What Are Blogs For?

Darcy had a chat today with one of the big thinkers in the blogosphere about what blogging is and where it is going.

This guru said it is two things:

1. It’s a way of connecting with a like-minded community.
2. It’s a way to become an advocate or influencer about a topic you are passionate about.

I got the shivers when he told me this, as obviously the second point is one I have been pondering in depth.

But let me begin with the first point. In my boring, conformist suburban life, it’s doubtful I would have ever “met”:

1. A cool girl from Maine, who rocks the romantic look so hard, Rachel Zoe should be taking notes.  Girl is seriously stylish.
2. A yoga model, whose crow pose in the snow is crazy amazing.  Vote for her!
3. A children’s writer and illustrator, whose goal to not buy anything new for a year (except for necessities) rivals projects like “No Impact Man”.
4. A woman who in the last few months has met the President of the United States and published a best-selling book.
5. A local-food enthusiast who lives her activism by supporting local CSA farms and cooking drool-worthy healthy chow.
6. A stylish and clever SoCal lady who can walk in 5-inch heels on the hilly streets of San Francisco and writes like nobody’s business.
7. An acerbic, funny Canadian whose tart take on infertility should land her a book deal.
8. An Israeli filmmaker and writer of hilarious criticisms on the endless remakes in Hollywood.
9. A modern-day heroine taking on the Goliaths of infertility on our behalf: public ignorance, unfair insurance policies and the local and federal laws which don’t support us.
10. An advocate for children and champion of the bullied.
11. An Indian woman whose lofty career led her to meet top dignitaries in her country.

And then there’s Calliope, who I haven’t “met” but I just found out that she was in the music video for one of my favorite songs.

How cool are all of you? (And that list is cursory: everyone I’ve met seems to have an important and unique story.)

But beyond the “cool” factor, y’all GET IT. Like no one in my real life did.

So, deep, deep breath, it’s time to address the second reason people blog: advocacy and influence. I’m not a fighter like Keiko or an influential politico like Mel. I’m just little mousy me. Like so many people, I love the Harry Potter books. My favorite character is actually Neville Longbottom. J. K. Rowling makes a big, anvil-shaped point about the importance of bravery in the series. But Neville is a shy, awkward boy with none of the skills of Harry, brains of Hermione or guts of Ron.

Yet, spoiler alert, Neville too makes a significant contribution to knocking off Lord Voldemort.

I don’t mean to be grandiose, and I certainly respect those who don’t want to or can’t give their voices to the NIAW campaign (I agree with Mel: those who don’t speak are to be just as respected as those who do.) I am in a place many are not: I have children, thanks to infertility treatments. I finally feel up to facing those who don’t understand the pain and suffering the ALI community endure.

Darcy and I had a long discussion tonight: why do I care so much about infertility? Why am I not off bonding with the “mommy bloggers”? Why do I connect so much to the ALI community? The honest answer is “I don’t know.” But I do. So I’ve decided to lend my voice to the Resolve “Bust a Myth” campaign. I really hope not to get the “don’t repopulate the earth, you barren misfit, adoption-shunning jerk” comments. They will hurt, a lot. But if I do, I do. I’ll try to think of Neville, when he heard the Death Eaters belittling his poor parents, who were driven mad by their evil. But mostly of the brave, strong women and men who are unable to lend their unique voices, who are enduring hell on earth.

I’ll do it, because this community is so important to me. And we can fight and win. And so I’ll help, as best as I can.

Do you agree with the guru about what blogs are for? Why do you write your blog? Is the advocacy angle necessary to blogging?

Dang, THAT’S Neville?  He aged well.



Filed under Infertility, Parenting After IF

8 responses to “What Are Blogs For?

  1. First, I’ve always loved Neville, even more so by the time the books ended (and damn, he did grow up well!)

    Second, I think Darcy is right – blogging serve two purposes, to connect with a likeminded community, and to advocate for that community when necessary. I think it’s possible to be a successful blogger who does just the connecting part without doing the advocacy part, though I think in the end we all end up as activists, even if we don’t actively intend to do so. Just by sharing our stories we influence others (hopefully in a positive way) and passively advocate for our communities, even if we aren’t actively contributing to campaigns like Resolve’s Bust a Myth.

  2. I agree that blogging *can* be a good platform for active advocacy. But I also like what Shannon said, about how sharing our stories *is* a form of advocacy, even without participating in things like NIAW.

    And Neville did grow up to be hot, wow! But my favorite character was Ron . . . The kind of teasing Neville got hit too close to home for me to *enjoy* reading about him.

  3. Aw, lady. You woo me! 😉

    For me, my blog started out something totally different than what it’s become. I’m not complaining, though, I love what it has turned into…but I’m open to it morphing back into something that’s there for my loved ones to keep tabs on me with. That part of where I advocate for more honesty among the subject of infertility and loss, will NEVER go away, though. I’m too passionate about it and determined to change the fact of it, that that will remain no matter what else it morphs into.

    Oh! And I totally have crush on Ron Weasley. A crush that’s probably bigger than it should be.

    (Did you see my email? I feel the same way about you, lady. xoxo)

  4. I am totally honored to be keeping company with the folks you list above! Funny, because I feel like I wish I were *more* of an activist than I am … I so admire people like Keiko and Mel. But you’re right … the world needs Neville Longbottoms, too.

    I think there’s activism even within a community, though external awareness-raising is important if we’re ever going to change perceptions about IF. That said, I’m not off bonding with the mommy-bloggers either (though I confess I hang with the food bloggers sometimes) … because I feel more at home in this community. I hope that I’m not banished from it too soon … I’ve sort of been worrying about that since N’s birth. 😉

  5. 1) Thank you, you yourself are awesomeness incarnate
    2) Anything with a Harry Potter comparison inevitably makes me squee, so thanks for that too.
    3) Dude, when did neville become hot? Very appropo for his job in the last movie, methinks.

  6. chhandita

    Am honored to be on your list. Didn’t comment earlier as I was at a bad place and needed time off. I started blogging just to journal my thoughts. It was not an IF blog to start with. But with time it became a platform for me to reach out to people.

  7. I’ve been meaning to come and comment on this post for two bloody weeks! Thanks so much for the shout out–I am honoured 🙂

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