03 August 2012

The magic that happens in the comments

Shot@Life: Blogust: Blog Relay for Good
I had a whole post I was writing up to introduce you to Blogust -- the blog "relay for good" that benefits Shot@Life by raising $20 per comment for childhood vaccines. $20 per comment!

But then my dear friend Liz of Mom-101 wrote this as her Blogust contribution -- a post about how our friendship grew out of blog comments.

It's almost hard to share, and not because of modesty. I like to think I can graciously and gratefully accept a compliment when it comes. Perhaps it's because it has brought out every feeling about why I love this place, how lucky I feel to be among you.

I'm still half asleep (up too late last night watching the Olympics) so I can't properly express how it feels to read Liz's post. I'm going to try to do it justice after I've had some time to let it sink in, but for now, I want to point out just one of things she said that made me very happy.

...she herself has built an entire community that couldn’t thrive without comments–click over and you’ll find an entire database of tricks and tips culled from the wisdom of parents that write to her.

Comments and participation quite literally create her community. She has no blog without them.

I have no blog without you. I never wanted a blog just about me. It's never been simply about self-expression...that's why, despite loving to write, I've found it lonely and isolating at times. It's about us and what we've created here.

When I started Parent Hacks in 2005, there was no social media. There was no easy way to lob something out to a virtual community; to say "I need advice" or "Hey, maybe this will help you out!" and get an immediate response. Parent Hacks became that place for me. Something special happened here for me. The community and friendships that have grown out of this blog have made the world a warmer, funnier, more open place.

Today, our friends and neighbors are on Facebook and Twitter, and "talking" online is as natural for many as picking up the phone. To be honest, I don't think Parent Hacks fills the same need it did in 2005-2007 because community is easier to find now. This is a wonderful thing. And I am so very lucky to have been here at the moment this could happen.

In the comments of Liz's post, I called out three Parent Hacks commenters to whom I will always be grateful because of their wisdom and help and support over the years: Adrienne Jones, Jill Pohl and Sara Brumfield. (Jill -- wasn't sure if you wanted your name associated with your blog so didn't link.) These three people (and many more of you) have been with me since practically the first day at Parent Hacks. Their voices have been a part of my parenting life when it was as its simplest and its most complicated. Isn't it wonderful that we can talk for all these years?

Thank you, Parenthackers. Thank you for making Parent Hacks into something special and meaningful and useful. If you've never commented or sent in a hack, it doesn't matter. You're a part of this. Thank you, thank you.

Throughout the month of August, one blogger per day will participate in Blogust, Shot@Life's blog relay for good. For each comment left on these posts, Shot@Life will receive $20, which pays for life-saving immunizations for a single child. 

Here's the Blogust schedule. I've set a reminder in my calendar to leave a comment each day.

(This isn't an official Blogust post, so comments on this post won't trigger a donation. They'll make me happy, though.)

Your comments

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We so appreciate all your wisdom and the community you provide here, Asha.

Great post, and with The Blogher conference going on in NYC right now very timely!

Since we are walking buddies, and not blogging buddies, I rarely comment. However, I am so proud of you and all you've accomplished.

And this is why you're amazing, and why your blog is so essential to so many. Thanks for being you, Asha. I know I'm not just speaking for myself when I say this. xo

Let me wipe away the tears, and then say, yes you may link to me.

You know, Moxie was discussing recently how our need to connect with other parents has changed as our kids have grown up, but hasn't gone away. Yes, my questions are different (if my 8yo is as moody as a teen now, what should I be drinking when he becomes a teen?) but I still need to know you're all there tripping over Lego and losing your tempers with me. In many ways our needs are greater because fewer people are out there discussing their adolescent kids. Maybe we'll forge that territory ourselves.

Hi Asha,

Reading this on Friday really made my day. I've received so much from you and the Parent Hacks community. Your kind mention left me without words to respond (until now- and even now they're feeble).

Thank you.

I'm also thrilled to see you're promoting Shot@Life's Blogust. For people who are online, this may be the easiest way to help others ever offered.

You are a valuable resource and deserve all these kudos. Congratulations on this wonderful effort with Shot at life.

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