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Friday, October 14, 2016

Community

( Considering how conservatively a lot of DD folk see themselves, this might not have been the best picture to illustrate our 'community'......but a bunch of folks looking like they were at a wedding wouldn't get the point across as well either. )

I've been thinking about how things have changed in my lifetime. There was a time when you didn't even have to be friends with someone to engage in reciprocity. It was an understood social expectation among polite and civilized people. If someone invited you to their home, you left thinking of when you'd be able to return the invitation. But today that's gone like a ripple in a stream.

Recently I have had a few disappointing instances where people just couldn't be bothered with things that literally would have taken a minute or two at most.

While this is very much a prevalent way of thinking in 2016, one would hope that in a community of alternate lifestyle people, who always seem to clamor for 'acceptance' from a world that doesn't always understand them, that there would be more of an effort to nurture connections and support. Ah.....but who has the time? Right?

When my kids were very young they used to compete with each other for attention. I used to tease them when it got too much by turning to them with an exaggerated expression and repeating, "lookatme-lookatme-lookatme" over and over until they laughed. Thankfully they outgrew that behavior. But how disappointing it is to find that as time passed our entire society regressed into that childlike mindset.

Now everyone wants attention. I am no exception. But I always felt that the key to a mature and lasting guarantee of attention was reciprocity. ( Just like in polite conversation: you listen to me and then I listen to you. ) It's how friendships are formed.
But today who needs friendship that requires effort when you can just have a "friend" with a click and interact with a "like"? Easy, right? Well it may be easy......but like anything easy, what is its value? Where is the depth? What's the point of a shallow 'like' when there could be a discussion and exchange of ideas?

Now I'm not perfect with this either.....but I am sincere. If a person comments here and they have a blog I am aware of, I do try, at least periodically, to leave a comment there. So, if you come here and read my blog and like it...........and you have a blog of your own......drop me an invitation! I'll visit. If we agree, perhaps we might even link each other? I increase your traffic and you increase mine, and together we build a..................community!


6 comments:

  1. I know it's frustrating, but it really does take a long time to build up a community for these kind of blogs. I started mine in 2013. Looking back at the number of comments, for the first six months it was often just one or two people. The turnover was also surprisingly high. I don't think any of the commenters from that first year are still around today, though some of that was my fault. The thing that really seemed to make a difference was committing to do the topics weekly, and making it happen every single week, or to at least notify people when I couldn't make it. It gives people some predictability and they know to stop by on Saturday morning. I plainly stole that idea from Bonnie and Hermione. And while the topical format is confining in a lot ways, I do think that people come back every week to see what the topic is.

    The look and feel were also something I put quite a bit of thought into and played with a lot, though I've never been able to get it to quite what I want, probably because my technical blogging skills are pretty weak. Even though I am all male, I wanted something that felt vaguely feminine and inviting to female commenters, and I made the deliberate decision to stay away from the whole whips and chains Femdom thing, even though I personally find some of those pics and themes attractive. I've also gone the opposite of you on talking about more controversial things like politics. In my daily life, I am a complete political junkie, with views not far off from your own -- libertarian with a little "l" for the most part. But, I've really stayed away from politics on the blog, because no matter what I say I am going to piss off or drive away 50% of potential commenters. So, there has been more than little compromising between what I might want to say and what I actually post.

    And, honestly, having more commenters is a really mixed bag. I make no bones about the fact I want my blog to be a resource for people interested in these lifestyles, yet I feel like half my blogging time this year has been spent dealing with people who want to take things in an anti-DD direction. And, while I may get 20 or 30 commenters a week, there are maybe 10 who I really give a damn about hearing from. I very much like your idea of community, but I think real community comes from smaller groups, and I wouldn't mind at all if I could find a way to have something like 10 or 12 people actively talking to each other, and with a less confining format than the topical blog. I thought maybe the discussion groups you steered me to might fill that role, but they kind of imploded from lack of critical mass. I've thought about starting one myself, but I don't like the potential anonymity loss that might come along with having to pay for the software or hosting. Though, I don't know why I really care so much about that. If anyone ever got their hands on my credit card statements, they would see many spanking-oriented purchases a year.

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    1. Hi Dan. Actually though my post might sound like a rehash of this old frustration, it was actually something different that prompted it. In more than one instance I have recently connected with some like-minded people and established even a bit of a rapport. In one instance I made a 'mutual link' offer about a year ago and they agreed. I linked them and they never linked me even after several unanswered e-mails asking why. I recently eliminated their blog from my roster.

      In another instance a person from another site started to practically beg the members there for some interaction. I obliged. Guess what? They disappeared.

      In another instance I sort of found a blog i liked and began to communicate with its owner. It seems like we hit it off.......until I found it was all one-sided. It was fine for me to link their site, comment on it, etc. but obviously it was presumptuous to expect something similar in turn.

      (There are more, but you see the pattern. LOOKATME-LOOKATME-LOOKATME..........but don't expect a look back.)

      This was what I was referring to in the post.....but your points all all well taken and I am actually OK with the commenting level right now since it has improved some.

      And you are right about being a bit controversial. But I see no point in even doing this if I'm not going to be who I am.....even if it costs me participants.

      (Nice to hear you are a fellow "small l". Too bad we can't get into the debates. Anyway, vote anyway. If he can nail 5% nationally Libertarians qualify for government funding!)

      And thanks as always for your warm support and advice! YOU are definitely part of the community.

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    2. Got it. Yes, it can be pretty one-sided sometimes. Of course, some of my "real world" relationships suffer as much from that as do my electronic ones.

      I get your point on controversy and not being who you are. I see it slightly differently -- I am not presenting someone I am not, but just not presenting everything that I am. I did have another blog before this one, and it was a lot more like a journal. More personal and more confessional. That openness started bugging me, especially when I started finding links to the blog on some commercial websites that I wanted nothing to do with. Started kind of weirding me out to think that I might be exposing quite a lot of myself to a bunch of strangers, some of whom I probably would not even like in real life, let alone let into every aspect of my life.

      I don't think my libertarian leanings are going to allow for a Gary Johnson vote. I just don't think he is that impressive a guy, like the repeated flubs in interviews on even really basic stuff about world events and leaders. Even a smaller government President is going to still have a huge role on the world stage, and I just don't see him as the guy to pull that off.

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    3. I think I'm going to send you an e-mail response. Figure in a day or so.

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  2. Hi KD:
    Many bloggers, myself included, spend an inordinate amount of time on their blog, and then I simply surf tumblrs and sites. So many interesting tumblrs to scan! I only look at two or three blogs regularly, simply because I have chatted with those people, and formed a bit of a relationship, so adding more takes TIME, which as I get older,is a very important thing to use wisely.
    Enjoy doing your blog, and I willdrop by occasionally
    bottoms up
    Red

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    1. Hey, Red. The thing is when I contacted you, you agreed to do a mutual link.......and then we both acted on that agreement: I have you linked here, and I know you have me linked on your blog. And I know you drop by and comment just as you know I do the same with you.......and THAT'S what I meant as the way things SHOULD go. A civilized exchange between two people with a similar ....if not exact.....interest.

      You'd be surprised how many people don't see things that way.

      (Tumblrs are a blessing and a curse. They are a quick fix but usually just image after image. Rarely do you find Tumblr with anything to read that is beyond the superficial.)

      And thanks for stopping by! The last post of yours with the fried egg picture made me smirk.

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