Sunday, July 10, 2011

On feeling excluded and other issues

Yesterday at the party one person said to someone else (I'm deliberately being vague because I don't want anyone to have hurt feelings but I have to write because this is my blog), "see you on Wed" and I innocently asked, "oh, what's happening on Wed?" and... there is a Jhb blogger meet-up.

I then asked about how this thing was arranged/ decided/ put together and two people were mentioned. I have met one person before very briefly at a parenting thing and don't know the other at all.

So then I again wondered aloud (clearly I don't know when to shut my big mouth) if it was a Twitter thing because I know I'm not really on Twitter (my organising blog goes to T automatically but that's it, mostly, except for spurts here and there)... and no, it's not.

How then do people find out about these things? And feel comfortable enough to go?

I had a vague feeling of itchiness (you know the feeling) but couldn't nail down my feelings til very late last night once I'd gone to bed and things were quiet.

I feel excluded.

Hear me out.

I've felt excluded from the Jhb blogging scene (actually, the South African blogging scene) for months and months and quite honestly don't know how you get to be included in these things.

Or whether I want to be included at a level that seems to be required. The Twitter level :)

I get the twitter "in thing" and on that part, I am very clear. I don't want to be glued to my phone for updates, etc. I much prefer to pick up the phone/ text someone and communicate properly.

It's not so much about this particular meet-up but about other feelings and issues that arose.

Coming back to this one for a moment, it is quite far from where I live, I generally plan my life so that I'm not too busy and in terms of my life philosophy and what I teach, I don't really want to complicate my life at the last minute.

I like to test my thought processes to see if I'm being unreasonable by saying, "what if X invited me out to coffee?" and unless it was an emergency, I probably wouldn't go to anything that very week so I feel fine about my decision.

So it's not just this thing.

I almost feel like I'm not a (semi-well read) South African blogger. I write this blog which is far less read than the organising blog (about 10 times so) but no-one knows I'm alive in Jhb and in South Africa.

Why is that?

I see people all over the place getting featured in national publications, getting things to review, getting invited to applicable PR functions and I have never had anything like this happen to me from anyone South African.

I get pitches from US and UK companies (to review products/ do giveaways) but nothing South African in the 5 years I've been blogging. Is it me or is that just weird?

I can't believe it's just the non-Twitter thing. Surely not?

And if that's the price, then I suppose I'll have to live in obscurity on the internet.

As I've been writing I realised a horrible thing - I'm a tiny bit jealous because it feels unfair.

It feels terrible to even say that but again, courage and all that jazz.

I spoke to D about all these weird feelings (for me) and he said, "why don't you just organise a blogger meet-up of your own?"

Grrr. It's not about that but the minute it warms up we will do something - promise. Maybe we need to set a date? First Sat in Sept?

There is no point to this post - let's just call it journalling. Although I would love some additional insights. But if someone tells me something obvious like of course I'm welcome to go on Wed, I will SCREAM and wake the babies, ok?

How was your Sunday?

P.S. We were out practically the whole day (arrived home at 5:30) but the babies were so good. I also taught them to say Aunty _____ and Uncle ______ (yes, a day late - that's typical me, with the good ideas too late) and our friends were suitably delighted :)


  1. The blogger meet-up in Jhb that you speak of has popped up on one or two of the blogs that I frequent. I think that to a degree that it may be a Twitter in-thing. On the other hand I also think it's who you know and which circles you move in. Clearly I am not in the right circles because I also never get stuff to review and it does seem like the same bloggers (not me) get invited to all the snazzy functions. Co-incidentally, we had a Cape Town bloggers meet up in the last week of June and I found out about it on Friday - quite by chance. I saw that there were all these hashtags on Twitter on the night that it supposedly happened but I had no idea what it was about. And as much as I LOVE twitter, I also can't be glued to my phone for updates. Either way, I know it's not nice to feel excluded. I would totally come to your blog meetup if I could....

  2. I hate feeling excluded.

  3. Oh you poor thing :-( I feel bad for you. It's an awful feeling to be excluded. I don't have any answers but I really like D's comment about having one of your own. The things he says - he is a very clever man!

  4. And there I was just thinking that there was no South African blog scene... really is there one!!! I only read two or three South African blogs and my South African readership/response is minimal compared to my overseas readers. I always say to my husband - "If we lived overseas I would be a real blogger!!!" I just assumed there was nothing going on and that there was no real South African market for blogging... now you have given me something to think about - they just don't like us!!! Right - I am going to put that thought right back where it came from and get on with getting my next post ready!!!

  5. Feeling excluded nicer way to put it!

    I am so new to this "blogger world" that it would be insulting for me to give any kinda "advice" but I will say I don't "tweet", never have, never will so perhaps in a few more months I might be coming to you for support in this area of "exclusion"... :)

    Bloggers really have "meet-ups" and snazzy parties...really? I'm blown away right now...LOL!

    I'd come to your "meet" in a heartbeat...I'll just need some time to save to be able to get there....LOL!!

    "Chin-Up" girlie...after all...the word of the year IS C-O-U-R-A-G-E and it take a lot of that to just say "Pish Posh on their meet-up!"

  6. I completely agree. I know I don't feel like anyone really knows who I am, but I don't mind. This blog has gotten me to meet some great people like you, so I'm happy for that!

  7. So weird, i can appreciate how you feel. I don't do Twitter & even though i live in our capital city, we don't do big blogger meet ups, more Sydney & Melbourne do them. In my design world i see lots of bloggers all the time through my work, but as for functions, only if they suit my 'mother of 4 with husband away, day time suits me best with children in school & no babysitter' situations, which don't suit most!!
    As for PR, contact those companies, don't wait for them to come to you. Be proactive & i've had lots of PR from simply sending them an email to say thank you for the products i've won off other blogs, da dah, then i'm doing their PR.
    Above all, have the best attitude, we mummies with twins rock!! Few can relate to us. Love Posie

  8. If you're looking for a "reason" I'd offer that this blog is more international. You're just that big of a deal! So your network isn't specifically centered in SA and perhaps South Africans feel your some how beyond them? Does that make sense? I can't really explain it, that is just thought.

    I think you should ponder why you blog and what you want from it. I know that I don't necessarily link real life and blog life, although my blog life is basically a posting of my real life. I am very much a hermit, so I most likely wouldn't go to a mass meet up. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable or contribute anything. Although I would definitely make the time if you landed in the US! As for the PR, again ask what you want from this particular blog and then go for it. Asking to review something wouldn't hurt but what would it do for you? I've received offers but I always turn them down. I feel that I handle my blog more like a journal than a public platform. The questions I ask are things I would ask a small group over brunch, not a public platform.

  9. i like what your husband said. start your own!

  10. I'm not trying to blow smoke up your behind but everyone feels like that sometimes.

    I think the invites you get to review/do/attend stuff depend greatly on which particular blogging circle you associate with. For instance the mommy-bloggers are very different to the drink-until-you-fall-over crowd. I'd come to your blogmeet anytime, and I'm sure I'd be in excellent company! ;-)

    This thing you're talking about on Wednesday, I'm not sure who organised it but I saw it pop up on three of the blogs that I read. I've decided not to go because it's in the middle of the week and I have a routine to uphold with Nicola, and secondly it's just too bloody cold to go out as far as I'm concerned! That's not my point though, the invite I saw was pretty open ended, so I guess anyone who saw it and wanted to could go, I've been to events like that pre-Nicola and it was fun. Once you go, you meet new people there, and you get invited to more events, because the people who have the courage to go to these events and reveal themselves in real life are always the same, and they love a new face.

    As far as product reviews go I've been asked to do that on my blog three times (in 5 years!), two of which involved close personal friends and once via Twitter after replying to a question by another blogger.

    I don't think you should read too much into this - I think you're awesome, and I'm definitely not the only one.

  11. The meet up you're referring to has also popped up in a few of the blogs that I frequent as well but I agree, it is kind of a Twitter "in" thing. I use Twitter but I'm not part of the inner circle, I'm not "cool" like that and I won't be attending for that very reason.

    Perhaps we should organize our own blogger meet up for us "uncool" types like you and me! ;-)

  12. That is such a sucky feeling :( The parent24 blog forum also has a MOB sometimes, but they invite all in the area, and put up side badges for all to see. I've not been to just kind of get in the way at those particular times.

    But don't you feel bad, we still love you ;)

    Talking about that, I suppose I must open and write my blogger blog again...been very lazy...

  13. I don't think that you need to feel excluded. The jhb blogger meet up has been poppping up in my reader for the last month or so - various of the blogs I read have metnioned it and i don't think that it was 'by invitation only'. It sounded pretty much like it was an open invitation to anyone who could make it.

    I suppose it's really about the blogs you read. I really wouldn't take it to heart at all. Some bloggers are just way more out there ito of meeting up and doing stuff.

    And re yr blog - you need to decide why you are blogging. is it as a journal for you and your family to go back to one day, or is it to be 'out there' and read by every tom, d*ck and harry and be involved in reviews etc etc.

    I think blogging to a degree is very much the same as most things seem to be these days - it's not what you know but who you know.

    Don't stress darl - so not worth it!

  14. I too felt like you a while ago. I also felt excluded from the Blogging meet-up scenes and things like reviewing things but then I decided that I do not blog to meet-up with others, neither to do reviews. I blog because I want to get out the word regarding healthy living, exercising, advice I sometimes need, sharing for the fun of it and also because I like interacting with my readers on my blog.
    I'm sorry that you are feeling excluded from it all. I would love to attend a meet-up if you organize one - I would love to meet you and others as well. First Sat in September sounds good :)

  15. I will admit I felt a little "excluded" when that Circle of Moms voting was going on a few weeks ago...and feeling excluded is never fun.

    ...but...I try to remember the reason that I blog. My blog started as a creative outlet for me, for me to try to challenge myself in a new way. It's evolved from that a bit as my [small] network of awesome mommy friends has grown. Now it's a great vehicle for me to "talk" to so many fantastic and mostly like-minded mamas.

    I look at other blogs sometimes and see the number of followers they have, and I get a little wistful. But I try to remind myself that's not what it's about for me. I am very proud of the group of ladies I've met. Quality over quantity in my book! :) I don't do "follow me"-type link-ups, for example. I'd much rather someone happen upon my blog and decide to follow because they *want* to, not because it's part of some goofy "follow-me-back" game.

    I say all this to say...I hope you can keep this in perspective. At least from my vantage point, you have a pretty awesome base of bloggy friends. There's nothing wrong with wanting more...but is that what you want?

  16. Totally agree with's somewhat a matter of deciding "who" and "what" you want your blog to be, and going after it. I have a small network of people, but I love that. I feel like I really "know" the people who are reading, and I don't feel the pressure to constantly post something humorous or trendy to keep up the readership.

    I have gotten a few PR pitches, but I've turned them down because that's really not the focus of my blog or why I like blogging. Not to say that I wouldn't accept something super awesome to review, of course, because I would totally do it if it was something I really WANTED. The exception I make is for books...I love books and I love books for free, so I will take on book reviews if it's something I want to read. I am getting a little more involved in that process, but like any of this blogging stuff--it's more about knowing what you want to be involved in and going after it than waiting to be asked or "found".

    As for the meet-up thing, I agree it's pretty crappy to feel left out. Even if it's not something I'd be interested in, being asked or included would be nice. : )

  17. I can't relate to feeling excluded in the blogger scene. My blog is very small potatoes, and I actually hope it stays that way. But I do know that awful feeling of being excluded from something that you really wish someone had thought to include you on.

    In my case, it's a circle of moms in my town. About 2 years back a playgroup was organized for 1 year olds (my kiddos were 1 at the time). The group was meeting in the afternoons, which is when I tutor, so we could never go. But now the moms are getting together without kids and doing things on weekends and evenings, and I'm still not included because we're not a part of that playgroup. It just sits there in the pit of my stomach every time I hear one of those moms talking about how they all got together and did something. Perhaps, one day, I'll have the courage to try and worm my way in. But for now, while I'm cowardly, it just stinks.

    So, I hear ya. And I'm so sorry.

  18. I must be honest and say that big "blogger meet ups" freak me out big time. I do better in a one-to-one coffee meetup or maximum 4 people. Arrange one with the people you regularly'd be surprised how many people would love to meet you.

  19. I blogged about the meet up :) Its an open invite to anyone really :)

    I think Jeanette is going (didnt read your comments so maybe she commented).

    The easiest way to go is to go when someone you know is going. You know me and Jeanette in real life (and obviously the ladies you heard talking) - so you know at least 4 people who could potentially be there. So you just go!

    They are loads of fun!!!!

    I am missing this one but would LOVE to be there!

  20. I have seen the invites on a few blogs and it was open ended for everyone that blogs in Joburg or can get to Joburg. I decided not to go as middle of the week at 6:30 in Joburg does not work for me. I have been to one blogger meet up only - it was ok, but I felt overwhelmed. All the other bloggers I have met have been on a more personal level - I (or they) approached me one on one. At most - we were 4 in December. Way more what I feel comfy in any event.

    So I have decided that if I see one and I know someone that is going there and make a "date" to meet there, I will go. If not - I will not go. I am scared of meeting new people. I much more like what we have arranged.

    As to reviews etc - I had 2 in the years I blogged - one which was such a crappy product that I never blogged about it. So really, not worth it.

    As to the magazine ones - have you noticed it is the same few people? Either the very famous (Tertia) or the known in the media ones. I think it is very much who you know.

    I do not blog for that type of recognition - I have good friends here and meet interesting people and document our lives. That is good enough.


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