Blogging, Writing and Community: A Round Up

One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them. ~ Virginia Wolf

It’s half way through April, which means it’s time for me to switch themes and draw the conversation on community to a close.

Here’s a round up of some of the highlights.  Thanks, everyone, for your contributions to the conversation - and for making a reality of the notion of community.

Clusters of Brilliance

5 Good Reasons Not to Develop a Community Blog

I’m not trying to provoke a conversation about blog definitions here, really just wanting to make the point that there are times when a community blog isn’t what you’re looking for, or what you want. When there are good reasons not to.

10 Questions to Think About in Relation to Your Comment Policy

Are any of the things you’re currently doing making it harder for people to leave comments?
Start with the positives: look for ways to make it as easy as you can for people to leave comments (assuming you want them).  Get rid of the things that get in the way.

Why I Talk About the Weather on Twitter

The main reason I talk about the weather is that it’s an invitation. It’s the simplest way I know to signal that to join the conversation:

You don’t need to be an expert in writing style and grammar points

You don’t need to be au fait in social media trends…

You just need to be willing to talk about the weather.

Writing with Rapport on the Web: Spider Plant Babies & Sticky Writing

What if you’re hoping your readers will stick around?  Come back and read some more, learn a little, share a little maybe.  Perhaps you want to generate a sense of connection, to forge a relationship, or maybe to start the process of building a community.

What kind of language do you turn to then, to make your writing sticky?

Writing Lessons from the Confident Writing Community: Group Writing Project

The most powerful lesson I learned from your contributions was this.

We all have this unquenchable desire to touch the face of the universe and say, hey, is it like that for you too? ~ Janice Cartier

That to me is what writing and community is all about… though I didn’t fully understand it until I read those words.

I am particularly grateful to those of you who joined in for the first time.  I know it can be a bit daunting to get past the doubts of ‘but I’m not part of that community’ or ‘but I’m not a writer…’ but guess what?  By taking part you demonstrate that you are

How Group Writing Projects Help to Build Community

Running a project gives you many of the same benefits: comments, new readers, links back to your site.  It sends a signal to the blogging community that you’re interested in contributing, supporting, sharing and linking out.  It offers a challenge and a stretch, and will boost your confidence as an editor.

7 Ways You Helped Me Write A Book

The sense of common endeavour and shared learning on this blog and in the wider online community gave me the realisation that I was doing something that was part of a bigger picture. It gave me confidence, and reinforced my positive intention to make a difference.

Inclusive Language: I, We and You

“We” needs to be used with care.  Be sure that you are referring to an issue, an idea, an approach, a belief, an experience that is either universal or something that is shared between you and your readers.

Are You Tuning In To Positive Feedback?

Tune in to your reactions to the words someone else has used.  Do those words resonate with you?  Do you feel a sense of connection?  See how they relate to a value, idea or approach that is important to you?

Those positive responses can give you a clue, both of what’s important to you in your writing style and content, and ways in which you are already achieving that effect with your words.

Heroes, Ripple Effects and Community

Heroes - in myth, literature, and real life - take journeys, confront dragons (ie problems) and discover the treasure of their true selves.  Although they may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community; with themselves, with other people, and with the earth ~ The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By

New theme to be announced on Friday: watch this space!