The meaning of “Community”… according to Wikipedia… “A community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment, normally with shared interests. ” – in this case the shared interest for blogging. And “blog” is to… “provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries.”

What makes one wants to blog? What is the reason for one to start a weblog? Why some choose to be blogging anonymously while some choose to stand out and show their face everywhere on their blog? If a personal blog is to be a personal online diary, than why are we opening it up to allow others to read and even comment on it? And if one should allow readers to comment as they want to build a community of readers whom will give comments or suggestions or sometimes critiques to their entries, who gave the readers the right to judge the author? And who gave them the right to read and misread it using their own interpretation? Especially if you don’t even know the author IRL.

As I’ve blogged before, I started disliking online communication due to certain reasons. And now it just seems like there are more reasons for me to dislike it!

The beginning

When I started blogging more than 3 years back, I wanted to record my thoughts and events that happened in my life. I dont remember having any readers at all. And when I asked if my friends blog, they would ask me whether it could be eaten! (Some of them lah). Come to think of it, I was introduced to blogging by Uryll whom I know from an online community forum. I was planning to start a forum at that time, but he told me that its very difficult to run a forum and thus told me about a blog and what it can do. Still unsure of what it was, I installed my first blog on my ex-domain using MT. The kick that got me addicted to blogging is not so that I can write story online to share (cause I hate writing! and I still do now!), I got addicted cos I wanted to understand CSS and designing of a blog theme etc… yah, I know its kinda silly to learn about CSS through setting up a blog, but that’s what got me very excited about it. I did lots of research on it and slowly I learned and understand about CSS and some php. (I’m not a very clever person, but I’m happy that whatever IT skill I have now are all self-taught. And I’m pretty proud of that! Ok this has got nothing related to this entry.)

Hence I’ve started blogging ever since. I blogged so that my friends who know me IRL can find out whats happening in my life since we don’t get to meet one another that often after graduation. I blogged to share about my passion for photography and scrapbooking (to share my work with those who visit). I blogged so that if one day I should lose my memory, I have a blog where I can read and rediscover my past on my own. I blogged so that one day my children and grandchildren will be able to know how was life like at my time… (ok this is a little far fetch lah… but still its one of the reason lah…) So throughout the entire 3 years or so that I’ve been blogging, I’ve been thinking that my blog is pathetic cause no one seems to be reading it cause there wasn’t a single comment! But later realised that all my readers are silent readers. They read and when we meet IRL, they’ll ask me how’s things and all… than I asked how they came about knowing it, they told me they read from my blog… (that’s how I know that there are actually readers in my blog.) When I asked why they didn’t comment on it, they either didn’t know they could do that or they said that they prefer to communicate in person rather than posting online.

This is so so true! Communication IRL is so much better and less miscommunication cause you can see the expression, feel the feeling and emotion of the speaker and be able to give immediate reactions to any action! But sadly, due to the advancement of technology, people now are so used to letting their fingers do the talking that we sometimes forget how to communicate IRL! Hence we became quiet, reserved and some call it introvert. For me I call it shy! Haha! I seem very outgoing and can-talk-anything-under-the-sun-kind-of-girl-online, but IRL, especially if I just know the group of people, I became the shy-girl-who-talks-only-if-need-to. But I’m NOT!! Ask all my friends whom I know IRL, “Claudia? Shy? Oh please!! She’s the loudest woman I know!” Wahahahaha! Yap, I’m that loud that at times it gets me into quite a big trouble. Haiz…

**Ok wait! I think I’m totally off topic! I just typed out whatever that came to mind and now I think I’ve totally forgotten what I initially wanted to talk about! Wahhhhh!!!
… scrolling up to check what I wanted to blog…

Oh yes! Community! Haha! Ok… I wanted to say… errr…. wahhh! Forgotten! What?!?!?!…

I have been active member of couple of online communities before and am still am in a few of them. And I’m happy that some of these people became my friend IRL. We go out for outings and gatherings and all… but again, due to the busy schedules, we don’t meet up that often. Being involved in an community is fun for me as it gives me chance to meet new people, and in this digital life we’re living in, if you don’t get to go out and socialise IRL, online communities is the next best thing to help improve one’s social life. In a community, there will be human, and when there is human, there will surely be conflicts and emotions and feelings. And these elements usually aren’t observed as we communicate online, via blogs, msn, forums, shoutbox and what not. And when these elements aren’t observed, miscommunication tends to take place and fire and flames start burning.

Starting a community is no easy job. Have tried and failed. And once I’ve tried to help another community to startup, which during the process we encountered lots of problems and hardship too. Lots of meeting time spent brainstorming how to enhance the community and how we can do better etc etc… and being able to sustain an online community for one year, with growing numbers of members, its definetly not an easy task. Especially when everyone in the team has their own job and life. During the process of building a community, some cried, some fell, some scratched themselves and some celebrated… all these are part of the process, which everyone should enjoy and learn from the downs but celebrate for the ups.

So don’t let some scratches break one community apart. Just use some handyplast and cover it! It’ll heal…

+Disclaimer: Claudia usually blogs with half her brain asleep… so if there’s anything that’s deemed as trash by any of the reader, she’s sincerely sorry for it. Well, it is just her online personal dairy remember?