palpating that place of peeps and pals

You hope that your readers are your friends.

Or do you? And are they?

I ponder this topic frequently, that fuzzy blog space where regular readers and the definitions of friendship intersect.

I’m brought again to the contemplation after having written of returning home late Thursday night to a blasting stereo that been left on low volume that was playing music that I’d never listen to in a residence extremely vulnerable to break-ins in a neighborhood thick with crime and violence.

The situation had the initial markings of trouble, intrusion and danger. It aroused alarm, suspicion and fear.  It was an experience that told to a 3D friend would have elicited a response.

So why not on the blog?

What if something had happened? What if I’d been robbed, injured, raped, hospitalized or killed? Would that elicit a response of concern, friendship and caring?

Really, in blogging, where is the line between friendship and readers?

And that there was only one response to the Fright Night experience, does the weakness lie with me and its delivery? Or the reader?

Further, what would happen if I as a regular blogger suddenly disappeared? Who would notice? Who would be concerned? Care? Would anyone try to find out what happened? Would my disappearance be perceived as (just) another casualty, one more corpse for the vast cemetery in the blogosphere? Or an indication of trouble or demise?

And what DID happen to Raymond the photographer? I ask that question nearly every day.

I know some bloggers do consider their readers their friends. I know bloggers who have met peeps in the 3D life or exchanged cards/gifts.

Astounding; it’s not for me.

Readers as friends?

Unless a reader’s someone in the 3D life being introduced to the blog and with other notable exceptions, probably not. Not really. Not by my definition of friendship.

I’ve blogged long enough (since 2006) to be prepared for disappointment by peeps, by readers. I’ve observed that loyalty is watery and unreliable (an oxymoron, I realize). Even the loyal (or so perceived) do not show up when trouble strikes or need arises for a friendly pat, a comforting comment. I’ve observed that and have become increasingly better at letting that be and better defining, for myself, a friend in the 3D world and a friend in the blogosphere.

Rarely do the twain truly meet.

That is the pearl of wisdom taking shape today.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Country Cinderella
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 16:49:46

    Unfortunately unless we have our subscriptions set to notify us instantly and/or at the least daily, it is easy for certain post to slip past the ‘friendly’ readers. And even if we have the subscriptions set to notify us instantly we still can miss them if we do not have access to our computers. All of this can happen with RL friends too. Say a friend is busy with their own family stuff and life. A week or a month later they have more time to catch up with all of their other friends and they find out about something bad that happened. That does not mean they care any less, and they show it by expressing their concern and relief that things are not as bad as they could have been.

    That is what is great when blog friends take the time to catch up on other blog friend’s posts. I have gotten comments on old posts, that had some noteworthy information in them, weeks later, and I liked seeing that the reader took the time to go back and catch up with me.


    • allycatadventures
      Jan 15, 2011 @ 18:56:48

      @CC – Thank you for commenting. I wasn’t thinking of any one post in particular, rather, as I wrote, bloggers/peeps/readers as friends, conceptually and in practice, has long been on a subject of contemplation. Additionally, when you know that posts, including those tender, out of the ordinary or exceptional in some fashion, are being read and not drawing comments, questions and ponderings emerge. You’re right, it is nice when dated posts receive feedback. Provides the sense that someone’s out there and listening or reading. 🙂


  2. fatcatfromvox
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 04:22:47

    You raise some interesting questions here, I’ve been thinking a bit along the same lines, but with a slightly different perspective: If I did up and leave without telling anyone, how on earth would they be able to find out what happened? Some people have dropped off the face of the blogsophere without us being able to follow them. In my case, quite a few of the peeps know my name and adress and such info, so they would be able to contact me. But like sweetmisery, who was really really ill and had to mov to a home without internet access, what happened to her? She’s often on my mind, I hope that she is well – but I have no way of knowing. It’s a bit of goes around-comes around with a blog; if you (the universal you, not you-you) open up and involve people, they will get involved, but if you keep the blog separate from the real you, it’s less likely that people will invest their time and interest, I think. Just my 2c, though.

    And also, it is so much easier to loose track of peeps on WP than it was on Vox, I haven’t seen you pop up in my subscription list in ages, until this post turned up.


    • allycatadventures
      Jan 16, 2011 @ 12:17:24

      @fatcat – Thanks for commenting. Yes, these contemplations are shared in part to encourage thought amongst readers. As for posts not popping up on subscriptions, not an uncommon occurrence, it seems. After walking WP miles, I learned to navigate around the bumps and rely exclusively on Google Reader for obtaining every post or damn close. No complaints with GR if you don’t mind a slight delay (in appearance of posts/comments).


  3. fotografzahl
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 02:29:10

    I can tell you a real example – from a reader’s perspective:
    When one of the bloggers I’d been following “disappeared” from the blogosphere all of a sudden and without any further notice (hadn’t heard from him for several weeks), I really got worried.
    I decided to send an email, asking him if everything is alright.
    All things turned out fine luckily.
    What I want to say: I care as a reader/viewer, and when I do, others will certainly care as well.


    • allycatadventures
      Jan 17, 2011 @ 12:53:17

      @fotografzahl – Yeah. I’ve sent emails to check in on bloggers noticeably absent as well as to peeps to inquire about another blogger altogether absent from blogging and not responding to emails. For better or worse, peeps become like family and it’s hard when one just ups and disappears, especially those I know struggling; I become concerned because I care.


  4. Aussie Emjay
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 17:26:41

    I think it depends to some extent on the reasons behind why one blogs.
    I use blogging more as a social networking tool than a writing one. I started on Vox as a way to let my family and friends down-under follow me along on the other side of the world – so I’ve never been totally anonymous.

    The fact that I collected some online, unknown followers as I went along has been a wonderful bonus. I’ve really enjoyed meeting the 6 real life people I met through Vox and also enjoy an off-line relationship with a couple more who I have not met. I love that personal aspect of that; it gives a personal connection that makes me feel more comfortable in contacting them and asking “What’s wrong?” “where are you?”.

    On the other hand, I have often wondered what has happened to Raymond and Georgia (mentioned by fatcat) – although I have emailed Raymond I do not have any contact details for Georgia. When you have had breaks from posting I have wondered how you’ve been getting on and will continue to do so – I just don’t get to WP as often as I used to.


    • allycatadventures
      Jan 19, 2011 @ 17:41:22

      @Emjay – We could not *be* more polar opposite – lol. Blogging for me is about writing, I’ve got zero inclination to meet fellow bloggers *and* with one exception, no 3-D friends know my blogspace, never mind family — not even my sister (with whom I’m close) — and if any of them found me, which is hugely unlikely, I’d hafta pull the plug and blog relocate immediately! You’ll also notice that in all these years, I’ve never posted a pic of myself — unless you count a one-time pic of my shoes in an arty photo! Like I said, polar opposites, 😀


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