What parties, you ask? Well, 5MinutesforMom, a website I just happened upon late last week, has hosted the 2010 Ultimate Blog Party this week - a place where interested bloggers (mostly moms) could share and connect with each other - and I decided to participate.
So I wrote my official "party post," added its link to the party website, and started to make my way to the other parties. Now, I have to be completely honest and admit that I "only" considered attending about 1,900 parties - the blogs listed under the Family Friendly heading. I knew I'd never have time for the 178 Not So Family Friendly Blogs, the 239 "Mompreneur" sites, the 19 Dad Blogs, the 652 Facebook profiles, or the 1,067 Twitter profiles...so I didn't even read the invitations. Gosh, how rude is that, lol?!
And I didn't even really know how to tackle the plethora of parties I allowed myself to think about joining. After all, life in all its glory (no, that's not a facetious comment!) went on at full tilt around here, and that certainly keeps me busy enough.
At first - being the concrete-sequential "Rou-Tina" that I am - I thought I'd just go in numerical order, pop in for a minute at each one, sometimes comment, and then move on. Well, that worked well through #105. That was last weekend - when I had a bit more free time than I do during the week - but I soon realized there was no way I could keep up the pace. So then I followed the advice of one fellow party-goer and decided to look at only those blogs whose last number ended in the same digit as my official party number. And, while sometimes stopping in between when a title caught my eye, I was pretty faithful to that method through #625 even as I also tried to resign myself to the fact that I'd surely never get much past 1,000 before the party ended.
But that didn't sit well with me. After all, a job worth starting is one worth finishing...and, besides, I didn't like the thought of the last poster feeling bad if no one had a chance to visit her site. So tonight I changed my method again, opting to scroll down the list trolling for sites that might be of particular interest and stop in only at the parties that seemed most relevant. Thus, I looked for overt references to Christianity and homeschooling, reluctantly walking by all the other surely-pretty houses I could have visited. But I did make sure to pop in at #1,908 even though it was "off-topic" for my purposes then; I wanted to be sure that last gal had at least one guest. :^)
I must say that - as overwhelming as it was to try showing up at as many parties as possible - I'm very glad I joined in. I saw beautifully-designed blogs which - though I'm trying to avoid "blog envy" - have given me ideas about re-designing mine. I also got great ideas about how I could improve the content of my blog. And I was touched by the transparency of many posts and delighted to see the great number of Christians and homeschoolers there.
The party ended tonight (presumably at midnight). But, in fact, I've got a good deal of "clean up" to accomplish before I can say I'm through. Happily, I've (so far) gained a couple dozen followers to my blog and received 92 comments to my party post; it'll take some time, but I plan to respond to each note. And I bookmarked 87 blogs I'd like to spend some more time with. So I'll eventually go back to each one, look around, and probably follow or subscribe to a bunch.
This "bloggy world," as one of my fellow party-goers described our mutual endeavor, is really quite extraordinary - and even my awesome party experience this past week is but one small slice of the whole blogosphere pie. It's definitely a place in which I want to be more engaged - both as a writer and a reader/follower. But that - as with everything else - must be a work in progress.