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The State of the Blogosphere

My fellow bloggers, a bunch of years ago — the date and context of the quote missing since this is, after all, the Web — Bob Dole said: “The internet is a great way to get on the net.”  And now, it’s time to look at the state of that net.  Today, thanks to the many many many posts by various writers, there is much progress to report.

I actually love the State of the Union because I like the idea of a check-in.  I sort of wish it weren’t one person delivering a speech, telling all of us the state of our union.  I sort of wish it were more like a procession of people all stepping up to the microphone and telling us in three sentences how they view America from their vantage point.  Do things look tense?  Hopeful?  Are they struggling?  Standing on firm footing?  Do they feel supported or wandering around in the dark?

I wish the State of the Union was less polished and more verbal diarrhea.  Not cruel.  Not taunting.  Not thoughtless.  But more emotion and less control.  More messy and less neat.  I know that wouldn’t project the strong leadership we wish to show to the world on America’s public face.  But still, I’m scared yet hopeful when I think about America.  Sometimes I just want to see scared and hopeful reflected back at me too.

I don’t think it would actually be helpful in the least for me to sum up the state of the ALI blogosphere.  It would only be my point-of-view, which is entirely dependent upon the blog posts I read and the emails I receive and the Tweets that pop up in my stream.  Beyond that, our corner of the blogosphere is too diverse in experience.  How could I ever speak to how adoption bloggers or donor gamete bloggers or child-free bloggers view the ALI blogosphere?  Or moreover, how longtime bloggers view it vs. newer bloggers?

But I think if everyone contributes two or three sentences, we could get a pretty fair panoramic view of the state of the ALI blogosphere.  I’ll place my thoughts in the comment section below too.

How does the ALI blogosphere look from your vantage point?  And moreover, how are you overall?


1 a { 02.13.13 at 9:22 am }

I am delightful. Thanks for asking. 🙂

The ALI blogosphere seems…expansive and slightly less connected than it used to. I’m not sure why.

2 Bec { 02.13.13 at 9:38 am }

I’m doing well. Really well actually. Life is starting to come together.
To be honest, I don’t really let myself out into the ALI blogosphere too much these days. Everyone is at such different points, and while I want to support people, I’ve been around the block enough that the person I need to invest most in, is myself. So I keep on blogging, and keep on checking in on people, but that’s my limit, for now.

3 Brid { 02.13.13 at 10:01 am }

I don’t poke around too much.
I come here everyday, but I think I’m pretty much a hopeless case.

4 Lollipop Goldstein { 02.13.13 at 10:06 am }

I miss the days when everyone in the ALI blogosphere at least knew each other’s names (even if they didn’t read each other). A larger blogosphere means more voices, more ideas, more variation, more niches — all good things. But it also means more fragmentation and support tends to be spread out rather than concentrated.

5 mrs spock { 02.13.13 at 10:49 am }

It doesn’t feel the same as it did 7 years ago. Most of those old names have disappeared, and after finding my way to my children, life got so very busy, and reading a lot of blogs is no longer possible. I’ve never really “met” most of the newcomers. I catch up with bloggers on Facebook now more than anything.

6 Katie { 02.13.13 at 11:12 am }

The blogosphere seems quiet and disconnected these days. Honestly, I feel that way, too. I don’t feel like I “fit in” anywhere anymore.

7 Lollipop Goldstein { 02.13.13 at 11:14 am }

It does feel quiet. There are posts, don’t get me wrong (my Reader is always full). But it still feels quiet. Not like a loud, buzzing conversation at a cocktail party, but rather like people speaking quietly inside their houses.

8 Mina { 02.13.13 at 11:28 am }

I am just fine, thank you for asking. A bit short on patience these days, but nothing a glass of wine can’t cure. 🙂

Btw, I miss the Lushary… But then I always miss the Lushary, because I’ve had good reasons to stay away from booze these past almost three years and writing about what I would drink was a good substitute, AND I don’t have the time to keep up with everyone. So the Lushary was a good point to start catching up.

The blogosphere seems framgmented alright. From a certain point of view, even divided. But then I guess it has always been like that. We are looking for our tribe to help and support us when we are waiting for our children, and then we move on and want to find a village to help us raise them.

I find myself a bit reluctant to invest myself and my time in following new bloggers though. It might be the lack of time and the fact that I have to live in a bubble because of that. I hope it changes in a few years. Stating at home, reading blogs is a way of somehow keeping up with the adult interaction I used to have when I was working in an office. 🙂

9 Mina { 02.13.13 at 11:29 am }

That would be fragmented and staying at home… Thank you, tablet.

10 nonsequiturchica { 02.13.13 at 11:37 am }

I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much around here, but also trying to stay positive.

I find the ALI blogosphere is so large that I couldn’t possibly know everyone or everything going on in blogger’s lives. I try to add new bloggers every ICLW but my reader is beginning to get a bit ridonkulous.

11 Twangy { 02.13.13 at 11:43 am }

Yes! The idea that it is not possible to “know” even our bit of the internet is mind-boggling to me. In the same way as I like to read physical books rather than screen ones because I like knowing how much I have to go and be able to equate that to the weight in my hand, the feeling of the non-finite that the internet represents hurts my head. So, (to get to the point) I stick to my ten or so favourite bloggers, with the intention or at least the willingness to meet them all in time and be “real” friends.

I am doing quite well in my little corner, thanks for asking. I hope you are comfortable and have everything you need, too?

12 Elizabeth { 02.13.13 at 12:07 pm }

Bring back the Lushary!!! 🙂

13 Lollipop Goldstein { 02.13.13 at 12:08 pm }

I will! Expect a Lushary within the next 7 days.

14 Lollipop Goldstein { 02.13.13 at 12:21 pm }

Twangy, I’m just learning the scope of the size of the blogosphere today. Yes, I intellectually know there are 3000+ blogs on the blogroll. BUT I just read a post today and discovered this well of hurt feelings out there, and I hadn’t been cognizant of this at all until this point. And that to me speaks volumes. That we can have people upset for days and others not knowing about it at all.

15 FrozenOJ { 02.13.13 at 12:36 pm }

The blogosphere seems overwhelming to me as a relatively new blogger. There are people who seem to know each other, who have little inside jokes… and I wish I had that. I have been trying to comment more and lurk less so maybe one day I will.

16 Turia { 02.13.13 at 1:49 pm }

I am feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. Lots of stress chez Turia.

With the blogosphere, I have a core group of blogs I read religiously, all written by women I would now consider to be friends. These are all women I came across when we were ttcing. Now we’re all parenting, with some trying to add to their families. Very few of them post as regularly as they used to.

I think when we start treatments again in the fall I will probably seek out some more blogs with people in the same place as I will be, but for now I am struggling even to keep up with my long-running reader list. So it is hard for me to try to add new people, even though I am sure there are lots of blogs I would enjoy reading.

17 TasIVFer { 02.13.13 at 5:16 pm }

Fragmented, fragmented, fragmented. And hurt feelings.

I’m feeling the need to blog in my space right now, however I also feel hesitant. I need to be selfish and talk about me – but somehow there are so many hurt feelings and people on eggshells that people are worried they have offended me. Which none of my recent commenters has (or could probably ever do – I’ve known these ladies a while!).

So I feel like I should shut up. But I also feel like it is my space, so I want to use it.

Fragmented, fragmented, fragmented. And hurt feelings.

We could all use a drink! 😉

18 Stacey (gradualchanges) { 02.13.13 at 5:39 pm }

As a relatively newer blogger, longer reader, I think the ALI blogosphere looks like support and community. Sure it’s a bit fragmented, but I think it’s good that so many people are sharing their voices, thoughts and experiences.

As for me, overall? Today I’m good. Not great, but not bad either. It’s a day-by-day kind of thing.

19 LN { 02.13.13 at 6:10 pm }

I’m not typical. In this case, I’m speaking about me as a reader and member of this “club,” but I could be talking about a lot of things, so could we all. As a reader, I read your blog regularly and exclusively, and on Fridays, I read your suggestions for the Weekly Roundup and usually also the suggestions in the comments. The offerings are too vast for me without your guidance and specific recommendations. The first week of January is another story though, and I meticulously work my way through the entire Creme.

As for me personally, I’ve been really down. As you know, there is tons of stress at our house, and I’m not rising to the challenge.

20 LN { 02.13.13 at 6:13 pm }

If you’re bringing things back, can you also bring back Show and Tell? I really liked them.

21 Esperanza { 02.13.13 at 6:23 pm }

I honestly have no idea how I am these days. I try to put a finger on it but it just feels impossible to understand, let alone articulate. I feel like I’m being forced to rewite a huge part of my life and I have no idea how to do that, with the limited resources I’ve been given. I guess I just feel lost. But I don’t feel so impatient, so I suppose I have at least ONE thing going for me. 😉

As for the blogosphere… Man I don’t know. It has felt quiet, especially for the last few weeks (except for a few noticeable events, of course 😉 and I always have a hard time with that. I don’t like a quiet blogosphere.

I think that lately my take away from the blogosphere has been, in the end, everyone needs to do what is right for them and a lot of time that is hard for others to accept. It may even feel hurtful. I think that is the message I’ve been getting lately and it makes me sad. But it’s an important lesson to learn–in the blogosphere and in real life–and I appreciate being schooled in it.

22 Ms Fit { 02.13.13 at 7:22 pm }

I think the blogosphere seems fraught and disconnected. And I feel kind of disconnected from it. I’m still reading, and even commenting a little, but I’m not writing. It’s partly because I’m busy, but it’s partly that I haven’t found my voice since our story has changed. When I was grieving and/or waiting, it was easier to write, oddly. Hmm.

23 persnickety { 02.13.13 at 7:51 pm }

It does feel disconnected. Over the last three years I have found a handful of blogs that I read, but a lot that I started to read all managed to find/have a baby within a month or two of reading them. Not invested enough to stick around on those. Haven’t worked out how to set up a blog reader list yet (probably should, that would help). I wish i could find a circle of people in a similar situation, as not much available to me IRL, but it also requires activity from me.
I will admit though, I haven’t even got myself on any blogrolls- so not many have found my blog (although weirdly, my project 365 one gets a steady stream of views from here- not sure why). perhaps that should be my goal for this year- actually submit blogroll apps

24 Becky { 02.13.13 at 8:45 pm }

So interesting to read your post and comments. I haven’t blogged in almost 2 weeks (by and far the longest I’ve gone without a post). I also haven’t been reading as much. I think bloggy land seems quieter than usual (and I recognize I’m part of that quiet) and yes, even more disconnected of late. Funny enough, hearing so many others echo that makes me feel a little less disconnected.

Personally, I’m fine. Thanks for asking 🙂

25 loribeth { 02.13.13 at 9:02 pm }

I am sad about the latest kerfuffle in the community… it does seem like something like this happens once every few months or so. It will eventually blow over, as it always does — but it sucks that so many people have been hurt in the meantime.

The ALI blogosphere certainly has grown a lot in the five-plus years since I started blogging. I don’t read a ton of new blogs these days, simply because my reader is stuffed & I have trouble keeping up with it as it is — but I will add a new one to my reader if I read a post or two and get hooked by the story or the writing — or if it’s another blog about childless/free living. I do find there are more & more of us in this particular corner of the ALI world these days who are finding each other, and writing and speaking out abour our common experiences, and I am very thankful for that. I also think we are being included more often in general conversations throughout the ALI community — there is a greater awareness out there of childless/free living as an option — certainly not the most popular option, but I do get the sense that it is being discussed more. That’s a big step forward! And I think that awareness is one of the very positive things that came out of a simliar big blowup in the community about this time last year. ; )

I am reserving my barstool at the Lushary right now. 🙂

26 S.I.F. { 02.13.13 at 11:18 pm }

I’m realizing how disconnected from the ALI community I have become in the last year. Whether that has been caused by my own distraction in life, or a need to separate myself a bit from some of the sadness I am still working to recover from – I don’t know. But it makes me sad now to realize how out of the loop I have become. Especially because this community was one I relied on so deeply in the depths of my own infertility hell… I guess like a kid who goes off to college, I had been thinking that when I was ready to come back, everything had been just as I left it. But the state of the ALI community does not, in fact, seem to be the same as it was when I joined 3 years ago. And something about that has me feeling more than a little sad right now…

27 Mali { 02.14.13 at 1:24 am }

Hurt people – and we’re all hurt in this community in one way or another – get hurt so easily, and hurt others so easily (and often unintentionally) and all the emotions involved are at such a high intensity that I guess blow-ups are inevitable. It is sad that it happens, but is probably a feature that will never change.

I guess our perspective on the blogosphere depends on how long we’ve been in it, where we are in our infertility/ALI journeys, how much support we feel we need or are able to give, etc. So someone new might think it is exciting and vibrant, someone in the midst of treatments might feel it is very close and supportive as they’ve built up a group of friends among their readership, whereas someone coming to the end of their need for it might feel it is quiet and becoming less relevant to them. And of course as it grows, then it will lose the sense of intimacy it once had for a smaller group. The price of success. It’s evolving and will always evolve, as will we.

28 Siochana { 02.14.13 at 9:40 am }

I am new to this and just glad there is a blogosphere/ALI community. If blogs weren’t invented for women (and men) like us, they should have been.

This would all be so much scarier for me if I didn’t have this easily-accessible proof that other people have walked the road(s) before.

29 Ana { 02.14.13 at 10:47 am }

I like what Mali said above, about hurt people. I feel like these “kerfluffles” are too frequent lately (and I don’t even know what happened this week)…feelings are so easily hurt, leading to lashing out and hurting back…there is a real touchy, twitchy feeling to the blogosphere that keeps me on the outskirts. When I first started reading ALI blogs, it felt like this great warm inclusive community that I really really wanted to be part of…but now it feels like a “community” in name only. I always check in here, and often click through the round-up posts, but I otherwise stick my very very small corner. That said, I think the largeness of the community does offer the advantage of giving everyone in any situation with any personality the opportunity to find their tribe.

30 Valery Valentina { 02.14.13 at 12:38 pm }

Mali, I think you’ve nailed it!
I feel wonderfully supported, and I’m lucky to have some of my friend bloggers in the same stage.
And yes, I’m with Twangy too. I don’t feel like I could read 3000 blogs. I like to invest in people/blogs who feel like friends and it was/is/will be lovely to meet them IRL.

31 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.14.13 at 1:15 pm }

The state of the blogosphere….I am still mourning, much as I used to mourn the fact that I would never visit every city in the world , the fact that I will never be able to visit all corners of the blogosphere and understand it all.

I know there has been one of our periodic eruptions, and it always makes me feel a little edgy.

Overall, though, life is good. Would love to pull up a stool a the Lushary. Heck, a booth!

32 KeAnne { 02.14.13 at 2:23 pm }

I’m a bit bewildered by the ALI blogosphere right now. It is so large now, which is great, and I’ve made good friends, but I wonder what happened to all the bloggers I read and interacted with during my diagnosis days. I feel new, yet old at the same time. But that’s me. Anyway, I’m perplexed how we have the same drama over and over, but I know that the community is fluid, so it’s likely to keep happening. It seems like there is always an attempt to exert a feeling of ownership over thought leadership in the community. Only certain people can get a say.

As for me personally, I’ve got some personal stuff going on. I’m trying to figure out how to blog about it, and it’s making it hard to blog b/c it’s like a ginormous elephant in my head.

33 StacieT { 02.18.13 at 2:32 am }

My junior high school feeds into a high school with a bad reputation. My kids never want to go to the local school. Instead, they swear they will go to the other/better received high schools in the district. Of course, every single year my students come back to tell me that they were in the end forced to go to the local school because of lack of space at the other schools. My comment to them is always the same: if you go to school looking for a place to get into trouble and fool around, you’ll find it at the local school. If you go to school looking to learn and have a meaningful high school experience, you’ll find it at the local school. Ultimately, the only thing that truly matters is their own expectations and behavior. Your experience at school will be what you make it.

The same can be said of the ALI community. If you look within the community to find support and people with like experiences, you’ll find it here. If you look within the community for controversy and arguments, you’ll find it here, too. When you feel disconnected within yourself, the internet mirrors that back at you. Your experience in the community will be how you shape it; it will match your thoughts and feelings because you create those expectations.

As for me, I am struggling to find my niche, but I know that struggle is not because the niche isn’t available to me. Instead it is because I can’t quite figure out what my niche really is. I fit into many categories, yet don’t exactly fit in any one of them.

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