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…
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 salon 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.
- Ideas are exchanged.
- It provides a safe (but public) space for creativity.
- 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:
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.)
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!