Monday, May 18, 2015

Thankful Blogger

Thankful for the friendships made, the experiences, and opportunities that have come through Chickenblog.

Thankful for the seeds sown, and all that's bloomed.

Thankful for the dreams that have come true, that I've pined for, whined for, celebrated, and reflected on.

Thankful for the new dreams, new inspirations, and all I can share with the people I love.

Thankful to see the people I love, to play with them, to encourage them, and be a part of what they do.

Oh, gosh, how I love to share my chicken love! Julie!!

Thankful to share my deep thoughts and other musings, and my chicken aesthetic... my flighty, whimsical, bird-brained passions.
Of course, any of it might be possible without Chickenblog, but I am glad CB is here to remind me of all that I am thankful for.

Good Monday Morning, friends. This is it, the official start week of Chickenblog, back in 2002. I am noting it, not because the original keyboard I wrote on is going to the Smithsonian, or I ever won a Bloggie. There's still a chance Terri Gross will reach out to me, ask me the big questions about my deep thoughts and musings, but really I am only marking this time, because I like numbers, patterns, celebrations, marked occasions, and making much ado about anything!

Calamity Kim sent us Chicken Lovers a card. I don't know if she was necessarily thinking of the Chickenblogaversary, per se, but as usual she was being very thoughtful, generous. She was one of the first A-list bloggers to give this blog a loving shout-out, and she has showered us with gifts from her endlessly creative artistic collection. This time she sent us seeds, and a lovely note. It's perfect... something to sow from the woman who sews! Something to spread around and watch grow, share with the bees and butterflies and friends.

Kim's card gave me something else, too... more to reflect on concerning blogging. She's active on FB, has a Tumbler site, but her blog is a much quieter space now, like so many of the bloggers I've known. Some have formally retired, and maybe I need to accept that and remove those links. But I am in a state of denial... a small part of me believes that leaving their names in the sidebar may summon them to pop their heads up, and let us know how their gardens fare, where they've traveled, to say they're feeling fine, doing well. There are a handful of bloggers who have simply cut-back. They post infrequently, and it's nice to see news from them, to have them drop by here, too. I can see that the hey-day of blogging, when it was novel, when we were figuring it all out, those days have past.

Of course, there are new bloggers jumping in, but the tone and function seems to have changed a lot. Gone are the homemade layouts and personable, familiar approaches... new blogs feel so slick and packaged. Did you know you can purchase traffic to a blog? A lot of blogs are really just window dressing for a business, a corporation, a news outlet. Big giveaways and loads of ads, promotions, and sponsorships make many blogs feel no different than glossy magazines. It would be hard to maintain, but who remembers swaps? Quilters, knitter, crafters... these bloggers would arrange for surprise exchanges between strangers, and all kinds of goodies would travel from one new friend to another. So many connections were made, talents shared. Even small gestures like linking back to other bloggers, acknowledging sources, inspiration, something good, so that it really was a web we were building, it felt connected to something of our own hands and hearts. I've always been aware that this medium is new, WeB-logging, and I feel like a pioneer, an old timer. And I feel really fortunate to have been around, blogging, when it was new, when we were pushing boundaries, exploring styles, networking, and making sense of these online logs, diaries, journals, scrapbooks. I'm glad I could participate before things got too glossy, too corporate. I am even more glad that there are other old timers still telling their stories, sharing garden views, travel adventures, recipes, and posting links. Be sure, I am neither complaining, nor criticizing... {a shocking network of blog shaming and bullying follows some bloggers. Sadly, most of the mean-girl nonsense is directed at women, by women... quite a pathetic, sometimes scary, development, where the anonymous and cruel attacks do nothing for good, for raising our thoughts, and actions.} I'm not bellyaching about the good old days; it's just interesting to see where we've been, and wonder what the next thirteen years may bring.

My favorite parts of blogging are staying connected with friends and family, and having a record of our days, mine and Geoff's, and our children's. This is an open letter to family and friends, a scrapbook for our children, especially when we are far apart. I also like blogging for the new friends I make, for the ideas I can share, and things I can promote because they matter to me, like high school robotics, STEAM education, the Make community, and chickens, of course. Shining a spotlight on the talents, interests, and endeavors of others is very meaningful to me; I always hope it will make a difference, give support. And You, the reader... readers make Chickenblog good, and worthwhile to me, because I enjoy learning, sharing, laughing, being understood, feeling connected. {And, I really should add: I like having a place to enjoy the pictures I take, because they make me happy, and I am too lazy to get any printed and into albums. Derp.}

Kim, thank you for those seeds, for your kind words. Weren't we lucky to make the friends we did, and to still find connections, exchanges kindnesses? I kissed those chicks for you... they're in their hysterically awkward phase! Like me... hahahahha.


warren said...

You captured my thoughts exactly...I hate to admit it but blogging has sort of passed for most people I guess. I had high hopes at some point of developing some large readership where...blah blah blah. I am now content to stay in touch with family and some good blog friends like you and to diary my life. I sort of love how it's become that. There i no pressure to do a post every day or every week if I don't feel like it. It was all self-induced pressure, but it's all gone now either way...and I sort of like it better!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Hey, fellow old timer!
Me blah blah blah, too.
Plus I was going to fund my very generous philanthropic impulses.
But, hey! I've made friends with a honey family... so I'm feeling rich!

Anonymous said...

Who knows? Terri Gross might still call and tell the world what a charming, cozy, friendly place is Chickenblog. Glad you are still here, writing your thoughts and sharing your images.