The Connection Factor

In the last post we talked about how blogging has benefited us. Because it's so helpful, we can easily let it steal time from other important things. I'm learning the key is self-control: setting limits and sticking to them.

Today I'd like to delve into the connection factor that blogging provides, particularly among the writing community. Blogging definitely allows us the opportunity to form genuine friendships with other writers. I've made some great new writing friends over the past months. Many of you mentioned this factor in your comments too.

But I've noticed that not all connections are on the same level. I suppose that in some ways, blogging relationships mimic real life. We have various depths in relating:
  • Inner circle friends: We all have closer friends that we relate to on a more intimate level, the encouragers, the helpers, the advice-givers, the shoulder-to-cry-on friends.
  • Outer circle friends: We have friends we see less frequently, but still enjoy chatting with on a more surface level.
  • Acquaintances: These are the people we don't see often but smile and wave at when we do.
When you look at the people following your blog, where do they fit into these categories?

For me, the inner circle are the ones that comment regularly. When they take the time to comment, I feel like I get to know them on a deeper, more genuine level. I likewise try to comment regularly on their blogs. Our friendships keep growing and we're becoming a writing family.

The outer circle friends are the people who comment every so often or perhaps leave impersonal comments. I appreciate the connections but they are not as close. If I'm busy, these are the blogs I may not take the time to read.

The acquaintances are those followers who rarely or never comment. Because I don't see them much, I don't feel like I've gotten to know them. I suppose it's just not possible to connect with everyone--although if you're one of these acquaintance followers, I'd love to hear from you more often! (And if I hear from you, you'll definitely hear back from me!)

For most of us, blogging is a two way conversation. If we're interested in forming deeper connections, then we have to put forth the effort to meet, comment, and get to know others. Just like any real life relationships, if want to have friends, then we have to be one!

Now, I realize our blogging connections may not easily fit into the above three categories. But if you want to have deeper blogging friendships, are you doing the work necessary? Are you satisfied with your level of connection?


  1. That's very true. Just like in real life, the large and mysterious online world provides different levels of friendship. It's very cool how friendships develop.

    As you know, I was without internet for two days over the weekend and I remember thinking, I miss all my friends! And then thinking, wow, this is weird that I've never actually met them. But there are just certain people online that I feel as if I've met. That I feel as if I know well. People that are in my prayers and thoughts. It's such a blessing, isn't it? :)

  2. I agree completely with this post. and it's nice that all these connections we make can pertain to something we all have in common. I adore blogging!

  3. Nice way to break it down, Jody. I pretty much agree with everything you've said. One of the first ladies to comment regularly on my blog is now a super good online friend of mine. We e-mail everyday, and we first met because of our blogs.
    I love the connections blogging gives us. Wonderful post!

  4. Blogging is a blast, mostly because of the people I get to interact with. I can't imagine trying to survive writing a book without this support.

  5. When I took a writing sabbatical a few months ago, what I missed most was blogging and all the wonderful connections I have with so many people out in blog world. Most of you I've never met in person, but I feel a fellowship that is stronger than many of the people I meet in real life.

    Its' difficult to put controls on the time I spend blogging because it's so much fun! I treasure the extraodinary, gifted, caring blog friends out there that I have now and I'm looking forward to meeting more.

  6. Jody:
    I love the photo, and the wisdom in this post.

    I have followers who post nearly every day, like you, and I feel a kinship with those sisters that I don't have with others who post occasionally or never! They are friends, some of whom I've developed closer relationships with via email and phone. One even became a crit partner, a special bonus from the Lord!

    I feel sad when I take the time to go on someone's blog, even sign up to follow them, and they never even bother to comment once on my blog. It's like taking a new neighbor a batch of homemade cookies and they look down at the plate and say, "Oh." Not even a thank you.

    Blogging is a nourishing, fun community that has helped me grow and blossom as a writer and a person. When I am without it for a few days, I miss all you precious peeps! This weekend when I fly to CA for my dad's memorial, I will be in major withdrawals! So I'll say ahead of time: I love you guys. You are a blessing and a treasure.


  7. Hi Jody,
    I love how you have such an orderly way of putting things. I appreciate the connections I've made through blogging and would agree with how you described inner circle, etc.

    Thanks for commenting regularly on my blog! :D
    ~ Wendy

  8. You've describe blogging relationships well. One of the big blessings is feedback on something you have written, encouragement with your writing, etc. To refer to an earlier post of yours (the last one), practical things learned are helpful as well. I had heard about the ds after a period before, but don't follow it all the time. I'll be looking for it now as I'm doing the final proof. Thanks!

  9. Oh, something I meant to ask above from experienced bloggers ... why won't the "friends" gadget open sometimes? It is blank on my page. wb

  10. When I started blogging last summer, I never realized the scope of friendships that would develop. The commenters who have been with me ever since the begining, and vice versa, feel like lifelong friends. It's been a pleasant surprise, most definitely, to make these meaningful connections.

  11. Oh, i agree! I get so frustrated because there just ISN'T time in the day to visit all the blogs of the people I want to visit! There are a few that I make myself visit almost every day, but the rest I try to get there at least once a week. I keep telling myself to get up early to be able to have "blogging" time before work... but, uh, yeah. Not that y'all aren't important, but it just doesn't happen. *grin*

    I appreciate EVERY person who comes to my wee little blog and comments, or just reads. It's so nice to be connected with other writer's and readers.

  12. Before I started blogging, I didn't really understand how people could form friendships online. Now I know that it's not only possible, but very enjoyable and necessary to stay connected. I also find it interesting that maintaining these blog relationships takes as much work (if not more) to keep as it does with our face to face friends.

  13. It's amazing the kind of friendships we make with blogging. I never realized how many friends I would make when I started blogging. It's only been five months and already there are people I feel close to. That I can trust with my writing and what's going on in my life. You sum all this up really well. Our relationships are like plants. They thrive when we give them attention. It takes effort to form these friendships, to develop something more from a new face on our followers list. But all these friendships for me, have proven worthwhile and appreciated. Thanks for the insightful post.

  14. I agree with everyone here. There is such a unique circle of friends in the blogging sphere. Nothing quite like it. I love the encouragement these friends bring. Fellow writers can relate to me in ways my family cannot. ;)

  15. Due to a grumpy laptop that likes to crash during my blog surfing time, and time restraints, I don't get to leave near as many comments as I'd like. But, you're right, Jody, I can only get to know the bloggers if they leave comments that reveal who they are. Sometimes in their posts, you can get a great feel for who they are, and I love it when that happens. Terri Tiffany is one of those bloggers who's personality really comes through her posts, I think. I guess it's the more personal posts that reveal character best.

  16. Hi Jody,

    I'm reading your blog from Michigan today. I agree--blogging is a two-way conversation. I've made several friends through my blog and via twitter. My biggest frustration is lack of time to regularly comment.

    I make every effort to visit most blogs weekly, but it's a fine balance with writing deadlines and LIFE, isn't it?

    I force myself to wait until AFTER I've met that day's writing goal before I run off visiting everyone.
    I regularly guage my priorities and do the best I can.

  17. Smiles! Your post is spot-on. I'm so thankful to have met you through blogging and I'm grateful for everyone else too.

    Happy Wednesday!

  18. This is a perfect representation of our blogging social circles. I really love your blog, can't wait for your book and consider you an intrical part of my inner circle. Big cyber hug!

  19. There are so many forms of cyberspace communication available to us nowadays but, just as in "old fashioned" letter writing, we don't really get to know each other unless there is mutual interaction. I know how much I appreciate the feedback I get, so like to give some in return. As Jeanette has mentioned, I can't imagine not saying thank you for a batch of home baked cookies!

  20. Blogging is definitely a two-way conversation. That's why it becomes hard periodically to reduce the number of blogs I read, and why within weeks I usually wind up reading all the ones I've dropped and more.

  21. Yep. I think you've hit on it pretty well. It's a give and take.

  22. I love this post cause I love to blog and meet so many wonderful people. I read all the comments this time and am blessed that so many others are feeling that connection that I do. I've found a great critique group through blogging and feel I can share so much with so many. WIsh I could meet everyone in person!

  23. I agree, blogging relationships require a give and take from both sides, or else it can become a little too one-sided.

    I also think that what someone chooses to write about on their blog can help along that connection. Some people keep things very impersonal, while others share more of themselves, and I find that the latter blogs are ones that tend to draw me in more.

  24. I agree with this. You have to make the time for your blogging friendships just like you do with your other friendships. I can't help but feel kind of sad when people admit they've been reading my blog for ahwile, but never comment. It's like I've been cheated out of a friendship with someone, because I don't even know they are there

  25. I have felt so much more 'connected' since I've been blogging. I've laughed, worried, learned with a community of writers .... it has been such a blessing.

    And, to answer your question (I did on my blog but will say the same here for your convenience) - yes. We can change pretty easily. I write Middle Grade, not YA (think Island of the Blue Dolphins, Witch of Blackbird Pond, Harry Potter), and it's no sweat to flip from writing historical to contemporary. I hope to write more historical in the future but my agent strongly suggested my next work be contemporary. I guess it is an easier sell in today's children's market. Really good question - thanks for asking!

  26. Hi Jody -

    Conversation is a two-way street. I love the interaction of blogging.

    Your breakdown of blogging relationships is a good way to prioritize time spent on blogs. Thanks for another thoughtful post.

    Susan :)

  27. Howdy, everyone! You are all apart of my writing family and I appreciate each of you so much! Thanks for always stopping by and chatting with me! You guys are the best!

  28. I'm sorry I'm late to the party today. Seems like I'm paddling upstream lately, but I do try to visit my friends' blogs every day if possible.

    I love the 'tiers' of friendship you've lined out. They make great sense.

    I've made very good friends since starting to blog. :)

  29. I'm glad you brought this topic up.

    I've noticed that different people seem to have different rules or expectations when it comes to comments. It's all new enough that I'm still not exactly sure of what to think of people that do not comment.

    Honestly, I don't want to hear anyne tell me that they do not or did not have enough time (for anything) because I'm a parent, I work, I write, and I blog. I do a bazillion things, and I make time for what (and who) is a priority.

    What I am doing more and more is noting people that have some common interests with me, and I am noting people of character. I'm trying to visit their blogs more. I don't know why it is, but there are people that strike me as people of character. There is something about the way that they led their blog that draws me in ... It feels like a relevant and somewhat personal conversation.

  30. Hi Jody,

    I stumbled across your blog from Wendy Miller's. Love your design (great minds think alike!) and look forward to reading more from you!

  31. "If want to have friends, then we have to be one!"

    I really hope to teach my daughter that as she grows up.

    Great post!

  32. For the amount of time I have to give to blogging, I'm happy with my bloggy connections. Natch, it'd be nice if we could all be inner-circle friends, but the time factor just won't allow it.


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