Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?

The rewards have been exceptional. As a military spouse, I have seen first hand how blogging can help people in important ways and women “people” especially! Each time I move to a new duty station, my family needs certain things to help us feel at home. The quicker we can do this, the better. Since blogs are the most immediate kind of communication other than speaking with them in person or on the phone, I find the most current information about duty stations by searching through the blogs, often months before we are due to transfer.

Now blogging may be new to many military spouses, so when I saw how valuable blogging was to my community, I started my own blog especially for military spouses. While the spouses who contact me do not tend to comment on my blog due to security issues of one sort or another, I do get a number of emails from military spouses each week. They ask about career options since they know I am a WAHM (work-at-home-mom), or request information about my present location. They even get in touch through other spouse-friends we may have in common to ask about other duty stations in which I have lived as well as just about everything else.

My blog has led to renewed friendships with old school friends, helped market my first novel (even though it was published 6 years ago now!), and I have noticed that clients and potential employers are quick to scope out my blog if they want to know a little more about the person they are considering hiring. It is the best representation of my work and my personality because chances are good that whatever the viewer is reading was written no more than a few days to a week ago.

Blogs are especially valuable to women. As women, we relate best to each other, whether we are moms or not, or work at or away from home. We seem to make virtual friends more quickly than men and offer our advice freely, whether it is requested or not. When I had, let’s say an “energy” problem, with one of my sons (too much of it bouncing off the walls!), I was able to get advice on how to harness it from other women who went through the same thing, perhaps on the very same day. When I have a question about pricing my work, I go to a few blogs written by women who write to find out their pricing strategy and help others with my expertise if I can. It’s kind of like paying it forward. I take and I give back.

The blogosphere has enhanced my work, my social network and a number of aspects of my life. This new media water cooler is one of the best things to happen to those of us who work at home, those of us who need immediate answers from real people, and to those of us who just want to be entertained. Long live the blogosphere!


Caitlin Madden said...

Great post! Thank you for entering Mabel's Labels BlogHer '09 contest!
Best of luck!
Caitlin Madden

~MyGalSal~ said...

My baby girl is going to war and she will be taking my heart with her. Only a military mom can know this pride and this pain. :(

Writing Military Mom said...

I'm actually a military spouse who is a mom (of little boys). Your daughter is in my prayers, though, as are you.