This is (sort of) an entry for the Mabel's Labels BlogHer 2009 contest. They're searching for a blogger to send to BlogHer'09. Even though I can't attend BlogHer this year, I thought that participating in the contest would be a fun excercise. Visit Mabel's website for contest rules and regulations.
What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?
For me, the rewards and benefits of participating the blogging community can be summed up in three words: sharing, daring and caring.
Pssst. That's lovely and all. But the rules stipulate that you need to use at least 250 words.Hrm? Oh. Right. Well then, let me elaborate.
This blog started out as a companion blog to an online cartoon. A place to write my thoughts related to the comic strip, without interrupting the cartoon's train of thought. Unexpectedly, the cartoon's train of thought derailed.
The blog, however, remained and was used primarily as a place to collaborate with other students as we fine-tuned our mad drawing skills. Blogging is a terrific venue for collaboration and peer support in learning.
The nature of the blogging beast is that through this medium we're able to share our day to day experiences.
On a good day, we'll find that some of them are things that resonate with other people too.
There is much to learn from what other people share:
- Yummy things like recipes for spicy almonds and Italian Wedding soup.
- Practical things like the ins and outs of digital archiving, creative uses for Sharpie markers. and thoughts on saving money.
Acceptance and understanding is fostered by reading about people in circumstances different than your own. It extends beyond the at-home mom reading about the ins and outs of moms that work outside of the home and vice versa.
The more people share, we learn and are able to appreciate the whole mom. The photographer mom. The environmentalist mom. The writer mom. The cartoonist mom. Because blogging reaches beyond the boundaries of motherhood, we can get a glimpse behind the eyeballs of screenwriters, actors and television personalities as well.
No question is too big or too small to ask when there are blogs like AskMoxie to shed light on every form of parenting dilemna. We're amazed at the small everyday things that we can do to make our lives just a little bit easier via blogs like ParentHacks. Controversies in parenting can be explored in depth with The Mother Of All Parenting Experts.
The thing about the internet, is that word travels fast. So when someone gets a really daring and creative idea, it spreads virally. On your own, would you ever consider:
- trading a paperclip for a house?
- consuming no more than one dollar's worth of food every day?
- going beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of consumer culture?
When you read about the day to day minutia of people's lives, there's bound to be some “less than Hallmark worthy" moments. It's very uplifting to see people commiserate, offer suggestions and otherwise be supportive to other bloggers during the low points in their lives.
And while it's true that virtual baby-sitting isn't here yet -- your bloggy friends can't give you a break from your crying teething baby -- sometimes having someone else comment “me too" can make all the difference in the world.
After you've been there for the lows, being there for the good times is all that much sweeter. Like seeing a brand new baby or an adorable video of an almost one year old.
Quite frankly, it doesn't get much more inspiring than this video of a grade-schooler doing well after a successful liver transplant.
Connections are made. Friendships are formed. Some are virtual. Some spill over into real life. (And it's been suggested that connectedness is important ingredient for happiness.)
So there you have it. The rewards and benefits of participating the blogging community:
Oh. And there's also the added benefit of having a digital backup of your memory. You know, just in case.