It isn't often I get to speak with a fellow blogger and discuss my favorite past time but last week Kathryn from Daring Young Mom (who is also the guest judge for the Write-Away Contest) kindly took time out of her vacation to speak with me and answer some questions.
I asked about her history with blogging. She started blogging after the birth of her son, as a bit of practice for future publication, and with feelings familiar to many of us began her blog by saying, "Maybe [people] will read it and maybe they won't. But it's fun." DYM has now been online about a year and has been nominated for and has won various awards--evidently people are reading it and feeling right at home.
I asked about her family's history with blogging (her sister blogs at One Woman's World and both her parents have blogs) but ended up talking more about how she feels her blog may change as her two children, code-named Laylee and Magoo, grow.
She said she will probably be less personal, less revealing about her children because she never wants them to be embarrassed about what is published. She never wants them to find out from their friends that the world is reading about their private times. "I don't to ever get to the point where I'd rather have a good post than hurt someone's feelings," she said.
We talked about other bloggers--were your ears burning Julie?--and agreed we both loved reading Mental Tesserae, that she puts us to shame but also talked about reciprocal blog rolls.
"I hate reciprocal blogrolls," she said. "If you have a million people on your blogroll it's useless. It's not saying who you like or who you read." We wondered about the unique etiquette surrounding blogrolls and how once you place someone on your blogroll there's an enormous feeling of guilt if you remove them. It's the blogosphere's unique snub. But if you are no longer reading a particular blog, is it really so wrong to remove it from your list?
She said she's toying with the idea of a rotating blogroll, an idea I may steal. I love the idea of highlighting other blogs you enjoy rather than collecting links on the sidebar.
But of all the things we discussed I enjoyed hearing her views on blogs in general.
"We need less ranting and less whining," she said. "Less negativity. You get to a point where instead of moving ahead you're dragging each other down." This made sense, as a blog, DYM has an overall sense of optimism, humor and love toward motherhood which may be why I enjoy reading it.
But blogs, by their very nature, are personal. They are open and candid and revealing. Often too revealing, Kathryn says. "Emotionally raw writing is often what draws readers in. But being emotionally raw means opening up to people you don't know, where people can also link to you and trash you."
Having observed to my husband that the best things in life are unbloggable, or in other words, are often too personal or too damaging to others to share, I agreed with her metaphor when she said that "writing nasty things about another person on your blog is the equivalent to writing things about them on the bathroom wall in junior high."
In many ways the blogging culture is not unlike junior high with its need for acceptance and popularity but unlike adolescence, Kathryn observed, "with blogging you [a blogger] have the power to control it. You can choose to be part of it, to join in, or you can choose not to."
I would add also that even though there are similarities between blogging and junior high, one difference that has stood out to me is how often I meet other bloggers who are capable, fascinating, talented writers. They're willing to offer help and suggestions, to be kind and to make room at the table for someone who's looking for a seat, and my interview with Kathryn just reinforces this. Good luck to Kathryn and her Daring Young blog.
Technorati tags: interviews, Alaska, Daring Young Mom