Yesterday on Twitter, designer Vashti Braha started listing crocheters who use the service. She did so in response to Amie Hirtes‘ tweet wondering where all the crocheters are. Ah, yes. Where on earth are the crocheters? I replied:
Since the earliest days of CrochetMe.com, I've wondered where the crochet blogs are. I don't mean to imply that there aren't many crocheters online; of course there are. For this post, I'm focusing entirely on blogging and tweeting; forum participation is a different breed of online activity (ask me why). But, compared to blogs from other types of crafters—and yes, the sewing- and knit-blog communities are at the top of my mind—there just aren't that many. The explosion of crochet blogs I anticipated five years ago hasn't manifested. That's disappointing. A large, thriving community of crochet bloggers would not only make hordes of people happy, it would also provide a fertile ground for experimentation and collaboration. These things are the foundation of the evolution of the craft.
This morning I had the first spark of an idea, though. I had a lengthy (well, for Twitter it was lengthy and please pardon my typo) conversation with designer Jocelyn Sass, who asked me if I have a theory about why there aren't very many crocheters blogging and tweeting.
We discussed further, and during our exchange she mentioned keeping her tweets and blog posts mostly related to crochet. That's when the switch clicked. It's a rare blogger—on any topic—who can remain entirely on topic all the time and still be engaging, still inspire readers to care about what they have to say. They have to be a wizard with words, they have to absolutely kill with high-quality information, they have to post the most beautiful photographs around. The rest of us—well, the rest of us have to bring in other topics to keep things interesting. We have to relate our craft to our everyday lives, we have to go off on entertaining tangents, we have to write about major events going on around us, our work, art, other crafts. What might be considered irrelevant tangents to the most narrowly focused crochet blogger are actually the ingredients that make many blogs worth reading.
I didn't say it before, but I will say it now: Of the relatively few crochet blogs that are out there, a vast number of them are boring. They're the blog equivalents of Bubba listing all those kinds of shrimp. Kids, that's just not interesting.
And so here's my first theory in five years about why there aren't very many crochet bloggers: If there were more riveting crochet blogs, more crocheters would blog. More people would want to participate in the conversation. More people would be inspired to share their own stories.
What makes a blog interesting? Getting to know what makes the blogger tick; seeing the amazing products of their imagination; learning new techniques or tips; being entertained; being inspired.
Sometimes I want to shout to the world, “Would you please be more interesting?!” I could make a top-ten list.
Top Ten Ways to Be a More Interesting Crochet Blogger
- Blog for you. Write the things you need to say.
- Your readers are people, and likely crafters just like you. Make them think, and make them feel.
- Tell us what inspires you.
- Blogging is about conversation. Converse.
- Have an opinion. Share it. Don't apologize for it.
- Read blogs that aren't just about crochet. Read the news. Talk to people. Listen to music. See movies. Watch television. Understand that doing all of these things informs what you do with your hands. Let that come out when you write about your craft.
- Stop! Do not post another blurry photograph on your blog. Take another picture. Turn off the flash and use natural light. Rinse. Repeat.
- Use spell check. Seriously. It prevents you from undermining your own credibility.
- Punctuate. Seriously. Punctuation is what makes written works understandable. To be interesting, you must be understood.
- Tell a story. Tell your story. Tell any story. (But don't steal someone else's.)
What do you think? Do you read boring blogs because you feel you have to? What interests you? What do you do with your own blog to keep things interesting for yourself and for your readers?