Love Your (Blogging) Neighbour

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The ironic thing is that if you’re reading this post, this rant is almost certainly not directed at you.

I’m reminded of a school band rehearsal when our teacher spent the first fifteen minutes lecturing us about the poor attendance.  No-one had the nerve (or the stupidity, considering his mood) to point out that he would be better speaking to the people who weren’t there.  Anyway I hope this post won’t turn out like that, but please bear with me while I get this off my chest.

I’ve been blogging for almost seven months now, and I have loved being part of the blogging community and connecting with so many great people.  This isn’t something I expected when I felt drawn to start writing, but it has blessed me a lot.

However, there is one thing that has begun to increasingly annoy me: when people participate in link-ups which say that you should visit your neighbour’s post, and they don’t do it.

It has been a big surprise to me how common this is in the Christian blogging community.  In the last week, I added posts to four link-ups which gave that instruction, and in only one of them did my link-up neighbour actually click on my post.

I don’t say that looking for pity.  Other people read and commented on my posts.  I know there are far bigger problems in the world, and in the grand scheme of things it is insignificant.  I do think it’s something we could easily fix though, and there are reasons why I believe it is important that we do and that we bless our blogging neighbours by visiting their posts.

Firstly, it’s what Jesus would do… I’m pretty sure it is.   I admit I’m speculating.  Understandably the Bible doesn’t have a whole lot to say about blogging etiquette.  It does have a lot to say though about loving your neighbour, and the command to “do to others what you would have them do to you”.  (Matthew 7:12)

When we add our posts to a link-up, presumably we do this because we want other people to read our posts, therefore it makes sense that we should do the same for other people.  It also shows respect, both to our neighbour and to the link-up host.

We’re called to encourage one another.  It only takes a few minutes to read a post and write a short comment, but it can mean a lot to the author of the post.  Especially if they are a new blogger it can give them a boost and encourage them to know that their post has been read.  On the other hand it can be incredibly discouraging if they link up and no-one visits.

Being known as someone who links and runs is not a good reputation to develop.  There is one blogger who has linked up after me on several occasions at different link-ups over the last few months and has not once clicked on my post.  I have visited her blog and she seems like a lovely person with inspiring words that have blessed me, but unfortunately there is now a sense of disappointment when I see her post appear next to mine as I know not to expect a visit.  That is definitely not how I want other people to think of me.

Visiting other people’s blogs and connecting with new people is fun.  It really shouldn’t be viewed as a chore.  I have learned so much through reading about different people’s perspectives and I have made some great connections with people I would now consider friends.  I can only think of two blogging friends where the initial contact was through something other than a link-up.

To me it is not an obligation but a joy.  I will always visit the person who linked before me, even if the link-up doesn’t instruct you to do that, and if I have time, I will usually visit two or three others that catch my eye.

Of course there are times when you end up next to someone whose post you don’t relate to at all, but you can still leave a quick hello and a word of encouragement to let them know they’ve been heard.  Then there are those other beautiful times when God leads you to exactly the words you needed at that moment, or when you “meet” someone you feel you can really connect with and begin to develop a friendship.

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  (John 13:35)  Surely visiting one another’s posts is a simple, but effective, way we can demonstrate that love.

>      purposefulfaith.com        Holly Barrett

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35 thoughts on “Love Your (Blogging) Neighbour

  1. An interesting article however you need to careful you are not creating a sense of entitlement. No one should demand to have their blog read. Sometimes you write something that connects other times nothing. I don’t tend to join in link sharing I prefer people to read my post because they find them interesting not because they feel they have too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Eric. I definitely don’t want to create a sense of entitlement. I just think it’s important that we encourage one another as bloggers. As you say, not everyone chooses to take part in link-ups, but if we decide to do that I think it’s good to encourage others by reading their posts. Without reading a post, people have no way of knowing whether they’re going to connect or find it interesting.
      Thank you for taking the time to read.

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  2. This is an area that I definitely need to be more intentional! Sometimes, I breeze in and am in such a hurry, as I don’t have a lot of spare time to be on the computer, that I just breeze on out and don’t visit anyone else. Another thing I really think is important is for us to leave an encouraging comment for the blogger who is hosting the link-up. After all, they don’t have to do this for us, and they are providing a wonderful platform for us to use. They need to feel appreciated, too. 🙂 I appreciate your gentle reminder and admonition, and I want to do better! And, by the way, you just don’t know how much I appreciated YOUR comment tonight at my blog! It blessed me SO much! I am very thankful to meet you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I know time is limited and there’s not always time to visit others as much as we might like to. I agree that leaving an encouraging comment for the host of the link-up is important too. That is something I could be better at- I do it sometimes but it’s good to be intentional about encouraging.
      I enjoyed reading your blog too.

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  3. Hi Carly. ,I am also guilty.😕 In The last 2 months I have not done well as regards this. I left a little note on my blog that I would visit later on.

    On my blog, I have backlogs in am taking time to clear up and visit those who have stopped by, written me personally to see if all is well. I do understand.

    I would try and be more intentional too.
    With much love,
    Blessings to you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is so frustrating. I saw this last week, surprisingly at FMF. People there are usually good about it. It does happen to me, but I usually figure the person can’t handle what I wrote. 😀

    Sadly I think far too many are just trying to sell their blog. The community is nothing to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s happened to me a couple of times at FMF too, which always surprises me more than with other link-ups because people there are usually really good at visiting one another.
      I’m glad we were link-up neighbours and that we visited each other. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and getting to know you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear….this is something I have also noticed and well, unfortunately I have done the same thing a few times. Actually, sometimes I plan to go ahead and link up and then, because I didn’t have time at the moment to visit other posts, I had planned to go back later to visit and comment…..and you probably know the rest of the story, I never make it back. I have meet the nicest people and I have found such encouragement in the blogging community! I totally did not expect that when I started and I want to be an encouragement to others!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Renee, I sometimes don’t have time to visit other posts at the time either but I do try to make a point of going back later. I totally understand that life can get in the way of our good intentions at times. It doesn’t bother me so much if it’s an occasional thing, but it does when people link up and never read other people’s posts.
      I also think it’s sad that people miss out on being a full part of the blogging community when, as you say, it’s such a lovely group of people.
      Thanks for encouraging me with your visit today!

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  6. Carly, I think in general the blogging communities can be helpful but I know we all have days where we’re linking on our phone as we’re running kids to appointments or taking care of other matters and then…well, the day goes and we don’t get back to visit our neighbor. It’s a good reminder to keep it a community as much as we are able. And, happy to be visiting you (though I’m not your neighbor today. 🙂 ) from #raralinkup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I understand there are times when we’re busy and plan to go back and visit later and that it’s easy for the day to disappear without getting the chance. I think it’s important to try though. My issue is really with people who just link up and never have any intention of visiting other people’s posts (and you are obviously not one of those people.)
      Thanks for visiting today!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Carly! I agree with you 1000%. I can never figure out why it’s so hard to visit the person next to you? I don’t think it’s about entitlement at all. I think it’s more about following the instructions given.

    I like to meet new bloggers too, the blogging community is filled with wonderful writers and faith-filled people. But I have to say that I rarely take part in link-ups anymore, just for the reasons you talked about. I’ll hope to meet them outside of link-ups!
    Blessings my friend,
    Ceil

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Ceil. I’m glad you understand what I mean. I think people miss out on a lot when they don’t connect with other bloggers.
      I’m glad to have connected with you and so many other wonderful people through visiting one another’s blogs. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am guilty of this sometimes, Carly. 😦 I try, but there are some days that I feel too fatigued or overwhelmed. And sometimes I don’t always read the one next to me but a different one. I have considered stopping link-ups or cutting back, because I feel guilty that I can’t keep up in encouraging the person next to me. You’ve given me something to prayerfully consider. Blessings and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trudy, I promise this wasn’t directed at you or meant to make you feel guilty. You encourage me so much with your visits and I’ve often been on other people’s blogs and noticed your comments there too.
      You’re definitely someone who makes an effort to encourage others and I understand that there are times when people aren’t able to visit other blogs as much as they would like to. My complaint is really against people who don’t bother at all and that is definitely not you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we all are guilty of this every now & then. There are mornings when I link up but do not have time to visit. Like this morning. But this afternoon while my granddaughter is napping, I come back. I try not to let it bother me & take the attitude that my posts will be read by those God draws to it. And then I leave it at that. I have been very grateful for the wonderful people I have met. We were neighbors this morning at #RaRaLinkup 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joanne. I also have times when I link up and don’t have time to visit others’ posts at that point. That doesn’t bother me at all. I do try to make a point of coming back later though, and I appreciate that you did the same. 🙂
      I agree that we can trust that God will draw the right people to our posts, and I completely understand there are occasions when, for good reasons, people don’t get the chance to come back and visit. I just think it’s important that we encourage one another as much as we can.

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  10. Carly, I really appreciate your comments and I’ve been guilty, too. Sometimes it’s because I don’t reread the host’s instructions every time I link up. I know and want to visit others, but may not visit the one just before me. Other times, I leave the tab open in my browser and have every intention of getting back before the day is out … but run out of energy and time before I do. Thanks for a well-thought out post. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Donna. I appreciate your comment. I wasn’t trying to make people feel guilty- just to encourage people that we can all play our part in making this a community where we all feel valued and encouraged.
      Blessings to you!

      Like

  11. I agree that it is polite to follow the requests of the sponser of the link-up. They create the space and invite us to enter with the hope that we build each other. It is a good reminder when we hurry through our writing as if it were a chore. If I have time to write, then I plan a few minutes to respond to others. Thanks, Carly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Gabriele. I agree that it’s a good idea to factor in a few minutes to read someone else’s post as part of linking up (whether we do it at the time or later.) I’m glad we’ve been able to connect and encourage one another.

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  12. I can understand your frustration, being a rule following sort of girl, I totally can. 🙂 And I have learned that this blogging thing can steal the joy right out of the day ( and hours from my nights) if I let it. I don’t want that to happen, and while I diligently try to visit those who are right next to me in link ups, I don’t always get to extras that would be just as encouraging to read.. and I want to do that to. So, I am learning to link up with only a few weekly link-up parties so that I can be more neighborly. 🙂

    Good reminder to always consider others.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Carly! Nice to “meet” you! I am your neighbor at #TellHisStory : P And glad to be here : ) These points encourage me to continue always visiting neighbors posts- and then some! I also never expected to find so much fellowship online. Love, love, love the JOY you talk about of being on giving and receiving end of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting and for your comment. There is a lot of joy in connecting with so many great people. I’ll try to come and visit your blog tomorrow.

      Like

  14. Thank you for the reminder that our blogging community neighbors are often in need of love and encouragement.

    When I join a link I try to always visit a the blogs of a few other linkers. However, I don’t always select one of the links adjacent to mine. Sometimes, I browse to find one that I think will be more meaningful to me, or that I feel I may be better able to contribute a meaningful comment.

    Also, some of the sites I visit are so obviously intended as a Womens Ministry, and so geared toward women’s issues, that I feel a little uncomfortable commenting…sort of like accidentally sticking my head in a Sunday School room to realize it is a women’s only class in a deep discussion I’m not invited to particpate in. So, I quietly back out without saying anything…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am guilty, and I have experienced this too. There have been occasions in which I have tried to post a comment on a neighbor’s site and had a problem (possibly from using my iPad instead of a computer). After a few attempts, I have to move on. I think I will get back to it later, but it doesn’t happen. Or, I thought I would comment later but forgot.

    Excuses and reasons for not hitting the mark never satisfy a hurting heart. (“Hurting” might not be the right word. Disappointed is how I feel when I don’t receive comments back.) I wish there was a way for me to go back and return back to the places I forgot to comment and make a comment.

    It’s hard to imagine Jesus having a blog and linking up. But I do believe your point of “doing to others as you would have them do to you” is very much on the mark. Commenting is what I want and what I should do for others.

    When I don’t get comments as I should, I feel disappointed. But then I remember when I have failed. I remember that person is a real person with issues all her own, and I move on with more determination to be a better commenter.

    Thank you for the challenge. I need to hear this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I have also had times when I have tried to leave a comment and it hasn’t worked. I think if you’ve tried a couple of times sometimes there’s nothing else you can do.
      We all fail at times and we definitely need to show grace to other people, and to ourselves, at those times and, as you say, let it encourage us to be a good commenter for others.

      Liked by 1 person

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