Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Hobby

Yes, I am a blogger. I consider myself to be a very lite blogger, with emphasis on the lite (spelled the way it is, to signify a lack of depth rather than a lack of color). I basically spew out various things onto this format, much as a normal person would write in a diary and then hide it away from the rest of the world. My brand of journaling for anyone who wants to see ( though admittedly few) is a sort of lazy person's way of channeling mild creativity into a media which requires very little effort, no cost, and as little or as much time as the blogger wants to put into it. There are blogs out there on every subject known to man...people passionate enough about food, photography, dieting, exercise, writing, and any other topic you could think of to write consistently on those subjects on a very regular basis. This brings me to my growing affection for and interest in such blogs. Therefore, I'm not just a blogger, but a devoted bloggee.

I'm not the only one you know. Just check out The Pioneer Woman's blog. Her blog, which has won numerous national awards and has caused her to become somewhat of a cooking, photography and homeschooling ( amongst other things) celebrity, is kind of a blog of all blogs. Many of the other blogs that I follow were found through The Pioneer Woman's blog. Recently, just as an example, Ree (The Pioneer Woman's real name) had a contest on her cooking page wherein she gave away 4 expenses paid trips to her guest lodge on her ranch for a cooking weekend. She was going to do it, like, a month later, so she indicated that she thought, due to the short notice of the contest that she wouldn't get a huge number of entrants, which would give those who actually could conceivably do it a better chance of winning than some of her other contests which are extremely popular. My fingers tingling at the thought of meeting Ree, hanging out on her ranch in Oklahoma, cooking with her and becoming best friends (it's absolutely bound to happen if we ever actually meet), I entered. Quit my job if necessary I would, but if I won that contest, I was going. There were 64,000 entrants, or something like that. This was in the space of about 4 hours after she posted the announcement. That's how many people visit her blog on a regular basis and think highly enough of her to want to spend a weekend in her guest bedroom, so to speak.

I like to visit The Pioneer Woman's blog, amongst others, and read her recipes, look at the pictures of her daily life on the ranch, hear about her homeschooling exploits and get the latest on her cookbook, her true life romance novel, due out the beginning of next year, her recent Throwdown with Bobby Flay and all kinds of other related things. It's amazing to think that one woman, a woman with a strong voice and personality who was sitting there on a ranch out in the middle of nowhere with dial up Internet service (at the time, if my thinking is correct) managed to plug into the very new idea of blogging and turn it into a huge big deal. Her fans connect, not only with her but with each other. It's a network of people with similar interests.

It's not always sweetness and light either. Maybe I'm a freak for admitting this, but I read a large number of her posts from beginning to end, including the comments. The comments often number in the hundreds, sometimes the thousands. But it can be a lot of fun. For instance, there's one lady named Suzanne, who has her own blog, who shamelessly promotes her own blog by attempting to be the first to comment on just about every single one of Ree's posts, along with a link to her own blog. Ree doesn't seem to mind people doing this; in fact, as I've said, one can find a plethora of like-minded people out there simply by starting with one good blog and clicking on links in the comments section to travel to other peoples' blogs. Suzanne doesn't really play fair though. I mean, every single post, there she is, with her link and some inane, often generic sounding comment. Not only that but she's found a way of cheating to get herself up at the top even when she wasn't the first person to comment. She simply "replies" to the first person who did comment, sticking her link in there and then up it pops just under that person's comment instead of at the bottom of all the other replies. She's not the only one who does this either, but she is pretty blatant and very persistent and one has to wonder if she spends any time at all working on her own blog, what with all the blog hitching she does over at Ree's site. The hilarious thing though, the thing that has me checking furiously for her ubiquitous comment under every post of Ree's is that someone else, a woman who goes by the name of Gin, no blog link, has appointed herself the police-woman of The Pioneer Woman site. Suzanne and her irritating comments are pretty much ignored completely by Ree, but Gin feels strongly enough about the integrity of Ree's posts to reply to many of Suzanne's more annoying comments and replies with scathing rebuttals. I often wonder if Ree is even aware of the underbelly of her blog, the quiet scandals taking place in the forgotten annals of the comments section. Lord knows, she can't possibly go back and read all, or even most of the comments left on her blog. She posts 4 or 5 new things in the various sections of her blog every day and typically gets at least a hundred replies to each, sometimes many many more. It's a world she created and yet, it has taken on a life of its own. Kind of like the Trekkies or the Harry Potter fans; they overwhelm even the ability of the initial draw to continuously entertain and so they end up having to propagate the fun themselves, in ways the original creators of the phenomenon could never have envisioned. And by my own fascination with that underbelly...POP! I've become a member of the club. What would The Pioneer Woman's rabid fan base be called, I wonder? The Pineys? the Piners. The PinWo's. I'm gonna have to work on that. In a little while though. First, I need to check back at the site. She may have posted something new in the time it took me to write this...

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