I have this thing about karma. Or at least I have a thing about my own pseudo-semi-spiritual notion of what it means. My kind of karma, the “Caroline” definition of Karma (and forgive me real karma people for butchering it’s true meaning) is to give and give and give. And when you give, you will get back what you deserve. I also know karma is about balance and for every good there is a bad. Yin, yang, good, bad, bladdy bladdy blah. But I am completely down with my little karma concept in that we just have to take care of one another and the universe will be sure you get yours in the long run.
So, then I went to BlogHer. (I know I know, I am talking about it again. But one post this conference does not suffice. I think this might be the last one though, ok?) And, while I sat in sessions and kept a fairly low profile, the gears in my brain were working overtime to absorb and learn as much as I possibly could. I think the session that Kacey summarizes nicely might be my greatest inspiration, but I seemed to pick this concept up more and more throughout all of the sessions I attended and after the many conversations I had.
And now, a few weeks have passed, and I want to share the big lesson, the big “ah-ha”, light bulb going over my head, bit of knowledge that has bubbled up to the surface of my brain and truly enlightened me. That lesson is:
A good blogger practices good blogger karma.
(Cue bright beam of light on my blog, angels singing from above.)
And what do I mean by that? Well, you may have heard what I am talking about in slightly more down to earth terms but I am going to put a spiritual spin on it here. So, after all that listening and stewing, this is how I think one practices good blogger karma.
A good blogger should reach out, make time for and respect the community of bloggers you are writing amongst. As anti-social as writing by yourself at your computer may seem, let’s face it, blogging is a community oriented mode of expression. And for your blog to succeed, you need to care about the bloggers around you. Because they are there, reading you, watching you, and considering what you have to say. So for as much time as you might spend on your own blog (writing, tinkering, stat watching, widgeting or what have you), you should spend an equal amount of time reading and reaching out to other bloggers. To achieve true blogger karma, you might want to consider the following:
- Comments: Visit blogs, read them well, and make a smart comment. Care about the blogs you read.
- Link: If you really were inspired by another blog, be sure to link to it in yours. Give it the public props it deserves
- If you are on twitter, and you enjoyed someone else’s post, link your followers to it on Twitter. Don’t get too caught up on linking to your posts all the time on twitter either
- Join and load up Stumble It. And then click on “I like it” for any posts you read that you like. Take the time to add the categories and tags approprite to that post
- Add your favorite blogs to your blogroll
- Be nice and reach out to other bloggers by email, twitter, comments or through any of the various community networks
Again, I know most of you have probably heard this all before. But do we all really take just as much time to reach out to other bloggers as we do to our own blog? That’s hard to do, right? But you really need to care about those other bloggers. A lot. You need to give them credit and pay their posts forward. Perform random acts of blogging kindness. Comment. Twitter, Stumble It. Kirtsy it. Email. Post it on Facebook. Just give your energy, your time and your heart, dammit. You have nothing to lose and so much blogging karma to gain.
I remember when I first started blogging, and I thought it seemed extremely self-involved. I mean, c’mon. Writing endless paragraphs about stuff I am thinking about, and then pushing a button to put it out there for the web-savvy masses to read? Did I REALLY think I had anything THAT important to say? I felt like it was a tad self-indulgant and felt a little embarressed I would assume my writing would and should be read.
But now, this new concept of blogging karma has been a wonderful bit of enlightenment. It helps me feel more justified to ramble on about my own semi-brilliant thoughts in a blog post when I know I will do my bit to support other blogs once I’m done. What a relief that is to me.
And sure, you don’t HAVE to practice blogging karma. You can write your stuff and do your thing and twitter about yourself all day (like I have today… Did you hear? C. pooped in the potty!) and maybe occasionally check out some post here and there that got your attention… but then what are you learning, really? And, will your blog grow at all? And, lets not forget – what I know you probably care about most – WILL people really come check your blog out if you don’t bother to check out theirs? Just consider it, ok?
Now that being said, ENOUGH ABOUT ME. (ha… I crack myself up.) I am off to peruse the wonderful world of smart bloggers everywhere. I will wave my Stumble It wand and sprinkle well thought out comments everywhere….
Ugh, ok. All this positive “be good to your fellow blogger” crap might have just reached it saturation point and is getting to be a touch much. Even for me. (gag.)
But you know what I mean.
Just get out there and go be nice.