Reflections on a Blogroll


Anyone on my Blogroll is there initially because they commented on my Blog over a number of weeks. When I first started Blogging  I gained great encouragement from it. That is the strange thing about the Blogroll. Over time it becomes almost a memorial to commentators past, rather than a list of current posters.

We all are moved by what is permanent and profound in our lives, or what we wish to be so. That is echoed in the Blogoshere all the time, but the irony of the Blogroll, if it is not constantly updated,  is it can become a testimony to the ephemeral nature of Blogging. Almost all the people on my Blogroll no longer comment on my Blog, and I have no idea if many of them even visit. Being slightly pedestrian in my habits, I do a tour of my favourites at least on a weekly basis, and normally comment. The rest is silence. Why this is, I have no idea or no concrete ones at least.

I am reminded of that famous line “Only connect” from E.M. Forster’s novel, ” Howard’s Way”, which among other things deals with the degree to which the desire to connect is genuine or a case of social whimsy. Often mistaking the one for the other has been the cause for significant emotional hardship. Racing off to another writer of some distinction, W. Shakespeare, we are reminded that “All’s the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely players.”

It is a strange characteristic of the internet that it is occupied to a significant degree by people of sincere motive, with a story to tell, and often the passion to tell it arrestingly. Again and again I am moved by the sheer power of the prose I come across in Blogland,when people write about their personal experiences or subjects which consume them, and I am always driven to comment. The sincerity of the output is genuine and so are the responses.

At its heart the Blogoshere is beguiling, entertaining, moving and disturbing, but in large measure it will not fill our plates with food. It can reach into our souls but it cannot do the laundry. It is as intimate and revealing a melting pot of words as you could hope to find, and yet as impersonal as the television programme flickering in the corner of your room. It is the home of intimacies which provides a sense of bloodless companionship on levels not available in our daily lives.. And yet it is more than that.

It is a primal collective cry. An echoing note spreading out over the ether like the sound of a whale. The the voice of a faceless brotherhood seeking connection, recognition and hope. It is the belief that someone understands. It is a choir of a million voices pouring out the fears and dreams of a shifting population. It offers moments of fragmentary understanding and expressions of vulnerability. It is us.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in blog, character, creative writing, Environment, Life, life2, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Reflections on a Blogroll

  1. catterel says:

    Well roared, Lion! i’m still trying to figure out why I blog – is it exhibitionism? the dim hope of recognition? the illusion that people I don’t know will be better friends than those I do? Thanks for your thought-provoking and well-expressed ideas.

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  2. I think I may have said before that I often find it difficult to leave a comment. Intimidated isn’t the right word, but on my own blog I feel a bit more secure and able to write freely – I occasionally agonies over a comment on another blog for so long that I don’t leave anything. I’ve no idea why, perhaps just one of my peculiarities.

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  3. Christine A. says:

    I am one of those people who always read your posts but do not comment all the time. Do know that it always leaves me with a smile on my face. We do what we so for very different reasons. Some if us blog to reach out but some blog to reach further in.

    Well written. Xo

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    • Firstly, as a sign of how crazy WordPress is, you are on my BLogroll, but it still asked me to approve your comment. How odd is that. Anyway. I loved your further in and out statement. Reflective and thought-provoking idea. Just the kind of thing I would expect from you. Thank you for making a comment.

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  4. Caroline says:

    I love this blog. It makes me laugh and smile and think.

    Why did I blog? I blogged to save myself! But I got so much more from it than that. I made friends and I found I wasn’t alone
    xxx

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  5. renxkyoko says:

    I thought I was the only one ! Except for 2 or 3 bloggers, ( this includes your blog ) almost all are not blogging anymore, but I don’t want to delete them. They are part of my blogging history.

    Anyway, cheers.

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    • I agree with you. Most of the people on my Blogroll are there for sentimental reasons. Only a few, like you, are still Blogging. I haven’t got the heart to delete the obsolete one 😦

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  6. afroblush says:

    You’re so right. I had somebody ask me “sooo how many followers do you get”, I replied “the traffic on my blog plays an insignificant role, in comparison to the warm feeling I get when even one person leaves a comment saying that that a blog post has spoken to them in one way or another”. I suppose, one of the main reasons I don’t advertise on my blog. It’s not about showcasing myself, but really is my online home, where I have a community of people who I care for and respect; and indeed the blogroll is a shoutout to all of those people.

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  7. winsomebella says:

    I especially love “it can reach into our souls but it cannot do the laundry.”. There are times I get occupied with the laundry side of life and the attention I can pay to my blog and to those blogs I like to read suffers. I can feel guilty and sad about it but I finally have chosen to turn back when I can and hope that it will be the same as when I pick up with friends after a long absence—we pick up where we left off and smile at the chance to do so. Good thoughts in this post—-thank you.

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    • babs50nfab says:

      I had the same response to that line Stacia. Let me say to you and to Peter how much I love and look forward to your posts. I miss them when they’re absent for a while and sometimes get concerned about each of you abandoning your blogs. Then I see Counting Ducks and Winsombella in my inbox and it makes me smile! It’s all about the writing and both of you are brilliant, thought provoking, writers so whenever you post it’s a bright spot in my day.
      b

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    • To be fair, which I will be with some reluctance, it might not do the laundry, bur it can sometimes inspire you to do it better

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  8. Your posts always make me think. I love your description of the Blogosphere – so true. I think it’s lovely that people take time to comment, but I also understand when they don’t. It is lovely though to get the interaction. Well said. Thank you

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    • There are certain people who pop up like old friends, and hearing from them is always lovely. Commenting is one of the nicest things you can do for a Blogger. I always feel the “Like” should come second, but then I’m a crusty pedantic old bugger

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  9. Harry says:

    I do visit and read your posts but don’t comment, i think this is a new trend in wordpress since they messed up the “follow comment button” a few months back. People seem to visit and like now.

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  10. nelle says:

    It is, indeed. A shout is limited in reach a second long declaration that dissipates. A blog post, if left standing, can be accessed years later and still touch someone with its message, the way a Bronte or Austen can reach across near two centuries and tingle us with their words, except blog posts open up the voices of the anonymous and unheralded. So many have moved me over the last fifteen years, the line starting when I first signed on to internet cable.

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  11. babs50nfab says:

    Let me add to the comment I made earlier… I do wish people wouldn’t worry so much about commenting. You can’t do it wrong, you won’t be judged on spelling or punctuation, but it will truly be appreciated by the blogger.
    b

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  12. Ina says:

    Hi Peter, I am pleased to have read this, another of your thought provoking postings again 🙂 and I’m also honoured to be on your blogroll! To me, blogging is about the same as work, as it is writing, so I sometimes take it too seriously. But it is also fun. The part of reading other blogs is, anyway! 🙂

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  13. I am very pleased to have come across your poetry. I would recommend anyone to visit your Blog and savour the delicious poetic treats you serve up there: whimsical, thought provoking and often moving. One of my favourite Blogs in fact

    Like

  14. Kirri White says:

    I still remember the day I first stumbled across your blog. Many, many times – You have moved me, made me think, laugh and always feel grateful to have found you. (PS -I’m coming back with a pretty new blog in the New Year!)

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  15. This is a great post. Like yourself and most of the commenters, I have the same situation, a blogroll with obsolete blogs listed. I’ve occasionally removed some but others I leave there, because, as you said they were my first “friends.” Just like I’ve fizzled out for a month or two here and there, then come back, there’s always this thought in the back of my mind that maybe they’ll fire it up again!

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  16. Harry says:

    A few months back i went through all those who had ticked “follow” and about a 1/4 of the blogs were taken down

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  17. Always read your stuff Peter….even showed one to Missie when last in Brixham …

    Think you are a tremendously skilled writer …..

    C

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  18. I have updated my blogroll as many bloggers seemed to have stopped but I’ll always be grateful for the connection we made. I love comments and it helps to know you’re not alone in your thoughts sometimes!

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  19. Al says:

    Love your take on the blogosphere, ducks.

    I guess I am from that “I blog, therefore, I am” school of thought. For me, it gives a sense of being that’s more than just my daily existence, although I am very happy with that. It’s a chance to reach out and maybe make one person’s day a little better. I don’t really have to know who that is, but it’s is nice to get back a positive response

    Having said all that, I get back far more than I give out. When I see a post from one of the blogs I follow, it’s like going to out the mailbox and getting that important letter you’ve been waiting for. Since we’re all on the world’s stage, it’s always good to know what all the other actors are auditioning for. Yours is one of the better acts.

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  20. Lafemmeroar says:

    This essay is beautifully written with engaging poetic undertones. Your writing is stellar my friend.

    Like

  21. backonmyown says:

    I have read and reread your last paragraph. “… a primal collective cry…” “…like the sound of a whale…” “…a choir of a million voices…” You are master of imagery. I don’t know how you do it but I’m glad you do. Wonderful post, as always, Ducks.

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  22. eof737 says:

    Peter Darling…. YOU MUST WRITE YOUR BOOK!!!!!! You are also psychic because I am working on a post that will have a blurb on what you just wrote; endless lists on blogrolls with names of visitors who no longer remember ours….. Sweep , sweep my dear! 🙂

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  23. Thought provoking post, this, and comments. I’m not sure why I blog. Or rather, the reason why I blog differs with all my blogs. I like to keep them separate from each other.

    About commenting on blogs I read: I always hesitate, not being sure what the protocol is. Do I have to have to have interacted with the blogger a certain number of times before I leave a comment? What form or frequency should that interaction have taken? Is it ok to just say ‘I loved this post’ or will that be too trite and lazy? Etc etc.

    My blogrolls generally tend to reflect the blogs that I’m interested in reading, less so of bloggers who have commented on a post of mine merely because they commented. I’ve observed blogrolls sometimes turning into objects to show off. Something like building up a huge list of friends on facebook.

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  24. I agree with many of your observations here. As for commenting, I think once you’ve posted anyone is allowed to comment, as long as they don’t insult you, or anyone else in doing so. Basically, interaction is half the pleasure of Blogging. at least for me. Thankyou very much for commenting

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  25. –Ducky,
    all I can say is I love youuu. I really love you. xx

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  26. Writerlious says:

    So true! I don’t think I’ve updated my Blogroll in forever! It’s one of those things –like you said–where I updated it with names of commenters over a period of weeks and then never came back to it more than once or twice 🙂

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  27. CD. Sweetheart. I don’t feel sorry for you. 🙂 By the time I got to this post, you had 48 comments. You have a solid and expanded community of people who love to read what you write and are dedicated followers, including me. “Almost all the people on my Blogroll no longer comment on my Blog, and I have no idea if many of them even visit.” — I ain’t one of ’em. You are blog family for me. Regarding leaving comments, if I have learned something from a blog, been enlightened or been moved, or want to share the post, I find it (personally) unpolite and ungrateful not to respond… and often these days I even find it selfish of me not to reblog if I think that a post can enlighten others, soothe them or open their eyes (that Golden Rule thing). It’s like if someone gives me a cookie and I don’t say, “Thank you.” This invisible internet world is part of our lives. It’s up to each of us how we choose to manage it, to give to it and to suck the juice out it. You were one of my first blog friends: you and Jaclyn. I have your addresses memorized and check in on you. Kinda like just part of my lifestyle.

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    • . THis is not an experience restricted to me. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I often worry more if they are OK. Its really a general comment on the ephemeral nature of the internet rather than a case of personal regret. Yours is a Blog I always check on and enjoy

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  28. I was playing with you, CD. My “sense of humor” comes off even worse in the virtual world. Eek. My apologies…. After I commented I got to thinking about what you were communicating. I am sure your experience is pretty much universal. In this area, amnesia is working just fine for me in most cases. I comment and then forget about it. If there is a response, then it’s great and refreshing. There are a few bloggers, however, who I am more personally attached to and get sad or concerned if I don’t hear back.

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  29. Christine says:

    Wow ~ everyone came out of the wood work to say HELLO I’M HERE ~ you inspire so many! It’s so strange to check in on the ‘stats’ of our blogs and see how many click in vs comment and I’m always surprised when I run into friends and family who read regularly with out commenting … sorry off on a tangent! I wish I had time to read all the lovely comments on this post but I better get back to photo editing, I’m on a roll today 🙂

    I love my visits to your blog, I know I’ll always leave with a smile on my face and feel the kinship of an extraordinary ordinary life through your words. I’m so grateful to the regulars I’ve connected with online who seem to get me ~ namaste.

    P.S. I read my husband your recent comment about the poem photos and he says … wow that guy can write!

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  30. One of the loveliest things about Blogging is being able to discover expressions of beautiful sensibility, and celebrate them without agenda. Yours is one of those which gives me great enjoyment and food for thought. It is nice to know you are cherished in your “real” life too

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  31. That made me smile.

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  32. eof737 says:

    Dear blog friend Peter, how did I fail thee? You never responded to my comment above… Should I be miffed or pleased? 😦

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    • Dear Elizabeth,

      I think what happened, although I may be wrong, is that you wrote a comment on this post after most people had, and I had already been dealing with the comments on my next post, whatever that was called. What I will say is, what a lovely thing for you to say. While I care deeply about writing, I know very little about marketing, and being good at marketing seems to be the most important quality required in a writer in this modern age. I may be wrong. Your Blog is one I always enjoy, and I am truely grateful that you have become one of my most loyal, and longstanding commentators. It is heartwarming.

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      • eof737 says:

        Thank you Peter and the sentiments are mutual… I love your blog! As per marketing, I agree with you as I’ve seen some pretty awful writing get mega media attention while brilliant works languish…. But we must not give up. I say this to you as I need to hear it too.
        Happy Holidays! 🙂

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    • I’m not replying to this comment, but to the later one you made, but I can’t find a reply button by it. The way writing of poor content achieves maximum publicity and may be “freshly pressed”, while other, significanlty more original and thoughtful authors languish in the sidelines does engage me. “What mute inglorious Milton lies buried here”. etc. Yours is an amazing Blog, fuelled by a generosity of spirit which would put many to shame. I don’t know how “big” your Blog is, but it deserves the greatest recognition. I have ambitions as a writer, but I have no idea how to achieve them. Thats an amusing fact on its own.

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      • eof737 says:

        TY Peter, I hear you 100%! Your blog shines and I believe that building organically is a good way to grow. One thing that helps with exposure is commenting on the Daily Post page http://dailypost.wordpress.com/ as it brings your blog to the attention of staffers. They also have a Twitter page and then the WP.com announcements. Try it for a start and then there is much more but I wont overload you with info.
        You have an amazing blog with original insights and brilliant writing. It always impresses me. TY for your feedback… my blog is growing slowly but surely and so is yours…. It has been a labor of love with lots of teeth pulling. 😆
        As per the book, what a dear friend told me once is write the book and the rest will follow… I’m trusting that for now. Blessings! 🙂

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      • You made my day with this reply. I’ve sent you an email.

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