If you’re a new blogger, you may start researching blogging, and think to yourself,

“I don’t stand a chance”.

“There are so many great blogs out there.”

“Others write better than I do.”

“No one is visiting my blog”

“There is so much to learn about blogging, I’ll never totally understand it all.”

“Then, I just read on Techonorati :

The World Live Web is incredibly active, and according to Technorati data, there are over 175,000 new blogs (that’s just blogs) every day. Bloggers update their blogs regularly to the tune of over 1.6 million posts per day, or over 18 updates a second.

“It’s just too overwhelming”

” I will never find my place in the world of blogging”

Today’s Lesson

This scenario reminds me of an abandoned dog, that showed up on our job site.

We would show up for work, and she would be laying under our large excavator. With matted fur, and signs of malnutrition, she was starving, not only for food, but for affection. The crew would share their lunches with her, and at days end, she was no where to be seen. We assumed she went “home”.

But as the days passed, she began staying on the job site…never leaving. Signs of an infection in her mouth, alarmed us.

Without a collar, she had no name. The humane society and local newspaper confirmed, no one was looking for her. She was homeless.

Undoubtedly, she was in pain. We took her to our family vet. It was confirmed that not only did she have a bad infection, she had cataracts in both eyes, her hearing was minimal, she would need hundreds of dollars of dental work done, plus, it was obvious to the vet, she had been terribly abused by a previous owner. We also assume she was disciplined with a shock collar, as she did not bark.

Fast forward…

We adopted her. Soon she was on the mend, gaining weight, and becoming playful.

We named her “Lucky” – a name suitable, for two reasons. 1) We felt lucky that we were able to save her, and 2) She was lucky to have made it so far in life, based on her circumstances and perseverance (the vet guesses she is about 12 years old).

She has not only become a part of our family, but she also found a place in our hearts

When we start blogging, we may feel like Lucky might have.

We go visit other blogs, and hang out.

We have a (domain) name, but no one knows it.

Our eyes are blind to the chances that await us

Our ears are open, but the silence is deafening.

We hope someone will show us some attention, and come and visit our blog.

We dine on a scrap of one or two of comments, hoping there’s more where that came from.

We sniff out a master (mentor), who will hopefully help us avoid being sucked into a void of no traffic.

And then we find hope.

Hope in the form of fellow bloggers.

Bloggers who will stroke the fur of our egos, and fill the dishes of our comment section.

And then we’re happy.

We came home.

Home to blogosphere.

Today’s Assignment

To all bloggers. Let’s give the new bloggers a chance.

Join me on a mission.

Let’s all visit one new blog each week, and leave a comment.

Search the comment sections of your favorite blogs, or go online, and find a new blog you can identify with. I’m going to attempt to find ones that are less than 2 months old.

It may take a few tries.

Let’s not abandon the new bloggers.

Remember, you were once a new blogger too.

I will be posting a link to the new blogger I find, in a post, each week.

And….to the brand new bloggers, I have an assignment for you, too.

Your lesson will be posted tomorrow. 🙂

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Look Who's Talking
  1. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – that is a great story. And I hope it will encourge and inspire new bloggers.

    As you do, I love trying to discover new blogs and give them a bit of encouragement.

    Too many people gravitate to the more popular blogs and it’s a shame, because when you look at the quality of some of the posts (not mentioning any names!) it’s obvious that many visitors are just there to comment spam, as opposed to actually reading the blog.

    I don’t understand it. It’s far more enjoyable to read a post by a new blogger who has something interesting to say. Take Hunter Nutall’s blog for example, his blog is fairly new, but it’s a great read (thank you for introducing it to me by the way) and I’d much rather be reading posts like his, as opposed to looking at pictures of what some blogger had for dinner that day.

    Sometimes it is difficult to find these new bloggers. Often I go through the comments on some of the popular sites and if I see an interesting one, I’ll click through.

    Are there any other methods we can use to find new bloggers?

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Here it is, almost 2 a.m., but I did find my “blogger of the week”…I will post a link to her blog tomorrow.

    What I did was a Google search, using parentheses, I typed in “newbie blogger”……..then I went to page 11 or 12 of the search results. I landed on a few, but they weren’t as new as I wanted, so I just did a little digging and found one that was started in 12/07.

    You know Catherine, when you’re new, you feel like your blog is buried in the search engine results, with no hope of being found. And, unfortunately new bloggers, may not be comfortable leaving comments, so it is difficult to find them.

    I’m actually going to enjoy this “mission” I’ve created. 🙂

    You are correct…we do gravitate toward our old favorites, and it is easy to forget that we were all new at one time.

    And yes, Hunter has the beginnings of a great blog!

  3. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    It is a great idea that you’re doing this each week Barbara.

    I recall posting for a long time without commentors – aside from the spam ones and it can be really disheartening. And as you say, new bloggers often don’t like to leave a comment.

  4. NicoleNo Gravatar says:

    Sweet, glad you could save Lucky!

    And I try to leave comments wherever I hop.
    New ones or not new ones.
    But I met loads of new ones in the last few weeks 🙂

  5. I love commenting on new blogs. It’s nice to “get in on the ground floor” and watch them grow, and they love getting comments when they haven’t had very many. Sometimes they’re easy to find because the blogger leaves a comment saying they’re new. Other times I’ll see an interesting comment, click through, and see that the blog is new. But I’ve never thought of specifically seeking out new bloggers who don’t necessarily leave comments. This is a very worthy mission!

  6. NatashaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, thanks so much for visiting my blog today. I admit that I don’t always leave comments on other people’s blogs, but I felt compelled to come here and say thanks. I also see many golden nuggets here that I want to read through, so I feel a lot like “Lucky”. Thanks again. 🙂

  7. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Catherine,

    I was thinking of how I started this blog to share with other new bloggers what I was learning, so I decided to take it a step further and try and help them along the way.

    I know how comments have given me motivation to “go on”, and so it’s my way of paying it forward

    Hello Nicole,

    It’s good to hear you are a commenter. That sure gives those new bloggers a lift.

    I was “buzzing around” your blog last night, catching up on your posts and photos, via Google reader. I’ll be back later to drop you a comment now that I’m rested.

    Hunter,

    I have to laugh at your situation……you were a commenter on blogs before you were a blogger, so commenting comes natural to you.

    When I started blogging, I had read about the importance of commenting, but I was so overwhelmed with all of the other aspects of blogging, I didn’t add commenting to the mix, until months later. I still find myself jumping between sites and not leaving a comment (due to time restraints, or being tired), but am trying to discipline myself to slow down,….a little.

    However, I do find some sites that I “just don’t get”, and leave those, shaking my head.

  8. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Natasha,

    You’re welcome.

    Thank you for the kind words.

    Make sure you come back for tomorrow’s post, as I have a surprise for you. 😀

  9. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Lucky could be like us all. This is a way over-the-top statement, but the smaller the world becomes, and the more we jump on the treadmill of life, and isolate ourselves from the dangers, the lonelier we become.

    Is it the same the world over? Is the US, the UK and other “westernised” countries breeding a feeling of loneliness?

    I noticed this recently. My daughter is 6. Not much older than her, I was allowed to play out on the street. Nobody considered danger.

    Now they do.

    When my mother was a child, nobody considered it necessary to lock a door. It wasn’t a street of individuals. It was an open-door community.

    Perhaps we are conditioned by the times we live in “not to comment”. The same disciplines we apply to our home lives of protectionism and segregation of ourselves and loved ones from perceived dangers eeks out into the cyber world of blogs.

    And quite rightly too.

    We are in the information age.

    Whereas arguably in decades and centuries gone by, bad news travelled, but not as quickly and graphically as it does now, there was a level of protection that was born of ignorance.

    But was the bad stuff and were the bad people simply not there? Or were we simply ignorant of them?

    Is ignorance bliss?

    We are no longer ignorant. Newsreaders give us graphic updates of atrocities in far-flung corners of the globe that turn our stomachs.

    Yet our ancestors never saw this. It always happened.

    Are we all a little like Lucky?

    I wager that if you gave “blogging” to someone from the 1800’s, they wouldn’t hesitate to comment if you took away skill and class restrictions.

    You can argue that new bloggers are a little more conditioned by society as it is today – protectionist and cautious more than unliberated by thought.

    There is a barrier to hurdle to gain the confidence to speak.

    Perhaps blogs and blogging has de-constructed those barriers? The medium, if you ignore some of the “security” issues has been largely overcome by the ability to remain anonymous.

    If not anonymous, emboldened by the lack of immediate peer scrutiny that is naturaul in this medium – i.e. you can wear your shorts and nothing else and say what you like as nobody is looking (switch the webcam off!).

    The medium has the ability to liberate us from this freedom-sapping onous of taking the worries of the world on our shoulders.

    S*it happens (sorry Barb!). It always has. We just never saw it before.

    But equally, the isolationism of blogging opens up more possibilities.

    And we should embrace them, do as you say, and encourage others to speak out as they see fit.

    Time to have a nap and ponder…

  10. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I couldn’t sleep, so no nap yet. Why? It just ocurred to me that your posts are so thought provoking and inspiring that we sometimes forget to say “thanks” as we react to your works of art..

    Thank you.

    I am so glad Lucky was in the right place at the right time.

  11. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Ian,

    This reminds me of an interview I was listening to on TV last night, as I was attempting to go to sleep.

    The two gentlemen (don’t ask me what show it was) were discussing how, all in all, most people in this world are decent people. However, the news media is conditioned to report, only the “bad”. By doing so, the public begins to believe “the world is bad”, when, in fact, it’s only a handful of individuals.

    In blogosphere, depending on which sites one visits, your views can easily be distorted. A handful will write doom and gloom, whereas in reality, blogosphere could be considered a relatively safe place. Not only safe, but extremely informative.

    I’m not saying we should not take precautions, however, the need to take a few precautions, should not paralyze us from sharing.

    New bloggers, depending on where they got there information from, can develop the same attitudes.

    Commenting, however, can raise other issues, such as shyness, lack of confidence, fear of being ridiculed, uncertainty of “proper English”, and so on.

    We, as bloggers, who do leave/answer comments, can help to reduce this problem, by encouraging others to have their say, and to then, respect their opinion, even though it may be different than ours.

    Barbara’s last blog post..New Blogger Begins To Feel Like An Abandoned Dog

  12. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Again Ian,

    You’re welcome!

    Your second comment came in as I was responding to the first one, so I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring your words of gratitude.

    I certainly appreciate your kind words.

    If I can make others think, and possibly help them to reflect on what’s really important in their lives, and in blogging, I feel I have accomplished one of my blogging goals.

    As much as I like to help others with my blogs, I also want to teach my readers to be informed. I may provide one answer to their question(s), however, often there is more than one right answer.

    It’s our responsibility to “test” what we read, and see if it indeed works for us. With a little tweaking, it may. However, what works for some, may not work for others.

    We feel very blessed to have Lucky in our lives. She’s a real beauty, with a very sweet personality.

    Barbara’s last blog post..New Blogger Begins To Feel Like An Abandoned Dog

  13. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I suspect you can pick and choose who to talk to as well.

    It’s a little like exiting the caves. We’re a little blinded by the light, shy and introverted.

    But once someone shows us the way, we overcome this inertia adapt.

    That’s what you’re doing and advocating. Which is the way to go.

    Equally, we can defend ourselves who jump out of the cave with an axe they want to grind. Into our head.

    Our defences are less subtle than a shield and an ability to side-step an axe-swipe.

    They are firewalls. Spam filters. But more importantly common sense.

    And it’s that same common sense that keeps the conversation going because we know how to side-step the neandrathals leaping from the cave.

    At times (especially early morning) I appear like a cave-dweller. Grunting and gesticulating until the civilisation I adopted kicks in. Equally, near the end of the day, the cave-mentality overwhelms me (especially when tired).

    The fact is though, there’s lots of people emerging from the caves right now. And they haven’t discovered the etiquette of ditching the axe in favour of a good old chat.

    And we should be watching the cave entrances alot more!

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Why I Bothered To Tell This Sorry Story

  14. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Ian,

    Very well put!

    When I see comments like the ones you have just written, I know “things are O.K., in Ian’s world”.

    Ian, when you’re “on”, your writings can be eloquent, astounding, thought provoking, and/or funny.

    Have you ever thought of becoming an author?

    Barbara’s last blog post..New Blogger Begins To Feel Like An Abandoned Dog

  15. […] you happened to read yesterday’s post, titled:“New Blogger Begins To Feel Like An Abandoned Dog”, you will know, I am on a mission to find new bloggers. However, I can’t do this alone. I need […]

  16. Thanks Barbara,

    What a great reminder to us all that when challenged, always opt for generosity. Supporting emerging bloggers is a great thing we can all easily do.

    It sounds like Lucky has brought lots of happiness into your life.

    Kaye Swafford

    Kaye Swafford’s last blog post..T-Shirt Therapy Does the Trick

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kaye,

    Yes, Lucky is a real joy in our lives.

  18. […] She blogs about dogs. a subject that is near and dear to my (and hubby’s) heart….remember the story of how we rescued Lucky? […]

  19. Barbara,

    I know the feeling of the “abandoned dog,” in your post, but I am discovering that the blogging community is a wonderful family that WILL adopt those of us still learning our way.

    Your post touched me a different way. My dog is also blind and has lost most of her hearing. She’s thirteen, but has this amazing ability to go with the flow. She has taught me so much about learning new ways to deal with obstacles.

    Thanks for this post!!!!

    Sara B. Healy´s last blog post..Are you ready to be launched?

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sara – Oh yes! The blogging community is a wonderful group of people, always willing to help each other.

    Aren’t animals wonderful creatures? Lucky is still going strong. In fact, as I was typing this, she came to get some attention. She’s so sweet, we often wonder how her previous owners could have mistreated her. BTW, what is your dog’s name?

  21. […] and motivating articles for bloggers. While, I love many of her posts, one of my favorites is New Blogger Begins to Feel Like An Abandoned Dog.  It’s a very creative and hopeful post for bloggers.  I also loved the story of […]