Sunday, December 6, 2009

Community and Contest!

So I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of blogging lately (and have been talking about it with my office-mate AS), for a variety of reasons:

(1) I've been trying to take my Twitter account from being a class assignment related to the film festival to something I actually use for networking and becoming part of this larger community of online food/agriculture/environment commentators. I like the idea of connecting with strangers half way across the world who care about the same issues that I do.

(2) I got a really nice comment on my Facebook profile: "I basically need to read the "Anna Times" everyday. Giving the FB world a reality check. THANK YOU! Keep it up. And when you go on missions to put the world back together take me with you! :)" This comment made me reflect on the random stuff I post to my Facebook wall simply because I come across something interesting and feel like sharing it with people and don't want to bother Justin yet again. (Topics ranging from historical tidbits about food to Bhopal to Jonathan Safran Foer and back). The idea that someone actually reads these things and finds them useful made me feel really happy and purposeful. Given that I get half of my news from links people post on Facebook, I know how meaningful this little act of social media can be, and I'd like to think that my blog can serve some of the same purpose.

(3) I first began this blog because I wanted all my friends to read it, and I wanted them to know what was going on in my life in the spaces between our monthly phone calls. When we did talk on the phone, I wanted them to ask questions like "How's your composting going?" (Thanks, AMM!) and wanted them to know what I spent my time doing even if we didn't talk all the time. I wanted them to see the blog as a weekly update on my life. But the problem is that I don't know how many of my friends actually read this blog, and I'm not sure that people are inclined to keep up with blogs if they don't use Google Reader as obsessively as I do. So now when I talk to people, I have no idea if they're already aware of my life through my blog, or if I have to fill them in on my quest for a winter coat or on the film festival or on those delicious savory pies that I baked. The only way I know anyone reads this (and my current reader count that I'm aware of is up to 5) is if he/she leaves comments (BadgerBear and Mike!) or is my Mama.

So, I'd like to hear from you who sometimes read this. What purpose can this blog serve? Do you like reading it? What can I do to make it better?

To add some incentive to all this, I'm going to deliver a tasty surprise to the first five people who leave comments (except maybe not to Mike in India) and to a randomly chosen person from among the remaining comments. Even if you don't have a concrete comments, just leave your name and you'll still be eligible for tasty treats!


  1. I would certainly take a tasty treat if they are on offer...

  2. How bummed I am to hear that I'm not eligible for one of your snacks! Can't you just slather on some preservatives and keep whatever it is you wind up making in the freezer until I come visit you in, I don't know, another 2.5 years or so?

    Regarding the facebook news stuff, it's always great to check out the spiffy things you find. As you know, I often repost the links on mine own blog.

    Sorry for not giving as many encouraging comments as I should. Actually, something is terribly wrong with my computer keyboard (monsoon-related malfunction) and I can only read and click. Comments come only when I manage to borrow a computer from a pal or head to a much-disdained internet cafe.

    Uhh, in my own news, I've been having lots of discussions about veganism lately and am about 90% of the way there. Hurrah!

  3. I vote for more wedding stories!

  4. Oooh ooh!! I read your blog, (especially when I can anticipate updates to reward my checking in? and I too crave more wedding stories. though any breathing-body stories are good.) LOVE you.