November is here once again and this means my little blog that could has turned two! Can you believe it? I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years now. I’ve always loved writing and the only reason I kept at it is because in one year, I’ve been able to reach people with my words and shared interests or experiences. With the simpleek blog reaching the two-year mark, a number of really amazing things have happened not just for this blog, but how it shaped my personal blogging experience thus far.
I have spoken about these fortuitous changes in past posts, but I’ll be reflecting on them in more detail. The only way I really communicated with any of the regular followers I had for the blog was through the comments section. There was always a sense of warmth, friendliness, and support whenever my followers commented on a post they enjoyed reading and vice versa when I visited their blogs and I added my own opinion on the topic they talked about. Despite feeling these things, there was still a level of detachment. Once I responded to a comment, the conversation ended until the next time I posted.
Since opening my Twitter account around the same time I started my blog, I rarely used it other than to post updates about my blog. The only followers I had were the same bloggers who already followed me on WordPress. I never really knew how to use the account for much else. I also thought the account was useless to have, but everyone seemed to be on Twitter so I had it.
What eventually started me on the path of using it for more than just notifying people about a blog post update or occasionally tweeting about random things on my mind was a random spam DM I received from the Twitter account of At the Buzzer when it got hacked into. I have also gone into detail about that little incident in a post I wrote of how the very funny, smart, and entertaining Chris Etling, Dave Robinson, and Shaun El-Ters managed to win me over to listening to their podcast regularly. Somehow, that accidental spam DM along with my need to notify the At the Buzzer guys about their Twitter account hack set off a chain reaction of events I hadn’t really foreseen or expected. Of course, the things you don’t expect turn out to be the most worthwhile experiences to happen to you.
Throw in a bunch of crazy Twitter interactions, bloggers already mutually following other bloggers, and #FF shout outs (Follow Fridays for those not in the know of Twitter lingo) and somehow we had a warm little geeky community forming because of Twitter. Maybe Twitter isn’t as pointless and evil as we originally thought. My way of thinking about Twitter certainly changed in this past year. It brought us together. And with a suggestion from one Joshua Evo on Twitter about turning this little group into a network of awesome content makers under one roof, Chris of At the Buzzer had the same line of thinking and created Geek Force Network. A lot of us who had a great time exchanging opinions or being plain silly on Twitter are now contributors to the site. It turned out to be a great way to keep us connected, create content we already geek out about on our own personal blogs, and it showcases our own different or similar perspectives on geek culture.
This expansion from writing for just my own blog didn’t stop at Geek Force Network. Nope. It expanded even further by offering my own contributing services to United We Game, a video game blog community run by the amazing and equally talented Hatm0nster, Cary of Recollections of Play, and The Duck of Indeed.
Being unexpectedly a part of these two partner sites has been rewarding. There has been a huge boost in followers and activity on WordPress for my own blog by being a part of GFN and UWG. Sometimes I get surprised on Twitter when followers who aren’t bloggers or don’t have a WordPress account would kindly tweet at me to let me know I’m doing a good job with my blog or my contributions to GFN or UWG. It gives me great joy to know someone was either entertained or prompted to think more deeply on a topic when I simply wrote it and expressed what I thought.
You can see how much my second year of blogging has changed massively for me. Not only is it always a challenge to come up with new and interesting articles for all three blogs, but it has allowed me to make a bunch of new friends in the process. It made my blogging world not as small as I previously thought, and I suspect it’s the same for a lot of my fellow blogger friends. It’s hard to keep your blogging experience small when there are a ton of great people out there in the world who are encouraging you to be the best you can be and are making these interactions more than just a fleeting moment.
The internet is a great place for meeting like-minded people who you wouldn’t normally be able to connect with under normal circumstances. When you have a passion and really love it, it attracts other people like you very easily. I’ve said it many times already in past posts either here or on my partner blogs that blogging is about community building and creating a fun and warm place to visit for a little while when you need a break from your real life.
My second year of blogging has been about expanding my writing in other ways, as well as befriending people who live in different parts of the country or around the world. Blogging no longer feels like an isolated or detached activity, but a chance to communicate with the people you have met and consider to be friends. I sincerely hope one day I will meet these people face-to-face, either in a convention setting or through some other way. When you have common interests to bond over, I’m sure our off-line interactions will be the same as our online interactions––fun, crazy, and gloriously geeky!
I look forward to seeing where my third year of blogging will take me. It has been an amazing ride so far and I only wish for the absolute best as I continue writing and connecting with more great people through this medium. Happy Two-Years simpleek!