I remember clicking over to Veronica’s blog shortly after she started commenting here to learn more about her life - her being a young mother and dealing with certain health issues that I also identified with, having had a few myself at times. I was impressed with her writing flair, as well as her strong mind that isn’t afraid to put thoughts out into the world and I’ve always found that rather inspiring. She is my friend and if I get troubled about issues blogging related, I often give her a call or email and her counsel is always helpful. Thanks, V x
What first brought the concept of ‘blogging’ to your attention? Do you remember the circumstances? Or even the first few blogs you read?
I discovered blogging shortly after discovering Myspace and the blogs on there. I was home alone most of the time with a small screamy baby who didn’t sleep and I was desperately lonely. Myspace got old pretty fast and I found myself googling “Australian mum breastfeeding blog”, which turned up Miscellaneous Mum. I read her entire archives, before clicking on every blog in her blogroll at the time and adding them to my “to read” list. It was a short step from there, to starting my own blog.
In the beginning, did you ever feel that what you were doing was ‘weird’ or on the fringes? Did you get any negative reactions?
It did feel a little weird in the beginning, I was still attending a mothers group at that time and I nervously confessed that I’d been writing online. Facebook wasn’t even big back then, so I had no idea what anyone thought, until one of the other mothers admitted to reading and enjoying my blog. That was lovely. Extended family however, they had no idea why I’d want to put things out there on the Internet and it was uncomfortable for a while, but I’m glad I never tried to hide what I was doing. Nowadays, it’s quite accepted!
What were the best things about the Australian blogging community at the time? What were the worst things (if any)?
The Australian blogosphere back then hadn’t really come into its own and it was a small space still. Everyone had heard of everyone else and we all ran in similar circles. I liked the sense of camaraderie that we had.
When you look back at those early days – from 2012′s perspective – is there anything you miss?
I miss the camaraderie a bit, but I have a fairly decent sized supportive audience nowadays too, so it’s not a big deal. It’s interesting to see how everything has changed.
In your opinion, is the blogging community better now… or just different?
I think the blogging community is just different. I like watching how things have changed, although sometimes I yearn for more storytellers in this space, rather than brand driven messages. It’s not better or worse though, just different. I do like that I can occasionally make money and secure sponsorship to events now though! That’s not something that was available back in the beginning.
The rising influence of bloggers also has brought about a concurrent examination of money and power. Is there too much emphasis on the latter? Or is it justified?
At any time when brands start throwing their budgets around in a blogging space, people are going to start to have conversations about money and power. Maybe for some bloggers there is too much emphasis on the making money side of things, when really, your storytelling and your readers are at the core of your blog and without them, you have nothing. Storytelling is powerful I think.
Where do you see blogging headed? Is it in a direction you like?
Blogging is headed in an interesting direction at the moment and I’m enjoying watching it happen here in Australia. There will definitely be more money to be made, but I fear the “swag hag” mentality that took over the US there for a bit and would like to see Australian mummy/personal bloggers avoid getting caught up in that aspect of things.
Will you ever stop blogging?
I doubt I’ll ever stop blogging, unless maybe I lose my hands in an accident. That might make typing hard.