I have followed blogs about diabetes for years. In the early days it was a matter of going to Kerri’s or Scott’s blog and following the links to other blogs listed in their Favorites list. Or maybe those weren’t just their favorite blogs; they might have been the only other diabetes blogs out there.
Finding a new blog wasn’t just a 5-minute diversion of reading a single post. It was an adventure where I would read the entire blog from start to finish. Or sometimes I went backwards from finish to start. In the early days I think I enjoyed the stories more than I actually felt a kinship with the authors. They all seemed to be much younger than I was. Many seemed to be struggling more than I was. My diabetes was not perfect by any means, but no one was pressuring me to change anything. I didn’t know that I was alone with my Type 1 diabetes because it had never dawned on me that I would ever meet someone else in my situation. I didn’t know enough to realize how much diabetes support and fellowship would eventually enrich my life.
Fast forward to the present. I “know” a lot of people with diabetes through social media platforms such as online forums, Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere. I really “know” some of these people because I have also met them in person. I used to wonder what I would have done the last 37 years with all of the time I spent dealing with my diabetes – lows, injections, testing, doctor’s appointments. Now I really wonder what I would have done with that time added to the huge amount of time I spend online as a member of the DOC.
After several months of wavering and building up my courage, I started my own blog in late May. In general it has been a rewarding experience and I am proud of what I have accomplished. At the same time I have no idea how long I will keep doing this. George at Ninjabetic just celebrated his eighth Blogaversary. Will I still be blogging in 8 years? I think it’s a safe bet that I will not. I expect to be here next week and next month. And hopefully next year. Will I eventually reach the point where I have said it all and my motivation has flown the coop? I assume so.
November was National Diabetes Month and many bloggers upped their game all month with daily posts, photos, and advocacy projects. My Feedly Reader had at least 50% more posts to read daily than in previous months. I have a lot of diabetes blogs in my Feedly feed. In fact, I follow 63 blogs. If you’re in my Blogroll, I follow you. If you’re not in my Blogroll and want to be, please contact me and I’ll add you. And I will read your posts.
On one hand, November was exhilarating. On the other hand, the views of my blogposts went downhill. I think everyone was too busy writing posts to read other posts! Scott Johnson continually reminds me that stats don’t matter and that I should be writing for other reasons than validation by others. I don’t lose sleep over blog statistics, but I still enjoy seeing certain posts get a lot of reads. Believe me I am still humble. How can I not be when the most viewed and powerful post on my blog was written by Sue from PA, one of my blog contributors, and two of my dog’s posts are holding down 6th and 7th place in all-time views?
Using a reader app helps me keep up with a lot of blogs because it only lists new posts. There are some disadvantages also. By always following the links of individual posts, I miss the overall experience of visiting and exploring an entire blog. It’s also a little more difficult to write comments because Feedly has a bad habit of losing comments that I make. Therefore I tend to reopen the blog in Safari to write a comment. That can get very time-consuming. The only time I have problems keeping up with so many blogs is when someone writes a post with a lot of links to other posts. Fridays can be a bit daunting because of Friday Finds compiled by Allison at With Faith And Grace. This is her non-diabetes-centric blog and the links she provides on Fridays are fascinating, motivating, funny, and a tool that along with my iPhone 5 helps me remain “relevant” and “hip”.
Every so often I think I should reduce the number of blogs I read just as some people have started to cull their Facebook friends list. Someday I should seriously consider that. But I’m not going to do it today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day. Keep on writing, my friends, and I’ll keep on reading!