking, heart-warming, or otherwise interesting discussions. I prefer to have a real conversation, a meaningful exchange when commenting. As an overwhelmed newbie to the blogosphere, I really haven’t had much time for these types of comments, but I do hope they’ll come with time (I can’t force this). And I hope my readers feel the same. I love getting comments, even if they’re just a quick “Hello. I enjoyed your post for x reason” or something of the sort that doesn’t initiate a deep discussion. Those comments warm my heart and inspire me to keep writing. But I do hope to go a little deeper as I become a more prominent member of this community. And I hope the bloggers I am interacting with feel the same. I don’t care for meaningless interactions motivated purely by the desire to ‘get ahead’.
Likewise, when someone follows my blog, I check out their blog. If they like mine, chances are I’ll like theirs. But it doesn’t always work this way. Looking through my list of followers (admittedly quite small at this point), I see that I’m only following about half. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the readership or that I don’t enjoy reading those blogs. What it means is that, at this point in my life, my blogging career, I don’t see a need to be reading those blogs. Perhaps that will change in the future. Perhaps it won’t. Regardless, I’m not going to follow those blogs simply because their owners followed mine. And I hope others don’t feel that obligation when I follow their blogs.
My bottom line: anything I do, I do it with transparent intentions. And I wonder what percentage of other bloggers do the same. What do you think? Are there lots of “non-transparent” bloggers out there? What is the etiquette and does the etiquette ever become a meaningless exchange of “you follow me, I’ll follow you”?
This post was written in response to this Daily Prompt.