In the real world being followed is creepy. In the blogosphere and in twitter land, it is apparently an occurrence to be welcomed. I thought a blogroll served the purpose wonderfully - I have a list of blogs I read regularly in my sidebar. The list was by no means exhaustive, but it was where I would start out when I wanted to read blogs.
A few months away from blogging and the landscape changed on me. Now it's not enough to blogroll, you must follow.
I must admit that following is easy. You just click on the 'Follow' button and the blog automatically shows up on a list on your blog. And if the blog being followed chooses to do so, your profile pic shows up in their sidebar, making it easy for them to keep track and read their followers' blogs if they are so inclined.
For weeks I resisted following. I had my list and tweaked it every now and then, adding blogs I'd left out while I changed my template and I saw no reason to change.
Then this past weekend, I went on a bloghopping binge. I threw my sights far and wide and came upon blog after blog that I wanted to read and ... er .... follow. So I clicked away with abandon, feeling like a kid in a candy store. It was so much easier to do it right there, rather than keep track of where I'd been, come back to my blog, and then go through all the steps to add to my blogroll.
So now I have my blogroll, which I fully intend to keep (as of today, anyway) and I have a list of blogs I follow.
If you'd like to follow this blog (and I hope you do!), click away! The box is up on the side bar. Very convenient, eh?*
The weekend bloghopping journey was an eye-opener in more ways than one. A long time ago, my father shared with me a letter that his oldest brother had written to him from Egypt back in the 50s. In that letter, my uncle narrated his experiences and ended with the thought that human nature was the same everywhere, that people are essentially the same no matter where they live.
The stories I read this past weekend bore testimonial to that statement. We, who live in the far corners of the world and are separated not just by distance, but by age, race, culture, upbringing, gender and experiences, are more alike than we can fathom. Of all the posts I read about the anxieties and the joy and pain about being a mother, about aunts and uncles and family dynamics, about being a grandparent, about love and loss, about local communities and about the amazing perspectives we human beings bring to life and its hardships, the two that astounded me were the ones written by two women, one in California, the other in Mumbai. Go read for yourself and be amazed!
* Thank you to all those already in the box!