By Jael Strong
When I was a teenager, I spent every Saturday with my Nonna.Â HerÂ Italian feasts were a family delight, and I had a frontÂ row seat to the creative process.Â Unfortunately, I was a stupid kid and didn’t pay enough attention.Â Â I recognizeÂ now that I shouldÂ have been her avid student, but alas my opportunity to learn the great recipesÂ has passed.Â
It wasn’t a total loss though.Â I did spend time with her bonding and learning about life, if not aboutÂ cooking.Â I have fond memories mixed with regrets.Â This was real one-on-one time, a necessity to productive community.
The online community is missing…
Community! I know we have forums, comments, social networking, etc. Since the Internet is a relatively new venue, mankind has done its best to fabricate a real society designed to fill the human need in the cyber world. These are synthetic atmospheres at best.
Am I making this up? No. There is more to community than verbal communication. Emoticons can’t even begin to convey the gamut of human emotion. There is no place in the cyber world for human touch. Then there is the exchange of chemicals, imperceptible hormones exchanged between humans leading to feelings of empathy, contentment, and compassion.
We have to compensate
It is presently impossible to synthetically compose the type of environment I shared with my grandmother on Saturdays. However, in order to build a truly productive online community with other bloggers we have to compensate for the inadequacies of a fabricated world.
How can this be accomplished? Science will have to work on the intricacies. We have to focus on the social aspects that we can control. A primary component of a literal community is mentoring. It isn’t always labeled as such, but the time I spent with my grandmother could be called mentoring. For our purposes, we’ll call our mentoring process “Bloggin’ Buddies.”
How can you find a blggin’ buddy?
The first step is to identify where you fall in the program. Do you have years of experience as a blogger? Are you prolific in your writing? Are you an acknowledged success story? If so, then you would be a perfect mentor!
On the other hand, you may be a fledgling writer. Perhaps your experience is limited. Maybe you have been blogging for a while now, but with limited success. It could even be that you just don’t feel comfortable in the mentoring role, but could use some helpful advice from time to time. You could use a mentor.
Those who fall under the perfect mentor category should seek to help beginning bloggers. I know you’re busy! Consider it a community service. By making yourself available to other bloggers, you are helping to build that community. I know a lot of bloggers that do this, and fledgling bloggers are truly grateful for the help experienced bloggers are willing to offer.
On the other hand, if you are one of those inexperienced bloggers, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Dig for advice. Request opportunities to guest post. Observe the habits of successful bloggers. Don’t pass up the opportunity to learn from a great the way that I did!
Talk to us! What success have you had in building the blogging community through mentoring?
Jael StrongÂ writes for TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clientsâ authority status and net visibility.Â She has written both fiction and non-fiction pieces for print and online publications.Â She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas .
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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