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Friday, July 30, 2010


Hello. My name is Barbara and I started this blog to promote my business.

But that isn't the only reason. I've been thinking a lot about social media lately. And intention. And why I choose to follow people on their blogs or their Twitter or Facebook. A lot of it is just that. social promotion. But I realized that I've ended up following a lot of people just BECAUSE...not because they inspire me or because I value their business or they value mine but to gain followers perhaps on my blog....and that's not really why I started doing this.

A few weeks ago, I posted a giveaway, in conjunction with a bead swap that I did. I was giving away for free, 3 different things, as a fun addition with the swap. Only 1 out of the 3 people contacted me, despite my reposting the fact that I had stuff to give away to the winners. All of these people were followers on my blog. I have deleted that specific post because I don't want to expose these people, because it isn't my intention to make them feel poorly. Everyone has stuff happen and perhaps the winners didn't realize that they had won. Perhaps they don't read blogs's not their fault. I don't expect anything in return. But it made me think about things differently.

I wanted to do something fun and offer something fun. I spent time making something. Spending time shooting the photos for the blog, making the items for the free giveaway. It hurt my feelings, in short. So it was an exercise in giving.

Then, in the midst of me feeling put out by this, I read this post, on Nicki's blog. It really struck a chord with me and since then, I've been reevaluating my blog connections. I've been trying to comment on blogs I visit and I've been trying to take note of blogs I comment on who don't return comments. By nature, I'm a lurker and don't comment very often. I am, however, trying to change this. I've taken a look at my blog list and am narrowing to down to a QUALITY, not QUANTITY list. I want to appreciate the efforts of all of the blogs I read, and have them appreciate me in return. A lot of the blogs I visit are LARGE. They have many hundreds of followers and I don't expect a comment in return, but I do read the comments and I take note when/if they respond to comments. Even if they answer simple questions or say "Thanks!" I've also been reevaluatating my own comments to see if I've thanked those who've commented.

I really, really want to be more mindful of my blogging experience and not have it be so passive. I want everyone to know how much I APPRECIATE THEM COMING HERE TO READ MY RAMBLINGS!

I want to provide a voice for my business, and foster a community and I'm still working on that community part. I want people to voice their opinions and be inspired and inspire others. Who's with me?


TesoriTrovati said...

I'm with you!
One of the things I take very seriously is the conversational aspect of my blog. I try to reply by email to every single comment. I think that if you took the time you deserve at least that much from me. There was one person I actually would call a friend who won something on my blog in June. I had several big giveaways. She maybe didn't read my post, so I sent her an email. Maybe she didn't get my email because I never heard from her. Did she not like what I offered? I actually have her address since I bought things from her. Should I just send it? And the prize was gifted to me by my friend who is starting her own paper crafting kit company and I was also doing this to help her. So if the prize doesn't get in the hands of the winner, then it is not doing her any good either.

Pet peeve is when people comment but have the no-reply email address. I know all about getting spam. But I also know that carrying on that conversation is really important. I know that people use their own comments to comment back, but seriously, once I have commented I am not sticking around to see if anyone replied to me. I hate that too.

I am re-evaluating my blogging connections as well. I have a rule that when I want to add one that I have to get rid of at least one that no longer tickles my fancy. I have a long list right now to stop. But with blogger it is such a hassle to stop following as well. Wish it were simpler.

Thanks for the inspiration today!
Enjoy the day!

Barbara Bechtel said...

It is an awful lot like friendship. I have a post coming up dealing with simplicity and how sometimes unhealthy realationships figure into this. And blogging is no different, unfortunately. Everyday, everyway, we all have to deal with the bad as well as the good. It struck me when I was writing the blogging post about how my feelings were hurt etc. about it being and exercise in giving. I said that! Yes, it is an exercise in giving. When one gives, we shouldn't expect anything in return, no matter how much it hurts one's (my) ego. But, in that same vein, if you give freely and someone doesn't wish to receive, you can't help that.

Cindy said...

I think this blog post rings a chord with all of us. I read Nicki's heartfelt post as well... I think many of us try and visit many blogs and hope that many will visit us in return...but eventually we realize (as Nicki points out), that it's truly the quality, not the quantity that counts! :-)

Barbara Bechtel said...

Thank you Cindy! It does ring a chord and not many of us choose to follow it, myself included, until now. It seems to ring as something in the ether. I really want to foster a community of sorts, for the exchange of ideas, so I am now making a more conscious effort to foster this. Thank you for your comments! I really appreciate it!

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I am sorry to hear about your giveaway disappointment, and I can relate. On the flip side, I won a giveaway back in the beginning of May and still have not received my prize! I emailed her, but she has still not sent it. I know I should just forget about it, but what gets me is she still keeps having giveaways. I think she has had 3 or 4 since then. Oh well, that's life sometimes.

I would like to make more of an effort to thank people personally for commenting on my blog because I do appreciate it. However, I don't expect people to comment. I know there are plenty of people who read my blog, but never comment, and that's fine with me. A blog is in its own way a form of giving, and I write on my blog for the enjoyment of others and because I want to share. I try not to expect anything in return, but, of course, I love when I get comments! I'll be interested to see what others think...thanks for the interesting topic!

Barbara Bechtel said...

Yes, thank you Lisa! I think you know particularly about that giveaway! But yes, I think all we do, whether we loan people money or things, or give things away, or just put our feelings out there, is an act of giving, and despite the feelings of reciprocity that we may expect, we have to remember to give freely. I am humbled to learn this lesson. again. for the umpteenth time. give freely.

Pretty Things said...

You know that this is a hot button with me (I wrote about being a Kind Beader and this was one of the things I had on my mind).

I follow a lot of blogs in my Google Reader, but have recently deleted quite a few because I just didn't feel that connection -- they either never, ever acknowledged that I posted (after LOTS of posts, they should have recognized a loyal follower) or something in their treatment of others really turned me off.

I'm glad to see more people writing about what's in their hearts -- maybe some will see, even though it's a blog on a computer, it's a PERSON behind those words.

Lorelei said...

That totally stinks! Did you end up trying to email them to tell them they won? I'm sure that you did...
I have had similar experiences with waiting weeks for people to contact me after a giveaway win. And I also have had similar feelings about the whole blogging thing in general. I recently posted something similar recently. Unfortunately, I was called out about not being fair in my "call for comments" and realized maybe it was a bit hypocritical of me since I too am guilty of not leaving comments on every blog I follow. I ended up removing my post because of it.
It definitely has made me really think about how I blog, and what I blog. Great post, Barbara. I think it's important for every blogger to think about this topic!

Rebecca said...

Hi Barbara, I do hope so much it wasn't me that let you down! I do struggle to keep up with blogs and haven't worked out a good way of managing it when life gets busy. Hey ho! But I agree - my favourite blogs are the ones that are more than a business promotion; where you see something of the person. It's about reaching out to others and making connections, isn't it? I will try and do better with my blog organisation! I loved Nicki's idea and think I may do that myself sometime soon - it's a lovely and very genuine thought.


Barbara Bechtel said...

It really is Rebecca! Thank you all for your thoughts. I'm going to expound a bit more in another post since this has generated such a response.

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...


Hmmm, totally thought I had commented on this post already...which might be yet another issue in this topic- wanting to comment but having life distract!

I usually comment when I feel like I have something to add to the conversation, not just to say "hi". I too have been hurt by lack of response from people who I thought I had made a greater connection with (and been forgotten with giveaway winnings) but have made the decision that I need to let it roll off me...even though I feel like I have a connection with someone via a blog, I truly have no idea what is going on in their life and what they might be like in person.

Although I'm definitely aware of those blogs that I visit where I never receive a response back or a return comment and at times I've entertained the thought of no longer following them, I've made the decision that if I'm following someone it's because I'm truly interested in what they might have to say or show and not whether or not they reciprocate.

Thought provoking post! :)