Blogging

Why blogging is like online dating

 

If you’re a blogger, you’ll get this post. If you’re not, it may be hard for you to understand just how much the blogging life resembles online dating.

It’s hard to compare my friendships with real life people to my blogging friends. My real life friends come with a long history. They know me well. They know my past. They laugh at my jokes even when they’re not funny. They know my family. Their husbands are friends with my husband; their kids, friends with mine. They get me.

But there’s a huge part of my life that my real life friends don’t get, despite my best efforts to try to explain it.  Blogging, and all that comes with it, becomes complicated to explain to those not involved. And at the end of the day we only have so much time to chat that I tend to leave out the not so important stuff.

The more I interact with my blogging friends, the more I turn to them in times of need. Connections are created everyday and since we are all social media gurus you know you’re guaranteed to find a friend online at any given time of the day. They’re always there for you.

BUILDING THE RELATIONSHIP

First it starts out by following each other on Twitter; chatting about common interests, blogging advice and so on. Then, if all goes well you ‘friend’ each other on Facebook. Now you know you’ve become more serious. You get a more intimate look at one another’s life. Maybe you get to see pictures of their kids, their husbands and their real life friends.

Next you’ll start chatting about your day, your job, your in-laws and your husband. But you know it’s gone to the next level when you go to them for some serious advice about serious matters and they actually help you. Provide a solution to your problem or at the very least make you feel better because they’ve provided you a shoulder to cry on.

EXCHANGING NUMBERS

So far it’s remained pretty anonymous. Sure you’re friends on Facebook, you’re in each other’s Circles and you’ve given each other Klout but it hasn’t crossed over yet to the real big stuff. It’s not totally serious until you exchange numbers. This is a big step. You don’t give out your cell phone number to just anyone right?

Now you have instant access to one another any place, any time with no dependency on the Internet. You text each other for the first time and then again a few days later (because you don’t want to seem too eager) and before you know it, their name always appears at the top of your messages window. Guess what, you’re in a relationship!

THE ONLINE RELATIONSHIP

Don’t forget that at this point you still have not met each other in real life. You know their middle name, the school they went to and the ages and birth dates of all their children, but you have not met face-to-face. You’ve now Stumbled each other more than you can remember and you’ve contributed to lowering their Alexa rank but you couldn’t necessarily pick them out of a crowd.

THE FIRST DATE

Whether it’s a planned meeting or a chance encounter, the first date is always the most exciting. It doesn’t matter whether the first meeting happens on a group date like at a blogging conference or if it’s a run in at the local grocery store. Putting a face to this online name means never turning back.

How do you greet her for the first time? Do you shake hands or is that too formal considering the relationship you’ve built. Do you hug her; after all you’ve developed strong feelings for her over the past few months. But will that scare her off?

THE AFTERGLOW

Now that you’ve met and you’ve put a face to the name and the anticipation is over what happens next? Are you friends for life? Do you plan your next get together? Where does it go from here? Is she as into you as you are to her? I guess only time will tell.

This post is dedicated to my first date, Amanda from Multi-Testing Mommy. She has so graciously allowed me to share a picture from our first meeting and this (posting a pic) is a big deal for her!  My friendship with Amanda inspired this post and though we don’t live in the same city, she’s got a friend for life in me. And yes, she lived up to and exceeded my expectations!

City Mom & Multi-Testing Mommy

And to all my blogging friends (you know who you are) thanks for always being there and for sharing this journey with me!

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The Narooma Mystery

My friend Sarah, left, rides in a dingy out to Montague Island with the 'strangers'

My friend Sarah, left, rides in a dingy out to Montague Island with the 'strangers'

 

Since I began blogging over a year ago, there have been many doors that have opened for me; all very unexpected. I have continued to be amazed by the opportunities that have come my way. One opportunity seems to lead to another opened door and another new experience.  

Today’s story is a perfect example of these exciting opportunities and unusual happenings. It also reminds me that our world is actually very small.  

The Internet is a crazy thing and turns thousands of miles between friends into quaint coffee shop conversations. It makes never meeting your distant cousins into video chatting with them everyday.  

I was lucky to be asked to write a post on Canada.com for Canada Day. I was given the freedom to write about any topic I wanted as long it had to do with Canada. Immediately an experience I had over a decade ago on my year-long trip to Australia came to mind. And thanks to the Internet, my post was picked up by some interested individuals.  

I’ll summarize the post from Canada.com (in case you don’t have time to read it).  

I was travelling along the southern coast of Australia with two girlfriends. We stopped in at a tiny town (Narooma) to rest for the night. This stopover turned out to be so much more than we had intended.  

Having dinner at Lynch's Hotel in Narooma, Australia. This is the pub where we met the 'strangers'.

 

While having drinks and dinner at a small pub, we were approached by a group of locals who invited us on a snorkelling excursion they had planned for the next day. We accepted the offer and enjoyed our day immensely. After returning to land we offered to compensate our friends for the gas they had used to take us to and from the island, to which they refused. All they asked for in return was that we pay the deed forward when back in Canada.  

That story was posted on July 1st on Canada.com. Shortly after its publication, I received an email from a fantastic woman in Australia who is a producer for ABC in New South Wales. She wanted to share my story on their radio network. I accepted with excitement and I was on air the next day, live with Tim Holt on ABC South East NSW.  

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, I was contacted by another media member, Stan Gorton from the Narooma News, a local newspaper. Stan wanted to run my story (since coined the Narooma Mystery) and publish photos that I had shared from our trip all those years ago.  

We’re hoping to find out who those locals are, because you see this was before the days of Facebook and Twitter; I know, I’m aging myself with that comment. We didn’t get any contact information for our new friends and it would be so nice to catch up with them today through social media. I’d like for them to know what an impact that day had on us that day.  

When I think about the few things that I have been truly passionate about and amazed by in my life (next to my family), the two things that stand out are my year spent in Australia and my writing. To see these two passions join together to create another new and exciting chapter in my story is amazing.  

You can listen to the Radio Interview and you can check out the news article.  

Remember, should you come upon a visitor from another country, extend an offer similar to this and you never know, they may remember it decades later. Show them what your city is all about!  

City Mom

The Art of Getting Free Stuff

laptop

There is a world out there I never knew existed; a place where free products are given away by the minute.   I was unaware of this magical land until I became a blogger and a follower of other blogs myself.  Now that I know the secret, I had to share it with you.

The best part about these giveaways is that you don’t have to work very hard for them.  And the items that are given away are well worth the little effort you do put in.  Recently I have seen giveaways for jewellery, salon grade flat irons and children’s toys to name just a few. 

There are women that make careers out of contest entries.  And can you blame them?  We all know the best things in life are free!  Women are saving money left, right and centre.  From grocery vouchers to cleaning products, it’s all there for the taking and who doesn’t love free stuff?

Keep in mind; you don’t have to be a mom or a blogger to enter any of these contests.  Browse the list below and you’ll see what I mean.

HOW TO GET STARTED

First, the two basic things you’ll need to have are a Facebook account and a Twitter account.  Both are super easy to create and don’t take a lot of work to maintain. 

I suggest these two because most contests require you to ‘Like’ a page on Facebook and/or follow a vendor on Twitter.  Extra entries often include tweeting a phrase about the contest on your own profile.

Next I recommend creating a Google account. This will come in handy for a couple of reasons.

  1.  Extra entries often include following on Google Friend Connect which is as easy as a couple of clicks, and
  2. With iGoogle and Google Reader, you can easily keep track of the blogs that you choose to follow.

Now you’re ready to start following some blogs.  I have put together a quick list of some of the blogs I like for giveaways.  This is only a short list; like I said, there’s an entire world out there of sites like this.

GIVEAWAY BLOGS

Natural Mommie

Tales of a Ranting Ginger

Canadian Giveaways

bassgiraffe’s Thoughts

Blog Giveaways

Simply Stacie

Kidsumers

The Baby Bottom Line

Coolcanucks.ca

Canadian Moms Giveaways
(*Note:  this is an extensive list of current Canadian Giveaways.  You need to sign up for an account first and must be a) Canadian and b) a mom.)

Feisty, Frugal & Fabulous

Organic Girl

Canadian Mommy Giveaways

Giveaway Blogdom

The Frugal Free Gal

Canadian Natural Mama

Maple Leaf Mommy

Mom Vs. The Boys

I can’t stop myself.  There are so many great resources out there in the blogosphere, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

All of these blogs listed above are Canadian or Canadian friendly. 

Set aside some time to check these out and keep me updated on your winnings.

Good luck & Happy Entering!

City Mom

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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