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Tag: vulnerability

Stories to Listen to, Moderating Blog Comments, Teaching Blogging [en]

Stories to Listen to, Moderating Blog Comments, Teaching Blogging [en]

[fr] Deux ou trois épisodes de podcasts à écouter. Quelques réflexions sur les commentaires de blog (spam ou non?) et la difficulté d'apprendre à bloguer.

Listen to Greetings from Coney Island. I swear you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t make the same mistake I did, and be a bit distracted early on, not realising there are two parallel stories, told by two women with (to me) very similar voices. I actually reached the end of the story before realising I had missed the whole point, so I listened to it all again. It was worth it.

vue cham

Another episode of Love+Radio reminded me of a Moth story I heard quite a long time ago now. It’s about a volunteer at a suicide prevention hotline. That story made me understand something about suicide (which I am lucky not to know from the inside): it’s not about wanting to die, it’s about wanting the pain to stop. Like many Moth stories, it’s beautifully told and very moving. Well worth the small moment of your life you will spend listening to it.

I know, this blog is turning into a podcast review. But not only. See.

One of the challenges I face as editor-in-chief of Open Ears is approving comments. Not so much because we publish controversial articles that have people biting each other’s heads off in the comments (not at all, actually), but more because

  1. spambots are getting better and better at sounding human
  2. some humans are sounding more and more like spambots.

About the latter: people like me have been saying for years that a great way to get your website or blog known is to comment on other blogs. But that’s not quite the whole story. Aligning fluffy or self-promotional comments on other people’s blogs might get your “nofollowed” links out there, but isn’t really going to do what matters, which is encouraging people to actually know you and read your stuff because they’re interested. Clicks and visits only really mean anything if they come from the heart.

So what does work? Well, actually, being a valued member of the communities you are part of. At the time, during the Golden Age of Blogging, leaving meaningful comments on blogs you read and linked to was a way of being that. It’s not about the links, it’s about the place you respectfully take or are given willingly. Add value. Be helpful. Try and make friends. That’s the spirit of “leaving comments”.

Which brings me to an important piece of blogging advice I came up with while trying to teach my latest batch of students the basics of blogging (it was, to put it kindly, a mixed success): blog about stuff that’s in your head. Write about what you know. If you have to google around to factcheck this or that, find a link, or look up a detail, that’s fine. But if you find yourself doing research and reading up to gather the material for your blog post (and the post is not about your research), chances are you’re “doing it wrong”.

Blogging is this weird thing which as at the same time so easy (for “natural bloggers”) but so hard to learn or teach. I think that is because it touches upon “being” more than “doing”. It’s about daring a certain degree of authenticity that we are not encouraged to wear in our school or professional lives. And it’s definitely not how we learn to write. In a way, teaching blogging is a bit like trying to teach people to dare to be themselves in public. This makes you think of Brené Brown and vulnerability, does it not? Exactly. And that is why, I think, blogging is a powerful tool to connect people.

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Brené Brown on Vulnerability (TEDx Talk) [en]

Brené Brown on Vulnerability (TEDx Talk) [en]

[fr] Excellente présentation de Brené Brown sur la vulnerabilité et l'importance de celle-ci pour notre capacité à entrer en relation. A regarder absolument (il y a des sous-titres français si vous en avez besoin).

After a pretty unproductive day watching cars spawn and unhacking my blog, I settled down to watch a few videos I had stuck in Boxee over the last months.

First I watched Alain de Botton, who said very eloquently what I’ve been thinking for a few years now: if anyone can be anything, and we owe our successes to ourselves, we are also fully responsible for our failures, and that responsibility is crushing us and our self-esteem. I then went on to David Blaine, who held his breath for 17 minutes — more scary than inspiring for me (kids, don’t try this at home in the bathtub).

Finally, I listened to Brené Brown’s talk on vulnerability and connexion. It hit close to home, and I took some notes, which I’ll share with you in continuation with my mad crazy live-blogged notes of the Lift conference. But do listen to Brené directly:

In order for connection to happen, we need to let ourselves be seen.

Shame: if people see or know this thing about me, then I am not worthy of connexion.

The only thing that separates people who have a strong sense of worthiness from those who struggle to feel worthy of love and belonging is that those who have this strong sense of worthiness — they believe they are worthy of love and belonging. That’s the only difference.

The only thing that keeps us from connexion is our fear that we’re not worthy of connexion.

Courage to be imperfect.

Compassion to be kind to oneself and then to others.

Connexion as a result of authenticity. Let go of who you should be to be who you are.

AND vulnerability. They fully embraced it. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. The willingness to say “I love you first”. The willingness to invest in a relationship which may or may not work out.

We numb vulnerability. But you can’t selectively numb the emotions you want, the difficult feelings. You numb everything else too.

We make everything that is uncertain certain. (Control.) We perfect. Including our children.

You’re imperfect, you’re wired for struggle, you’re worthy of love and belonging.

We pretend.

Let ourselves be seen. Love with our whole heart, even though there’s no guarantee. Practice gratitude and joy. Believe that we’re enough.

Thanks, Brené. You can follow Brené on Twitter or check out her blog.

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