Good morning! Today I am happy to present the second of three reader interviews. Grab a mug and a chair, and join me for Morning Coffee with Elaine Robitaille.
Elaine is one of a small handful of people who has been actively commenting on my blog since those long ago LiveJournal days. Our mutual interest is polymer clay, and even though somewhere along the line I went from polymer artist to ADD crafter, I’m so happy she’s stuck around.
Q&A With Elaine Robitaille
When and why did you start your blog?
I’ve had a blog of some sort for around 10 years but the current incarnation of my blog, at Tooaquarius, is 4 years and counting. Past the terrible twos. How fast they grow up!
I like writing, chatting and showing what I’m doing. Having a theme to it – in this case, my polymer clay art and business – helps me be more coherent and creative and still get the therapy and networking jolt.
How does blogging (reading and writing) fit in to your daily life?
I read my feed list every morning. Religiously. Some of it indepth, some of it is a quick scan but every morning. So that I’m ritualistic about. And usually before everyone else is up, with coffee cup in hand.
Writing my blog is something I TRY to schedule in but invariably it’s a by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing.
What kind of a reader are you?
I read a lot. Online, offline, books, magazines, cereal boxes, blogs… you name it. For blogs specifically, I read primarily in Google reader. I do visit blogs to leave or read comments but I read the feeds first.
I love the variety you can have with blogs. There are news items in my reader. There are market research (shop feeds for colleagues) ones. There are comic strips. There are blogs by artists I know (like Lisa!) in fields I’m a part of. There are artists, moms, comedians, computer geeks, productivity bloggers, personal finance bloggers, who I read just to fill my brain up with good things.
I also tend to read the corporate blogs of about a dozen sites I sell on or buy from just to keep an eye on my work world.
How important are reader comments to you?
I would blog without comments though I love comments. Discussion is important. Networking is important. I am a reclusive craft-geek and at my worst I am downright hermit like. I find that blogging is good communication.
I try to comment on a few blogs every day though I find it too easy to just read and move on. I watch people without talking, too. Working on that.
In what ways has your involvement in the blogosphere enhanced your life, if any?
oh boy! The short list: I’ve met many, many customers at shows who found me through my blog so that rocks. I’ve met friends I made online through blogging. I’ve been picked up for promotions, product testing, gallery showings, classes because I am a reasonably prolific blogger.
Most humbling though, is that I’ve been able to see that I have a nice chatty spot in a whole world of nice but different chatty spots and that all of this talking, chatting and visiting will truly shape the world. It is hard to hate or even to really dislike people once you learn about them and get to know them. And the blogosphere brings that right to you.
If you could only visit three blogs today, what would they be?
Boringly then, because I read the “”work”" related ones first:
Do you have a theme or a reason to blog? Like are you a tech blogger or a mommy blogger?
I blog about my work as a polymer clay artist. I try to keep my personal life sort of as the side notes. I try to keep my technical work out of it for the most part. So the bulk of my blog is craft related to keep it cohesive.
Just like you’ve found some of the good of the blogosphere, have you noticed negative aspects?
Sometimes the blogosphere is like any group of highly opinionated people (given that bloggers are going to be people who have opinions AND the willingness to express them). It’s loud. It’s rude. It can be mob-like. Rumours get spread. It amplifies the worst parts of gossip and blaming. And once you write it, it’s out there, so your reputation follows you.
Thank you, Elaine, for taking the time to answer my questions! It’s been fun reading your answers and recognizing some of my own tendencies in the habits you describe…