Today is the second anniversary of the birth of Ms. Kitty's Saloon and Road Show. When I started writing the blog, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd only gotten a screen name so that I could comment on the several blogs I had discovered through some now long-forgotten process. I think I must have read something in the UU World that alerted me to the fact that some interesting things were going on in cyberland and that it might be fun to watch.
Well, if you're an extrovert like me, it's hard to just watch. Extroverts almost always feel as though they have something to contribute, even if it's just affirming somebody else's idea. We know what that feels like and so we often chime in with the "me too" comment, just to keep the other person company. There's something about that "Comments: 0" that feels a little sad.
My style here has evolved from those early days. I've learned a few things, made a lot of friends, admired dozens of beautifully written posts and gotten new ideas from a bunch of people. It's been a great two years. Reading blogs has become a valued part of my day and I often get ideas for my own work from what others share. Writing posts has become a discipline I enjoy.
I tried to write a long list of "what I have learned about blogging in the past two years", but so far I only have a few items:
1. It is unwise to suck up to sycophants or to damn the dissenters. Hey, everybody has a right to his/her own opinion and it's wise to let them be and not try to change their minds. I've learned more by listening than by arguing.
2. Civil is as civil does. Being nasty to dissenters just makes the dissenter look better than the dissentee (does that make sense?). If you want civil dialogue, be civil to those who challenge your ideas.
3. These are real friends, not imaginary. I have met many of my blogging friends in person, not just online. It is important to be good to them. These friends have expanded my own world by what they post on their blogs.
4. I have a responsibility to be careful about what I post. I have had a couple of occasions when someone was hurt by something I'd written and I have had to backtrack and make amends.
5. In some ways, my readers are a cyber-congregation and I am a cyber-preacher and pastor. I am honored by this relationship and want to nurture it, not harm it.
I'm sure I've learned more, but it would be interesting to me to know what others are learning from their blogging. I wouldn't mind adding to my list.