To Anyone with a Blog: Can We Chat About Community?

Lots of people have blogged about how great it is to be a part of the aniblogging community (or whichever corner of WordPress you belong to), and many more have talked about how friendship and support from people they have never met has affected their lives positively. I am one who feels this way too (and I reached 300 followers just last week, so thank you!), though I’m not here to talk about that today.

I am Writing a Chapter for a Book…

girl with book

As I gave a preview of in my previous post, I’m currently doing editing work for a book that documents the growth of a Vancouver-based salonΒ and uses it as a case study on the nature of communities and its effect on the members in it. See the AIR Salon’s website if you would like more information.

The final chapter of this book is about exploring other forms of communities, potentially as directions in which this salon can expand on in the future. My supervisor mentioned her interest in online communities, and so I introduced her to the idea of blogging (one of the very few times I showed my blog to anyone)!

There are in fact many parallels between the blogging community and a salon community.

  1. Ideas are exchanged.
  2. It provides a safe (but public) space for creativity.
  3. It has the functions of a social support network.

I proposed to write something because I’ve found myself a part of a wonderful online community through blogging since late last year. As I work on the book project and hear from different participants, I’ve noticed that a lot of people hold certain biases against the increase of virtual interactions in our age, and believe that real time, real life interactions are what a salon cannot go without. A year or two ago, I may have agreed completely, but now I’m faced with a few new questions. Are online communities inherently less legitimate than real-life ones? To what extent are virtual bonds “less real”? I am not here to undermine the necessity of real life interactions, but I do think that there is more to our virtual community than outsiders may assume.

To highlight my blogging life, I showed my supervisor some past (and present) collab posts I’ve done as well as a few nomination tags that have been going around (in particular, the My Reasons Why tag), and she was intrigued by the interactive potential of the platform. Besides comment section conversations, referencing/promoting each others’ works, and tagging each other in posts, great bloggers have also brought to life powerful initiatives such as the OWLS Tour, Continue Don’t Quit, or Jon’s Creator Showcase (which I am hosting this month, by the way; gimme all those June posts!). And of course, it doesn’t just stop at WordPress. Many of us use Twitter, Discord, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest (ayy, KingDylbag and Angelica) to further connect with one other…

Would You Like to Help?

You, yes you. I feel like the most effective way to write this chapter would be to gather some opinions from fellow bloggers. I’ve created a Google Doc, where you can answer as many questions I put out as you want. Some people already provided some ideas under my last post, so I’ve added those in the Doc.

  • Anyone is welcome! You don’t necessarily have to be an aniblogger – as long as you feel like you’ve experienced a sense of community through blogging, you are totally welcomed. If you don’t have a blog but feel like a part of a community, that’s wonderful too.
  • Pick and choose the questions you like, or add your own in another section. I’ll be super grateful if you answer even one.
  • If possible, I would like to quote bits of your words in my chapter. If you’re uncomfortable with that or would like to remain anonymous, please let me know in advance. No information about you would be disclosed other than your blogger name and possibly the name of your blog.
  • Feedback is always welcomed. Ask if I didn’t explain anything clearly enough, or tell me how I can put this chapter together better.
  • There is no deadline for this (not within sight anyways).

Google Docs link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q9IfU4FgTdJIenAO8SKpAj5oGp7XiTg3tEB-d6uU7B0/edit?usp=sharing

The Questions so Far

For those who don’t use Google Docs, here’s a list of the questions I’ve thought of.

Q1: How has being a part of an online community impacted you?

Q2: What are some of the best things about this blogging community? The worst?

Q3: What are elements that define the aniblogging community? What allows it to work?

Q4: How do virtual interactions compare to real life ones? Advantages of either?

Q5: How do people bond through blogging? (What’s the nature of this sort of bond?)

Q6: If you have the chance to meet your blogger friends, would you prefer to share the things you normally talk to them about with them in person? (Are online exchanges a second-best option to real life conversations?)

Q7: What things would make the blogging community better?

Q8: Anything else! (E.g. anecdotes, post links, final thoughts, feedback, etc.)

Angel_Beats_-_12_-_Large_17_7482
This is the kind of vibe?

To anyone reading: thank you for being a part of a community to be celebrated, whether you choose to participate in my chapter or not. I don’t post particularly frequently and am certainly not one of the greater presences within this community, but I treasure it very much and am grateful for any interaction I’ve had with all of you.

Feel free to promote this post in any way you can!

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35 thoughts on “To Anyone with a Blog: Can We Chat About Community?

  1. First things first: Congratulations on readching 300 followers! Massive achievement indeed, and something that you should feel really, really proud of 😊 And….it won’t stop there, trust me on that πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
    As you know about me by now, I am someone who thinks one of the best things about blogging is the interaction with everyone. That’s where the fun stuff happens..besides of course reading some great posts (and writing my own erm…scribblings on a page lolπŸ˜‚). As I said before I think this is a great project and you can rest assured you will find my answers appearing somewhere this week 😊 Hopefully a lot of people are going to be helping you out. Good Luck! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The question of analyzing virtual & physical communities and placing them side by side is such a good topic, I hope the project goes really well for you!
    I’ll KIV the google link and take a shot at the Qs when I’m in my thinking chair πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds interesting unfortunately I have about just as much issues making friends online than in real life. I have the same anxiety and everything else… Although, I do find it that my online friends even the ones who are not actual friends are MUCH more supportive of my dreams than friendsI know from “real life”.
    I think we all inspire and motivate eachother and that’s how we bond and impact one another.
    I would probably talk about the same things only more indepth.

    The negative I think that people can be really cruel. And I think it’s especially unexpected in geeky, nerdy, anime etc circels where people try to find support. I think many of us don’t really fit in the “real life” or what’s considered “normal” and people online try to find support and motivation. I saw so many times incredibly cruel comments and literal hate over nothing. I’m actually anxious many times to get into conversations because I just don’t want to get involved in something like this.

    I think this is a pretty serous issue. HeforShe also started a campain in gaming circles because female gamers experience harresment all the time. Or the fact that Kelly Marie Tran Deleted her Insta because of all the hate she got. This is becoming a real issue in these circles and I think the worst is that it should be the last community where something like this happens.

    Good luck with your project! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the insights! I totally get where you’re coming from with the issue of people being toxic. From my eexperience this happens more often on forums or Twitter – places where there’s a greater degree of anonymity. It’s rather rare on blogs, probably because we all sort of build up our own blogger identities/reputations, and want to maintain positive relations with each other.
      This is particularly true of the wordpress aniblogging community, which is small enough for people to know each other a bit better. It may seem intimidating at first, but I hope you get to enjoy your blogging social experience the more you blog!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey Jella, I’m coming back to look at all the comments for this post before writing my piece, and I’m wondering if it’s okay for me to include some of your thoughts? Probably just a sentence or two if I do end up finding a place for it. It’s totally up to you though!

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Congrats on 300! That is amazing!
    I couldn’t agree more about this awesome community even though I’m still not great with Twitter ha!
    It is funny how well it works. I see other online platforms with horrible negative comments and if you don’t agree with what they are saying you are an idiot and must have been born from a donkey.
    I love how people have their different opinions on the blogs but I never see them personally lash out at anyone. All the opinions expressed are heard and responded to with care and thought. I love it. It can be hard to see comments on Facebook and wonder what the world is coming to, but I come on here and people are willing to listen and give respect. That is so priceless.
    Maybe I haven’t seen enough to have another opinion, but from I’ve seen from the aniblogging community has been nothing but amazing. We are all human but we share and we express and we give respect.
    Maybe it is because we all love things that are “weird” haha or we are introverts and this is a place where we feel like we can share. I don’t really know. But it is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kimchi! It is funny how it works, huh? I did notice that most of us seem to identify as introverts!
      Thanks for sharing your feelings (can I quote them?) towards a community to be preserved.

      Liked by 1 person

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