I think blogging is the new TV, and reality TV and TiVo are the steps that got us here. Reality TV showed us that everyday people can be interesting too. TiVo has us accustomed to watching what we want when we want.
Blogs are like television in that they are episodic, installments into the life of another. Checking in on a blog to find no new post reminds me of having a national address from Ronald Regan replace the Cosby show on a Thursday night. When our good friends Randi and Todd were in a tough situation and about to give birth to their twin boys last year, I can remember checking their site to find no new post and cursing Todd's name, "Great day in the morning, why won't he post?" I needed an episode to know what was going on with them and that things were still alright.
There is a lot of junk on the television. You could turn it on every night and watch four hours of tv and completely waste every minute of those four hours. You can also waste a lot of time on the internet. I know. I have had to focus my internet time and make choices that inform, entertain, or uplift me. I have narrowed my time down and have my set of sites that I run through daily. Throughout the year, I watch an average of one hour of television a week. I probably spend a good hour on the internet each day. Not everything I look at is a blog, but I spend a lot of my pumping time checking in on a pretty nice list of people whose blogs I enjoy.
I choose quality: The Pioneer Woman is It when it comes to an individual putting out her own little blog. The site is gorgeous. She writes about photography and cooking and life on the family ranch. She posts frequently. She also is a good writer with a knack for making you feel like she is talking right to you. Plus she is fun; she has lots of contests, like "name that photo." She is also now doing a bachelor type contest with one of the single men on her ranch. She almost always delivers something worth reading. If you like reading about how people meet and marry, she has a series called Black Heels to Tractor Wheels that will keep you engrossed. Sit down with a cup of coffee, a glass of tea, or your breast pump and prepare to spend some time.
I choose based on the attitude of the writer: Amazing Trips is also a great site in that this mother of four is so candid about the trials of having three-year-old triplets and a nine month old. She doesn't coat anything in sugar. She also shares lots of tips to try and things that don't work. I love this vignette, "Colorblind and Beautiful," about kindness. She is teaching her children about diversity and kindness in such a simple, quiet way. This is a sweet story.
I choose based on interest: I love food. I love to eat food, shop for food, read about food, prepare food. The writer of Smitten Kitchen tries different recipes, many she has adapted. She uses pretty photographs that make you want to try each dish. I am jonesing to try this chocolate cake and this fresh summer salad. I tried a version of this chicken dish and it turned out great. When I read this site I want more kitchen time.
I choose based on relationships: A lot of the blogs I check are people we know. Like my pretty niece Avery Mae. Isn't she gorgeous? I love to see what new skills she is acquiring and what new scenes she is taking in. It is hard not to see her often and checking in on their blog makes her seem a little closer. Here is a photo of her sitting among the purple flowers that are covering Southern California right now.
The qualities I like in people are the qualities I also appreciate in a blog: humor, honesty, being forthright, having kindness and compassion for others, being engaging. I will stick with a blog when I find these qualities in its writer.
While I am under no delusions that our little blog is as interesting as the The Cosby Show or Project Runway or whatever televised reality you enjoy, we do appreciate you stopping by to check in on us. And, we hope you get a little nourishment or entertainment to take with you into your day.