Not too long ago, in my efforts to spruce up my home for spring, I contacted my favorite, local hardware store. I was geeked about getting a pretty new shade of paint for my basement room, and wanted to get an idea of what was available on sale and in my budget.
I had been calling for a few days with no answer. Finally, on a Saturday I made a "connection" with someone who answered the phone from the management company that owns the building.
The lady said to me, "Sorry miss, the store has been closed for the last few months. You guys have been giving your business to stores like Menard's and Lowe's--so we couldn't compete."
To put it mildly, I felt like crap.
This lovely little store had been in our community for decades.
And it was the old fashioned, ma and pa operation, family owned.
You know...where you could find things that you couldn't get at the big stores-- like the real good, old fashioned cooking pans, and inexpensive trinkets for the kitchen, spice racks, cool gadgets, and things that gave a sense of nostalgia. More than a piece of real estate, it added value to our surroundings.
The owner would often indulge you in stories about his fishing trips, his wife's poetry, and his philosophy on events of the day. He was an elderly guy with quiet wisdom.
Bear with me readers, there's a point here, I promise...
A year before this incident, one of my favorite neighborhood book stores met with the same fate; it had to bid farewell, because of a lack of support in terms of patronage and dollars.
So what does this have to do with writing, or the price of tea in China?
Glad you asked.
Lately, I have witnessed many of the "virtual doors" of bloggers are closing too.
A few years ago it was Jean at Virgin Blogger Notes.
Any of you remember her site? Hugely popular.
Last month, one of my favorite motivational bloggers, (who has also won awards for her blog), announced that she is throwing in the towel to pursue a few creative projects as well.
And the list goes on.
Now some of you may mistakenly believe that just because there are thousands, maybe millions of blogs from which to choose, that a few bloggers bowing out of the game won't be of detriment to a community of online readers.
If so, that's where you'd be wrong, my friends. :-) Quantity is not the same as quality.
Are you with me here? :-)
Think of how you'd feel if your favorite local restaurant went out of business.
Or your favorite novelist stopped writing books.
Or your favorite sitcom went off the air.
Well, some things we have no control over.
Some we do.
And that's why "ACTIVE SUPPORT" is so important. So often we take the things we enjoy for granted. We shouldn't.
Good bloggers bring value! They help to expand our horizons, our knowledge base, and our bottom lines. They allow us to laugh, ponder, and keep us pushing forward. They foster a sense of community where we can connect and come together from different worlds and regions. They create bridges for better communication.
Not to mention, each blogger has a different voice and personality. They bring different skills to the game.
With this being said, here are a few ways to keep more virtual doors open and create a win/win situation for everyone.
- Write a review of an author's book and post it to Amazon.
- Tweet a post or "Like" a blog on Facebook.
- Purchase products offered on your favorite blogger's site.
- Write and submit a quality guest post.
Well, I'm off my soap box for today. That's my story and I'm sticking with it! :-)
It's good to be back and I look forward to opening more "doors" for you, as we continue on our journey here at Pen and Prosper's upcoming 4th year.
As always, thanks for your support and your time.
In the words of Tupac: "You are appreciated."
Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Do tell.