To be a blogger means to write blog posts. But to be a successful blogger with a readership beyond friends and family, means getting out there and taking an active part in the wider world of social media.

It does not mean amassing Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or LinkedIn connections just for the sake of numbers.  It does not mean scheduling 20 Tweets to broadcast every morning at 9am and then ignoring Twitter for the rest of the day.

It means engagement —  joining  conversations and bringing original ideas to the table; understanding what matters to your peers and blog audience; expressing your opinion from time to time; and supporting and promoting other people’s work and interests.

In other words, it means being interested, not just interesting.

But spending all day responding to every alert, unread mail, text message, Tweet, and friend request, means you will never have time for blogging.


Image: Lori Whiston Used with permission.


Your 3,000 Twitter followers mean nothing if you’re not writing. It’s a little bit like showing up to a cocktail party and never having anything original to add to the conversation.

For my thoughts on resisting the pull of social media, I invite you to take a look at my editorial post over at Science Borealis:   You’ve got mail! And everything else. What’s a science blogger to do?

Also see Sarah Boon’s take on how our online over-connectedness is related to the loss of nature words that Margo Farnsworth talked about here last month, and what she did to find balance in her own life.

Here’s Sarah, On Loss, Language, and Nature

With the continuous stimuli of this internet connectedness, it’s even easier to suffer loss without realizing it. The loss of a rootedness in the here and now: a disconnection from place. The loss of awareness that last week was a new moon, and in two weeks it will be a new moon. The smell of damp earth after a downpour. The arrival of the first spring blooms and birds – and their departure in late fall and winter. The loss of words we didn’t even know existed to describe all of these phenomena, all of these flora and fauna, from which we’ve become disconnected.