Home » It’s All About Community – Celebrating the Heart and Soul of the Online World

It’s All About Community – Celebrating the Heart and Soul of the Online World

Every so often, I find myself coming back to the question, “why do you blog?” and regardless of how the finer details change, there is one thing that remains constant – community.

I was reminded of this again last night thanks to a blog post by Aby from You Baby Me Mummy and a chat on Twitter with Joy from Pink Oddy. These two bloggers are lovely ladies who I have not had the pleasure of really speaking to before, and yet they both reminded me of just how important the community aspect of blogging is.

Aby has a most beautiful and balanced view of what it means to be part of the community. Her recent post called “Finding Your Tribe and Why You Need One” is an excellent example of this, however it was another blog post in which she explained that she spends most of her blogging time reading other blogs and commenting on them, which really got me thinking.

When I first started blogging, way back in 2006, I had been reading blogs for several months. In that time I had come to know some of the bloggers really quite well, through reading about their lives and commenting on their posts. In fact it was the thought that this was a rather “one-way” relationship which made me start a blog in the first place – I thought that it might be nice for the bloggers I knew so much about to know a little bit about this person who was commenting on their blogs too! In essence, I wanted to be a fully-fledged member of this exciting new community.

Fast forward several years and social media has taken a lot of the conversation off the blog and even sometimes impinges on the time available for reading and writing itself. Indeed, I was having a great conversation with Joy (Pink Oddy) last night about my love/hate relationship with social media (on Twitter, I might add, so that would be a moment I loved social media!) We lamented the death of the online forums we used to frequent whilst at the same time finding amusement in that fact that Joy and Aly from Bug Bird and Bee had lost several hours in conversation following the end of their #Fridayat11 Google Hangout, which is a fantastic way of getting to know the people behind the blogs!

So last night, after a really lovely evening chatting with other bloggers, I  felt inspired to celebrate and lift up the community aspect that is so important to bloggers and social media fans alike. I spend an awful lot of time reading posts via Feedly and looking through updates on Twitter and Instagram, and I thought it might be a nice idea to choose two or three things that have really embodied the spirit of community and bring them all together in a post that reminds me of just why I love blogging so much.

Welcome to “It’s All About Community”

It's All About Community - Celebrating the Heart and Soul of Blogging

Not the snazziest of titles, I know, but it is what it is!

I’ve already highlighted You Baby Me Mummy’s post, so I’m going to head straight on to a couple of other things that have really inspired me this week.

First up, it’s the #birthjusthappened hashtag that I stumbled across on Twitter yesterday. It is a hugely inspiring and emotional collection of images, which show that birth doesn’t have to be something we dread and fear. There are so many blog posts and articles about how this went viral and what it stands for, but I wanted to draw your attention to the images themselves. I posted my own because, despite having an induced labour and feeling completely let down in many ways during my actual labour, I still cherish the moment I gave birth as the most surreal and yet magical moment ever. I know that this isn’t true for many women, and birth can be hugely traumatic, but this collection of images shows that a positive birth experience can come in so many different shapes and forms and I love it for bringing women together to share as much and empower each other.

Then there is the incredible post over on The Adoption Social by Sarah from The Puffin Diaries entitled “How Twitter Changed My Life“. I read this post when it popped up on my Feedly app and I felt myself nodding along to everything Sarah wrote about how Twitter can be a real force for good when it brings together people with a common experience or common goal. I think the same can be said about any social media platform, and especially blogging, and Sarah’s explanation of all the amazing ways her life has truly been changed through connecting with a community online is well worth a read. So often we only hear of the negatives around social media, and yet just look at how many positives it has brought to those who simply need to find a community of people they would never have had the opportunity to meet were they limited by their geographical location.

And finally (so as not to make this this longest blog post in history!) I couldn’t miss the opportunity to highlight that the BiBs – that’s the Brilliance in Blogging awards run by BritMums – have opened for nominations this week. I’m not even sure where to begin with choosing my nominations because there are just so many blogs I enjoy reading. But what better way to celebrate the community that we are a part of than by nominating those that inspire you time and time again. It’s like giving people a great big pat on the back and saying “thanks for being a part of my world”.

So that’s it from me… tell me, how do you feel about the online community and who has inspired you this week?

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Linking up this week with Bod For Tea’s Share the Joy Linky – why not join me?

Share the Joy linky at bodfortea.co.uk

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21 comments

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning my post, I am so glad you enjoyed the post and that it inspired you. I love the online community, so much is made out of the negative aspects, but there is tremendous areas of positivity. x

    • Amanda says:

      Oh yes, the negative always seems to get such coverage and yet there are so many more positives to it. I think we’re beginning to appreciate that more as we all begin to make connections and realise how much potential there is, and that can only mean that things will get better 🙂 xx

  2. Emma T says:

    Great post. I started my blog for me (after doing crafting forums which led to a craft blog, then on to my current one as a personal journal) and then found social media properly. My OH doesn’t get it at all, but for me I love meeting new people and likeminded people, and challenging myself. My OH doesn’t talk much either, and because my pre-child hobbies have ended (late night dancing 4 nights a week isn’t going to keep happening), blogging and social media is a way of me having a conversation outside of work and more readily accessible than my friends who have their own families.

    I think the community is so supportive – there’s always someone to connect with, and learn from. I think if people go into it with the right mindset, it’s great to be a part of.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for sharing your own experience with blogging and social media, Emma! I didn’t realise you’d had a craft blog (and been a member of crafting forums), isn’t it funny when we look back and see how our online lives have changed through the years. I’m glad you find the community a great place for support and conversation – I think in that respect it’s easy to see how communities based around common interests (e.g. crafts) or experiences (e.g. parenting) are so very popular. I think it’s hard for people who don’t “get” social media to understand how positive and supportive it can truly be.

  3. Pinkoddy says:

    What a really lovely post. I do love how the communities come together and support one another on the different platforms.

    Sorry to hear you feel let down in labour but glad your experience was still magical.

    Thank you so much for the mentions x

    • Amanda says:

      I’m so glad you liked it!

      My labour wasn’t traumatic in any way, it was just a case of allowing myself to believe the midwives knew my body better than I did and so when they didn’t believe I was in active labour (and when I started feeling really ill) I didn’t push it. I think it’s more disappointment in myself for not trusting myself more, but when it’s you’re first you don’t know what to expect and I wish the midwives had been a bit more supportive and empowering so that I had trusted my own body. It all worked out fine in the end… once I was ready to push my body took over completely and I enjoyed simply trusting it to do its job at that stage (especially as the midwife finally acknowledged I was ready and very quietly directed only when needed and followed my lead in simply keeping quiet and letting my body do the talking!)

  4. Hello there, and thank you for including my piece in your celebration of community. I’ve been on a small family break with little WiFi so it was a lovely surprise to find your comments when we got home. I am a big believer in the power of the online community and all the positive it can bring. Well done you for shouting about it too. xx

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Sarah, thank you for popping over and leaving a comment. I had to include your post because it just spoke so strongly of how positive, supportive and affirming the online community can be. Thanks so much for sharing with us all how much it has changed your life, it was really inspiring and heartwarming to read xx

  5. What a lovely post! I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the community is the reason I blog, but it’s a fabulous extra that I get from it. I have met some truly amazing people in the last two years, and am starting to cross the border into real life friendships. The blogging community is a great thing to be a part of #sharethejoy

    • Amanda says:

      Ah that crossing over from online connections to real life friendships is so exciting, isn’t it? I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world through online communities, some of whom I have then gone on to meet in real life, and they are so very special as we know each other so well.

  6. Dawn says:

    The Linguistic and Popular Culture Communities are my bases at the moment: I’m in the middle (end?) of proposal writing for my Masters on Russian heavy metal and social media is clearly the way to get advertised and share ideas these days. Twitter is a great place to get in contact with likeminded people, whether they agree with you or not! And you can have non-trolling discussions on differences of opinion if you find the right people 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Oh Dawn, I can imagine that for something as specialised as Russian heavy metal Twitter is the perfect place to make connections – it was the same for my with HG! How exciting that you’re working on your proposal for your Masters 🙂

  7. Louise says:

    Great post. I started my current blog almost a year ago and although I had been blogging for several years prior to that (keeping my family and friends updated on my daughter during her heart surgeries), I had no idea at all that there was a whole community of bloggers out there. For me, the best thing about blogging this past year has been getting to know other bloggers, reading and being inspired by their posts and feeling like I’m part of a wider community. Most of my blogging time is spent interacting with other bloggers and I’m looking forward to meeting some of them in person at various blogging events this year #sharethejoy

    • Amanda says:

      Oh Louise, isn’t it amazing when you first discover how big the community is 🙂 I’ve found that some of my closest friendships have developed through connections made online! Are you going to BritMums Live this year? That’s the only one I have planned so far, so if you are maybe we’ll bump into each other there!

  8. I think the best part of blogging is the conversation that it invokes – sometimes on the blog – sometimes off it. I love losing hours to wherever we end up and miss it when out leading what I call real life, but as time goes on, the two become entwined and it feels more like a community than ever. Lovely to be reminded, thank you 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Oh Anya, I know exactly what you mean – when I was at university I was a big forum user and I used to hate it when real life got in the way of conversations I was having online 😉 However like you say, they are becoming more entwined, especially with so many opportunities to meet up in real life now too. Are you going to BritMums Live again this year?

  9. Oh love this post Amanda, I started blogging as part of my CBT therapy for Post Natal Depression and it was the supportive community I discovered online, when I was in China and so far from my friends and family, that made me grow to love it so. I love that I can read about the lives of others just like or totally different to me and that we can share a perspective or experience that connects us. Likewise reading the comments from my readers saying that a post has resonated with them gives me such a lift! And here’s to meeting up with as many of my favourite bloggers at possible at Britmums Live this year – woo hoo!

    Thanks so much for linking this up at #sharethejoy this week too x

    • Amanda says:

      What a lovely comment, thanks Michelle. It’s interesting to hear how you started blogging as part of your therapy (it was during CBT sessions that I decided to go to my first blogging conference!!), especially when so far away from home. I remember spending hours in an internet cafe in Russia chatting to people on forums to help me feel less alone (I wasn’t in a great place emotionally at that time) and as you say, it really supports you when you need it. Isn’t it just wonderful to learn about other people and get to share things with those who “get” you in ways you couldn’t ever have imagained 🙂 We must try and make sure we meet up at BritMums Live xx

  10. You’re just so right about this, and I love that you’ve shouted about it. I started my blog because I wanted to make it easier for our families to keep up with our Italian adventures. It’s now SO much more than that – I work from home so the interaction I have with other bloggers via various platforms keeps me sane. It reduces homesickness because we talk in my own language and I can express myself properly, and I feel I’m still in touch with what is going on in the UK. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without the online community!

    • Amanda says:

      It’s great to hear how much the online community supports us… especially cutting through borders and allowing us to make international friends we’d never have met otherwise. Thanks so much for sharing how much it has meant to you too xx

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