It doesn’t surprise me Facebook has over 500 million active users or that in a week, one billion tweets are published on Twitter

Facebook and Twitter are about communicating and people want to be heard.

Today’s Lesson

Blogging is the same.

Many bloggers will admit their real life friends don’t understand blogging, nor do they have an interest in what we’re blogging about.

Real life friends may think blogging is silly, a passing fad or even a waste of time.

But bloggers know, with having a blog, comes an audience whom we believe are interested in what we publish.

Via comments they validate us or expand on the topic and carry the discussion further.

It feels good to know we’re being heard.

In real life, where others seem to be consumed with their own lives, we may not get that. Hence, our blog becomes our voice.

It’s no wonder when our real life friends do read our blogs or the comments we’ve left elsewhere, they’ll often say, “I didn’t know that about you.”

Today’s Assignment

If a friend or family member read your blog or a comment you left on another site, would they be surprised and find out more about you and your interests?

Care to share?

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  1. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I think some people that know me would be surprised and delighted to see what I blog about. I, however, don’t often mention my blog or my radio show in regular conversation. That sounds weird doesn’t it?
    Check out Chase March’s awesome post.Women in Hip-Hop Set 2My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      Actually that doesn’t sound weird. I don’t tell a lot of people that I’m a blogger and it seems like (some) other bloggers are the same.

      I know for myself, when I’m asked what blogging is, I find it’s hard to put into words so I usually decide to not even bring it up.

  2. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Certainly. Most of the people that I know don’t have much of a clue about blogging or doing anything with web page construction. I do have one friend who reads my blog and I get surprised when he says something about one of my posts.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.Fabric ArtMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s true. Many people don’t know what blogging is all about nor why we do it. Like you said, it’s always a pleasant surprise when a friend does say something about our posts.

  3. StephanieNo Gravatar says:

    My mother was very polite about reading my blog. She didn’t do it for a long time because she was worried about invading my privacy. I told her I don’t expect privacy online.

    I know a few family members read my blog occasionally. I don’t think any do regularly.
    Check out Stephanie’s awesome post.5 Tips to Make the Most of Being a Stay at Home MomMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      That’s interesting how your mother feels she’s invading your privacy if she reads your blog. In one way I do understand where she’s coming from, but when we go online, we give up our privacy.

  4. People are starting to catch on in our circle, but it’s still somewhat of an anomaly. We have close friends who support us in the comments section, but I’d say it’s about equally split between them and blogging friends. Pete thinks they may notice more than we notice them noticing, though. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.Bless This HouseMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      Pete might have a point. More of our family and friends may be reading our work but not admitting it. Hmmmm.

  5. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I’m the same, I have a number of followers, very few of whom are actually friends or family. I would like to appeal to more readers, but at the moment I have to be satisfied with those who do me the honour of reading what I write.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Souvenirs- Shortages and Where is SpringMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      That’s one thing about blogging. Most of our friends don’t understand why we do it and have no interest in it, so we’re left to find other readers on our own. Hang in there. Building a readership can take time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Fantastic question Barbara
    My wife reads my blog but other family members and friends think that you have to be some sort of superstar to appear on the internet.
    Probably don’t even know that I have a blog.
    They would probably be amazed that I can even string a sentence together. LOL

    The words are obviously important in a post but I probably spend more time looking for great graphics as I do writing.
    I love to see a well laid out post.
    Check out Keith Davis’s awesome post.Oh Mr Darcyโ€ฆMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Keith,

      Superstar? That’s funny! If only they knew anyone can have a blog and share whatever they want. Are we ahead of the time? Wondering….

      P.S. You do great at stringing sentences together. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. susanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! This gave me a good giggle. Anyone I know at all knows I’m passionate on the health and wellness front. Some even avoid me because of it! haha But when it comes to the blog, I still have friends who just claim not to be “into blogs”, like they are some weirdo internet thing. One friend said she just didn’t understand what blogs were and had no time to find out. Ok then.
    hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi SuZen,

      Oh that’s too funny – that your friends avoid you because of what you believe in and blog about. There’s probably no changing that but if they do decide to find out more about what you’re sharing, they know where to find your blog.

  8. Farmers.wifeNo Gravatar says:

    Well said! Totally agree. There is a whole lot more of me then what you see. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Check out Farmers.wife’s awesome post.Brandis Tickle SpotMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Farmers Wife,

      *smiles* All someone has to do is follow us around the blogosphere and they could find out a whole bunch.

  9. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I have at least one sinlaw who reads pretty regularly, my hubby is not computer literate, so he reads them once I have made a blog book. I don’t have a vast majority of readers, some of whom I know from cyber friendships, but I love to know that they do read what I talk about. Whether anyone would be surprised about anything I mention about myself, I really don’t know, I am an open type of person anyway.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Souvenirs- Shortages and Where is SpringMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      Good point. If we’re “open book” type people, reading what we share online won’t be very surprising to anyone.

  10. SusanNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I would be the one surprised if I found out any friends or family members even checked out my blog! Sad, I know, but the interest just doesn’t seem to be there and that amazes me. I will jump at the chance to check out a site that I might have something in common with the writer or better yet, a chance to learn something or see fantastic photos. I can’t imagine not having all this at my finger tips! And it doesn’t bother me at all if the folks who do decide to visit me are folks I’ve never met, it’s just one big party if you want to come!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Susan,

      You’re response is pretty common. Many bloggers find their friends and family have no interest in what we do online, nor do they want to read our work. Like you said, it’s sad, but fortunately there are others online who appreciate what we share.

  11. My close friend would not be surprised. Others might… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Vered | Blogger for Hire’s awesome post.Sharing Pregnancy Test on YouTube- Or- Whatever Happened to PrivacyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Yes. Those who are close to us are more apt to read what we share, whereas others may be surprised to learn we’re online.

  12. My family and friends started reading my blog only recently, but they have hardly ever commented.

    Occasionally they send me links that might interest me, to discuss on the blog; sometimes they call to argue against or agree with something I have published. Many of my friends are not computer literate, they can barely check their email, and that’s where they receive and read my blog updates.

    Some of them wonder why don’t I write a book if I like to ‘write’ so much, why waste time blogging.
    Check out Indian Homemaker’s awesome post.Six True Blue IndiansMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Indian Homemaker,

      It sounds like some of your friends are interested in what you post if they’re sending you links. I’m guessing they probably look up to you.

      That’s true. With so many writers blogging, it makes sense to think they should be putting their words into book form instead of sharing in blog posts.

  13. RichardNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think anyone I know would be surprised by what they read from me. I pretty much voice myself the same way in person as I do on the blog.

    I think my family and friends and I are pretty healthy communication-wise. We’re pretty good about communicating all our thoughts.
    Check out Richard’s awesome post.How to Promote Your Job BoardMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Richard,

      Good point. When we have open communication with those in our real life, if they did show an interest in our blog or our online activities, there won’t be any surprises.

  14. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t share about what I do openly with family members and friends. I see no need for going into a lengthy discussion about my views, especially when I know that they differ from what those that these people have. Furthermore, much of what I believe in comes as a result of direct experiencing. There is no need to convince others as they will get “aha” moments on their own through allowing themselves to be open.

    Still, I do know that 1 or 2 of my family members and friends read my posts. They are almost always very surprised to find out more about me. It is always nice to receive validation and an email from them.
    Check out Evelyn Lim’s awesome post.7 Tips to Overcome PerfectionismMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      I know what you’re saying. We all have those aha moments in our time frame, so trying to “force” the information on others would be fruitless.

      I’ll bet if your friends and family knew how well respected you are online, they might start paying closer attention to what you’re sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Erwin KonigNo Gravatar says:

    When my friends arrive to my blog, most of them by accident, searching for something, because like Evelin Lim said before, I too don’t share it openly, they are just surprised that I can write!
    They are not surprised by what I write, because they pretty much know how I think, they are just surprised that I have a website ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Erwin,

      Can you imagine their surprise? Like you said, it’s one thing for others to know how we think, but many don’t realize we’re blogging about it.

  16. steven papasNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, glad to find your blog. Rarely do I tell friends that I blog. I intentionally give them the impression that I still work full time as an insurance broker. Many of them won’t understand the value of blogging or twitting. Nice post, thanks.
    Check out steven papas’s awesome post.Successful Bloggers- What They Have In CommonMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Steven,

      That’s true. Many don’t understand the value of being online, whether it’s blogging, tweeting or spending time on Facebook. It’s like it’s a separate “world”.

  17. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    It is true that we somehow divide ourselves when we start blogging. What we write, at least in my case, shows a part of us that people who knows us in real life donโ€™t even know exist. In the very few (two or three) cases when someone of real life happened to stumble upon my blog, they didnโ€™t understand or show any interest on learning more about itโ€ฆpersonal interests are just different.

    Thatโ€™s exactly the reason why I started blogging (among becoming a millionaire ๐Ÿ™‚ ), to have the chance to reach people who might share similar interests in areas that are not possible to discuss with those physically around. The opportunity to develop oneself in those areas that otherwise would remain buried.

    Raul
    Check out Alien Ghost’s awesome post.DigitalizationMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      You’ve raised a good point. In the real world we may not know others who share the same views as we do, but if we go online and share our thoughts in a blog, we’re more apt to find/attract like minded people with whom we can bond and expand our knowledge base.

  18. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    To answer the question, I think a lot of them would be surprised. What I tend to post on Twitter is different from what I’ll put on facebook which is different from what I tend to blog.

    All of my personalities like it that way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    George
    Check out George Angus’s awesome post.The Ten Steps To Writing SuccessMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      That’s true. What we blog about may be different than what we share on other social networking sites. If our friends read everything, they could learn more about us (if they really wanted to).

  19. My sister reads my blog ocassionally and my mom has mixed feelings about me blogging. She thinks I waste too much time online. Other relatives, I have no clue. But some of my students read my blogs and tell me nice things but I take it with a pinch of salt.

    I am quite passionate about blogging and that is what matters to me.

    Happy week to you, dear Barbara.

    Joy always,
    Susan
    Check out Susan Deborah’s awesome post.Great moments come quietlyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Susan,

      Haha! I’ve been accused of the same – wasting time on the blogs. But like you, it’s a passion of mine too, so I just keep doing it.

      Happy week to you, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. sharboriNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, nice question.

    My daughter is a regular reader to my blog and she likes what I write. However, she was pleasantly surprised reading about her grand mother about who, she had different ideas and I think it made her feel closer to her. I was glad for that.

    Since my blog is more for personal growth, psychology, social issues, gender, many people in my network read my blog but I wish, many commented as well rather than just being a lurker.

    warmly

    sharbori
    Check out sharbori’s awesome post.Acting oneโ€™s ageMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sharbori,

      I know what you’re saying. Although we have family, friends and others who are reading our blogs, they usually don’t comment. I’m guessing some don’t feel comfortable sharing their opinions online even though they could do it anonymously.

  21. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    “It feels good to know we’ve been heard.”

    that sums it up for me!
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.Abundance Alchemy- Journey of Gold Evelyn LimMy Profile

  22. It does feel good to be able to put together the concept that I really do want to get across. Often, in person, ideas can be hijacked on the way to the runway. Interruptions can steal the opportunity to present our goods.

    I’m surprised at how many friends feel they visit with me because they read my blog. I have to remind them that I haven’t had a chance to catch up on their lives. Besides, the blog submissions are only one tiny segment of my life.
    Check out Amy@ Soul Dipper’s awesome post.The Way โ€“ A New ManifestoMy Profile

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Amy,

    I hear you. In real life even if we tried to explain our thoughts, many won’t take the time to listen. And like you said, even if others do read what we share online, that’s only a small part of who are are.

  24. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Wow. This is a tough subject for me. In answer to your question, I do think my friends and family would be surprised by my blogging activities. No one in my family has ever shown any interest in blogging. My kids are very active on Facebook, but here’s the rub for me.

    I find I don’t have enough time to blog, do Twitter, Facebook and keep up with my photography and writing. I signed up for FB again and I haven’t been there in weeks because when I go, I caught up in it and then forget my blogging.

    Also, to be honest, as my kids are so active on FB, I feel a bit intrusive. It’s hard to explain. Neither seems to mind me being on it, but to me, it’s like listening in on their conversations. Writing this, makes me wonder how comfortable I would be if my kids DID regularly follow my blog? I’m not sure I would be that comfortable:~) Something for ME to think about!
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.Story Photo- Say WhatMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sara,

      Good point. I know what you mean by feeling intrusive when you comment on the FB pages of your children. It’s like it’s THEIR space – for them and their friends. Plus, as parents, we don’t want to embarrass them.

      P.S. I know exactly what you’re saying about when we start adding Twitter and Facebook to our “list” – our blogging time starts to suffer.

  25. Ben BrownNo Gravatar says:

    I have a lot of friends who blog just like me but we blog about different topics-fashion, music, politics, random topics- and though we may not share a lot of things in common, we however have one interest in common which is often the main topic of conversation -blogging and how to capture as well as retain an audience.
    Check out Ben Brown’s awesome post.Setting Up A Wireless NetworkMy Profile

  26. AnnaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, Barbara.
    Definitely my friends would find out much new and interesting about me and my thoughts, especially if they read my personal blog where I’m not Ann ๐Ÿ™‚
    I know one man – a very shy one but very wise. He has problems in expressing his thoughts and ideas verbally and thus has many problems with girls. But one day he started his own blog where he is a handsome man with clever posts and … lots of readers, mainly women.
    What I want to say is that people can be real online and express what they feel or think.

  27. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. my mother remarked the other day – how creative I was with my ideas .. she didn’t know this about me! One sister-in-law reads the blog as she gets the feed via FB .. and corrects the rest of the family sometime re what’s happening with my Ma – as she’s read it on the blog .. communication is zero otherwise.

    It’s opening doors .. and now with 140 followers – that makes an impact … there are so many opportunities for us to go with a blog .. stories to tell .. better dash! off and see who my 140th is .. how wonderful.

    People are quite narrow in their thoughts .. they won’t even look! Cheers – Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Garden history My Profile

  28. Murray LunnNo Gravatar says:

    It’s really funny but since linking my blog to my Facebook page – my MOM has been reading what I post haha. Likewise, I have my friends taking interest in what I do. They already knew I had a blog but I think they were intimidated by the platform in a lot of ways; having it published on FB really bridged that gap ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Murray Lunn’s awesome post.Your Digital Legacy Begins HereMy Profile

  29. RobbyNo Gravatar says:

    I want to have my own blog someday because I want to express
    what’s real inside of me. My deep thoughts and feelings. I will allow all comments that can read my blog.
    I really enjoy reading blogs about life…. like here I enjoy staying
    in your site.. very inspiring. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. AndkonNo Gravatar says:

    This is very nice article of yours Barbara! Its kinda great that using social media nowadays is very vast. People are open to what they think, feel, and everything they want to say thru social media…. In this state, sometimes it helps problems to ease a pain or share your greatest moments in life or true happiness. Communication is very important part of our lives that is why facebook, twitter and other social media are taking advantage while other telecommunication company are going down because of high price rate in calls or texts. hahha! Facebook and twitter helps family that are far from each other because of their jobs.
    Check out Andkon’s awesome post.Jannie Make UpMy Profile

  31. StaceyNo Gravatar says:

    I think blogging is often a way for people to build up their comfort level with putting themselves out there. And so we all build up our confidence with it in different ways. Some of us use it to start talking about something we have been passionate about, but afraid to share. Others, it is playing around with writing, figuring out if it is something they enjoy doing. And sometimes it is just to be heard.

    My friends and family enjoy reading what I blog about. They think its great that I am expressing myself, and it puts it in a format that they can access easily from where ever they are!
    Check out Stacey’s awesome post.SpringMy Profile

  32. My family and friends read my personal blog (and do interact/comment on) and not technical/MMO blogs. By sending all my blog feeds to FB, some of them actually comment on FB as well.

    And there have been a few old friends who ‘discovered’ my writing habits because someone else shared my blog links on their profiles.
    Check out Ajith Edassery’s awesome post.Affiliate Marketing Success tipsMy Profile

  33. This is very true, more so in relation to my family than my friends. Fortunately a lot of my friends are equally interested in blogging and we share thoughts in each other’s comments and even via guest posts from time to time. But my family…My sisters especially, would be floored to know how opinionated I am in my online writing style. I don’t think they would believe me if I told them I was the author of my blog.

    I suppose that’s just a side effect of growing up in a large family though. If you don’t naturally have the loudest voice, you’re often not heard. On my blog, I’m heard not matter how loud my voice.

  34. TrevorNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging can be seriously addictive and good for your health.
    It’s the true freedom of speech outlet that people can vent their feelings.

  35. I love what Sara said about feeling intrusive on Facebook. When my dad finally joined, my sister and I were joking that now we have to watch what we say there from now on. But it was just joking.

    Still, it does raise some interesting questions about how we’d feel if someone in our family saw what we wrote on our blogs. Why should it matter? We post for the world to see, don’t we? Why should it be any different?

    Delena
    Check out Delena Silverfox’s awesome post.epc BelfastMy Profile

  36. Gary CorbettNo Gravatar says:

    I think generally we don’t know much about other peoples views or interests – say the average ‘friend’ we have on Facebook. I’m always interested in peoples thoughts and often click their link if they have a blog somewhere, it does add another dimension and shows there is more to them -than what you get with simple FB updates.
    Check out Gary Corbett’s awesome post.A Tale of Two SantasMy Profile

  37. JustineNo Gravatar says:

    Iโ€™m also a blogger! And I really feel good after having my blog posted. I feel like Iโ€™ve been able to share a part of me to other people, wherein they can also learn. I believe that blogging is never a waste of time. Some of my family members, especially my older brothers and some cousins read my blog โ€“honestly, the find good content but they keep on asking me what I get from blogging? Well, I always say itโ€™s good to share your thoughts and get feed backs from other people. Thanks Barbara for sharing this post! I like it so much!

  38. SteveNo Gravatar says:

    I find the information on blogs so useful I could imagine getting by online without the tips and assistance that I have found on blogs. This kind of information is not available on Facebook or Twitter.
    Check out Steve’s awesome post.Wednesday on News Notes and RumorsMy Profile

  39. SineaNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I think they would see more of me than they know about already. Many are not interested in organizing, time management, parenting advice etc so we don’t talk about it when we’re together. Blogging is a great way to share your passions with others of like interests.
    Check out Sinea’s awesome post.Preparing for the Rest of the School YearMy Profile

  40. Dixon BruceNo Gravatar says:

    Personally when I was younger I was often really argumentative online, particularly politics blogs, and I would have been utterly embarrassed if someone irl were to have read some heated posts. I can search for old posts of mine and cringe with embarrassment. I’m glad to say a lot of my views and my online temperament have changed.

  41. waterpearlsNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,first of all I must say your website is beautiful and unique.A passionate blogger understand what blog is all about but those who dont have interest cant understand it or sometimes family and friends consider it as a waste of time but it really disappoints that they dont understand it.
    Check out waterpearls’s awesome post.Norton PC Jump Start Discount CouponMy Profile

  42. Barbara must say the point which you have invoked is a very important one. I feel people just don’t understand the importance of voicing our blogs & then just for no reasons they start blabbering crap which infuriates me. Many of the people just for namesake are on these social sites but they hardly are aware of what’s actually happening around globe. People just poke & tweets just for no reasons which are very disgusting. They lack motive behind it & then when it comes to blogging, they start commenting what’s in there? Anyone can maintain. They feel getting followed by hundreds & making thousand friends in indeed a great achievement but are really not aware what is the reality!!

  43. Hi Barbara you are right! i give my website address to my friends. Weekly i send updates in my website through sms. But they won’t respond me. Now i have above 100 visitors(still my friends won’t see my website).

  44. Shivam GargNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara Swafford,
    This is really a very innovative and unique article.The points you put were excellent and well explained.We are just living in a totally imaginary world.

  45. Nice Question! Most of the time my friends tell me that they know little in blogging,However, the basic theme of a blog is for you to express your thoughts and feelings, to share opinions and other stuff that you are interested in and go to my blog to see where Iโ€™m at and not having to be particular over the optimization process behind it. Great insight on the post.

  46. […] psychology, healing, understanding the human mind, heart and soul….cause I was looking for answers to many many questions but mostly, cause I wanted to help people like me(the victims) heal. In the […]

  47. Enjoyable post Barbara.

    It doesn’t surprise me one bit how popular Facebook and Twitter have got. Everyone likes talking about themselves ๐Ÿ™‚ FB and Twitter just make it a lot easier than blogging. Its much easier to post a rant in a status update than write an eloquent blog post.
    Check out Bingo Babe Jenny’s awesome post.Chris Moyles Likes Playing BingoMy Profile

  48. Hello,

    It is really funny the way Facebook has became a part of our lives. -Where do you heard from that ‘blabla’ – I heard it on Facebook. This is something almost daily heard, at least at the place where I work, and I got to say – it is really funny.

    George
    Check out George Williams’s awesome post.Tractors PowerMy Profile