Blogging – The Soft Power of Words

1384006_594888893890725_1460673816_n

As a blogger, I’ve always been aware that words hold their own unique form of power.

They can be used to up lift or destroy, to unite or divide, to enlighten or vilify anyone and everyone whose life experiences, customs, cultures of ways of being in this world may be different from our own.

Yet even knowing this, it has taken a long time to fully understand that words reach their most potent potential when, like us, they find that fine balance between no longer shouting to be heard or whispering too tentatively the simplest of truths.

 
It is only when words reach this level of softness that they stop being merely the dots and dashes of written language and instead begin transforming their symbolic meanings into the translatable, transferable and palpably understandable revelations, that carry along with them so much more than the literal representations of a reality so different from our own.

 
These are the words that sing to us so softly that we may not even notice their tunes until we find ourselves humming them.

 

For it is only after having read them, that we find our views have become somehow shifted.

 

Our thoughts dismantled and pieced back together in such a way that even we ourselves may initially be at a loss as to understand why or how we should find our perspectives so changed.

 
These are the words that don’t plant seeds but rather reveal to us the existence of somebody else’s garden.

 
A garden to which perhaps we were previously blind, yet now suddenly find that, not only can we see it, but that we can also begin to walk through it, if only in our minds.

 
These are the words that show us, without once ever telling us, what a character in a novel looks like within our minds eye.

 
These are the words that create the voices we hear, without ever once  actually hearing them, when we read.

 
These are the words that reach us, without once ever leaving the printed page.

 
These are the soft powers of words that as bloggers we try to embrace in order to communicate our lives, experiences and ways of being.

So to all who embrace and appreciate the soft power of words, long may they sing your songs and in so doing, bring back  to you the songs of others.

 

 

 

Could starting up and running a Facebook Page be for you? Some of the benefits and pitfalls that you may need to be aware of.

facebook-logo-2

A few weeks ago I started a Facebook page and I must say that the entire process of doing so was an incredibly easy one.

At every stage along the way there where prompts reminding me of what needed to be done and even suggestions as to how to do them more easily.

Yet, whilst the mechanics of if have been remarkably easy, by far and away, the hardest part of starting up a Facebook page has been finding the right ways to express what it is exactly,  you want  your  page to achieve.

In my case, I wanted to create a page that focused on the female experience of living with Asperger’s Syndrome / High Functioning Autism.

Which in itself sounds fairly straight forward but in actual fact  has proven to be far more difficult than I had at first thought.

So simply having an idea, whether it be specific or not,  as to what you’d like your page to be about, still leaves you only half way there and this is because,  even though you may have a clear concept of what it is you’d like to discuss, share or achieve on your page, others may have very different ideas as to how they perceive or wish to interact with your page.

For instance, even though my page is dedicated to primarily expressing and exploring the experiences of women with Asperger’s, it has been joined by several people who are  either the parents of daughters with Asperger’s Syndrome or the partners of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.

This is fine by me and for the most part I applaud parents for being open enough to listen too and learn from,  where relevant, the experiences of women who have been in their children’s shoes, but, there are times when either I myself, or someone else, will share a post or a comment, that whilst not designed to hurt the feelings of non-Asperger’s women or parents, never the less, becomes perceived as doing so.

In such cases, the negative comments made by those who feel slighted, often effectively shuts down  any and all further discussion surrounding whatever the topic of the post may have been.

This remains an issue that I am unsure how to confront, as even those people who run Facebook pages that have taken the time to make it very clear that they are designed first and foremost for a specific purpose, still find themselves  in the predicament of having to try and clear up other people’s misconceptions of their comments or posts.

It seems that no matter what you do you can never please everyone, yet I’m  still far from convinced that this fact alone means that one should settle for the potential of offending everyone either.

fblikeAnother issue that has  become somewhat of a quandary to me is the way in which “likes” for particular posts are being both attributed and distributed by Facebook.

For instance, running a much smaller page on Facebook I’ve found that often the bigger pages will pick up on one of my posts and “share” it on their own pages.

Now I don’t mind this happening at all, after all the aim is to spread awareness, and when it first began happening I thought it was a good thing as it was providing my page with exposure.

However this turns out to be less the case because in the process  of the bigger pages doing so, the “likes” for whatever post they’ve chosen to “share”  end up becoming  attributed to their page’s alone.

This means that although it’s may be my post, from my page, that people may be “liking”, the  fact that it is being distributed on a larger page means that those “likes” never make it back to or become attributed to, my page.

Normally this wouldn’t be so much of a problem, however, the way  in which Facebook chooses to promote  ‘not for profit pages’ makes it so, as the capacity of any such page to reach new members , depends entirely upon the amount of “likes” it receives.

The more “likes” a page receives, the bigger the page becomes and the size of the page decides how high up on the list of recommended pages, it will appear on Facebook.

The higher up the list a page appears, the more likely it is that it will continue to attract new members and therefore grow.

So, under this system, if  bigger pages continue to be the sole beneficiaries  of the  “likes” they receive  for “sharing” smaller pages posts, then effectively the  bigger pages will continue to boom and the smaller pages will continue to remain just that, small.

This to me sets up a kind of dog eat dog system of promotion, which is something to bear in mind and be prepared for, if you are thinking of starting up a Facebook Page.

So although Facebook makes it incredibly easy to start your own Facebook Page, these are  just  some of the issues associated with starting up and running a Facebook page that you need to be aware of.

In the end, whether or not you choose to start-up a Facebook page, may well all come down to a matter of deciding what it is you want to achieve and whether or not that goal can best be achieved via Facebook.

 

Taking the Good with the Bad. Learning how to find the positives in negative blog comments.

The Sportsmanship of Cyber-warfare ...item 2.....

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through some of the negative comments I’ve received on my posts over the past few months, it’s how to find the positives in negative feedback.

Now trust me, in order for me to this, it took an extraordinary amount of effort and there were often times when I would find myself coming back to the same negative comments again and again in order to try to figure out just what it was about them that triggered some sore point within me.

Sometimes this process took  weeks and in one particular case ,even months, of reading and re-reading the words of others in order to try to understand their perspectives on issues that seemed either so clear, or so personal to me, that the differences of opinions expressed by others cut me deeply.

Given that I write, as I do, on some very personal and complex issues, a negative comment can and often does feel somewhat akin to a slap across the face to me.

The words of others can sting me far harder than any bee ever could.

Never-the-less, over the last few months,  I’ve come to realize that not all negative comments are necessarily bad.

Sure they may feel as if they are at the time, but, if you take the time to give yourself some distance and really allow yourself to delve into those words, then sometimes, just sometimes, you may find yourself coming out of it all with a new, or even just a slightly altered, perspective.

Through this approach I’ve come to understand that sometimes the comments that I’d at first considered to be negative and hurtful, were just in point fact, showing me a very different way of thinking about issues, than the ways I normally would.

For me, reaching this level of understanding has been helpful.

Dare I say it, even insightful.

So the next time you receive a negative comment on any of your blog posts, or even a comment that you don’t fully understand, providing of course that it’s not witless spam, instead of trashing it, just hold it over for a few days and give the words within it a chance to sink in.

You may just find a small glimmer of wisdom hidden within all the  negativity that you hadn’t been able to see before.

Of course having said that, you will always get some negative comments that simply are just that, negative comments, designed to be either disrespectful or hurtful.

In a lot of ways, such comments will always come as part and parcel of being willing to put yourself out there by blogging.

The trick to it all is to figure out which negative comments you are reacting too most strongly and then to give yourself the time, permission and willingness to  try to figure out what it is about those particular comments that impact on you so keenly.

You may find that they strike at some inner conviction that you’ve held so deeply inside of you that you’d become almost unaware that you’d even been holding it until that bell was rung or that chord was struck inside of you, by a  negative comment.

You may also find, as I have recently, that having a different opinion on something is not in and of itself  necessarily a negative and that sometimes these differences of opinion can show you new and useful ways of thinking about old situations.

Just remember, not everyone who questions your ideas is necessarily doing you harm, and  that similarly, not everyone who agrees with you is necessarily helping you to gain any deeper understanding of either yourself or your situation.

Words Cloud 02/01-08/02 2009

Happy blogging everyone :)

 

The Miracles of Blogging

66742_541010919283621_233065319_n

One of the things that continues to amaze me about blogging is how a post written almost a year ago, can suddenly jump back up and find itself with a whole new audience of readers.

This has happened today with my post http://seventhvoice.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/dog-fox-field-the-history-lesson-behind-australian-poet-les-murrays-powerful-poem-on-disability/

I do not know who has picked up this post and twittered it out into the digital universe  once again for all to share but I am grateful to whom ever did so.

To me;

It is one of the miracles of blogging,

That words,

Penned so long ago,

Can still reach out,

And speak in the present,

To the minds of others.

To whom ever breathed new life into this post,

Thank you.

Daughters, Dishes and Cats. No we’re not Aspies at all in this house…… Reality Blogging

Unwashed dishes in a sink; an authentic situation.

I’ve been on dish washing strike all weekend.

Apparently so has my daughter.

Even though it is her turn and has in point of fact, been her turn to do the dishes, since Friday.

Normally I would grind my teeth  and give in to her non-complicity for the sake of my own sanity, if not for anyone elses.

But not this time.

As a result we now have a sink full of rinsed, but not washed, dishes (and yes I rinsed them but that’s as far as I would go).

Whilst  I am adjusting  rather poorly to this continuing phase of  unremitting stubbornness from my daughter, the cats are adapting to it with amazing alacrity.

Cat

They seem to be taking the increasing stacks of bowls and plates that have begun turning my sink into a mountain of foraging cat like delights, as a sign that all of  their kitty dreams have at last, come true.

I for my part, have given up on waving them away from the sink and have even resorted to purchasing of pre-packaged salads whilst grocery shopping today.

I never buy pre-packaged anything’s as a rule.

Especially not pre-packaged salads.

They taste funny.

Plasticky! (yes I know that’s not a real word, thank you spell check,  but it ruddy well should be).

However I’m hedging my bets against my daughters stubbornness as I’m yet to witness any signs of either contrition or compliance coming off her and I do actually want to eat tonight!

plenty of different healthy salads for 1€60

So  seeing as we no longer have any clean plates or bowls to eat out of, I thought, well, at least pre-packaged salads do come in their own convenient plastic, throw away bowls.

Win/Win.

Problem solved.

Well half solved.

At least for another night.

I wonder how long a mountain of un-cleaned dishes can remain in a sink before children services or some  such  other services will  be called in?

Considering that my daughter now believes that a teenager (specifically her) being made to wash dishes is nothing short of  the vacuous beginnings of modern-day ‘child labor’ , I’m surprised that she hasn’t called children services herself.

In the mean time, while I’m waiting for the flashing red and blue lights of her saviours to arrive, I’m avoiding the kitchen as much as I can.

I’m even tempted to move the kettle and all things caffeine related into the lounge room, just so that I no longer have to witness the evidence of our own unforgiving Aspie-ness, every time I enter that part of the house.

See, I’ve become so adverse to it all,  that the ‘kitchen’ itself no longer has a name, instead it has become ‘that part of the house’.

Oh dear.

When will it end?

Perhaps I should turn this situation into one of those ‘Big Brother‘ type shows, where you my fellow bloggers all get a say as to who you think should be locked in  the kitchen and made to do the dishes?

Vote M for mum or D for daughter.

You might also want to try voting C for cats if you think the mountain of un-washed dishes should be left in tact for their kitty benefits.

So vote now…..

P.S. Only one voter per reader, unless of course you wish to vote D for daughter, in which case you are here by cordially encourage to vote multiple times.

Wow this is just like reality TV.

Only, let’s call it “REALITY BLOGGING“.                                   Related articles

Reblogging is best, the rest is just theft.

534349_451333874881622_2065452946_n

Share if you care,

Or quote if you must,

But if you truly wish,

To honor my words,

 And show your respect,

Then please try to apply,

The bloggers motto I live by,

Reblogging is best,

The rest is just theft.