I began this blog after 19 months participation in Mixi, the Japanese counterpart of MySpace.com. In Mixi, you write a diary entry, post it, and within hours or days someone leaves a comment, which you can answer and post below theirs. Everyone frequently reads their "My Mixi" (the special group of close friends to the member) friends' diaries and if someone 'comes to call' at your top page, a "footprint" is left telling you who came. You can click on their footprint and check out their top page as well. Sometimes new friendships are born, though often not.
But I got my basic training in "blogging" on Mixi, a social networking system, so when my friend Jeana sent me her updated google blog, and it inspired me to make my own, I came into it fully expecting a similar experience. I sent out notices to all the people on my email mailing list, and eagerly waited to hear comments from tons of people I usually only exchange Christmas cards with. Happily there were a couple of emails from people acknowledging my having written them, but nothing tangible to look at on the blog.
Well it finally dawned on me that, of course, it's not nearly the same system, is it? On a blog, you write your diary, post it, and almost no one comments, ever. I guess they haven't attended Basic Blog Training at a SNS Boot Camp, like me. They may come and visit, even often, but they leave no footprints.
With Jeana's help, I joined Sitemeter, which is a company that helps you keep track of how many people come to call at your blogsite. We can even see who their providers are, and what town in which they are located, but we can't uncover their identities. After Mixi, I am dying to know who has visited. Who is it in Anjo, Aichi that accesses my blog very frequently? Who is it who lives in Sugar Grove, IL...is this an old friend? Is this a new, potential friend? Or will this person, and all the others like them, just be a wisp of a ghostly presence I'll never be privileged to meet or exchange a word with?
My sinking heart seems to say, "The latter, Sally; they're only evaporating drops of moisture on a hot sidewalk." If you have come and are reading this now, please leave a comment once in a while, won't you? If you have a blog as well, I'll come to visit yours. Let's take a lesson from Mixi and mix it up socially, shall we?