Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Conflicted But Still Going Forward

The long and uncertain road

I am conflicted.

Not a soul-crushing, life-changing, life or death kind of conflicted, but conflicted in a general, queasy sort of way, like maybe I had bad Chinese and I should be looking for a bathroom soon feeling. That kind of conflicted. The kind that can be ignored for a bit, but resolution is required sooner than later and sooner is better.

What am I conflicted about? Quit with attempts at cute/coy set-up and get to the point, right?  Sure.

I have been troubled by my blog list.

There, my conflict in a simple and straight forward sentence. So? What are the specifics then, the details, the important bits? Why am I conflicted you may want to know by something as innocent as a blog list? Well, specifically the links to blogs or sites that don’t update have been on my mind for a while now. Several of the blogs I listed are listed because they are written by the people who first started coming to my blog, but there is the heart of the conflict, folks. I want to link to value, but I also want to support the people who support me.

Where do you draw that line, folks, when you want to to things that are so clearly in direct opposition? Provide great links to greats sites but sacrifice links to sites written by those who first took notice and gave early encouragement when it was needed most. Two desires that don’t play well with each other.

What I decided is that I have to give readers value and that means not only my blog posts, but those blogs and sites that I list on my blog. I think I owe that to readers as much as it pains me to delete inactive blogs from my blog list of my very first supporters.

So, I made the hard choice, but I can’t say that I feel less conflicted by making that choice even despite the fact that I am comfortable in knowing that my choice is the right one, the only real choice.  

And now, now I’m looking hard to find replacements and refine my blog list so that it better reflects what I’m reading, what I think others might enjoy reading.

No looking back, though, despite my continued conflict. No time to look back, folks. Gotta keep on keepin’ on and going forward.


Rachel Howells said...

Guilt, especially undeserved guilt over something that really is nothing (or at least nothing you should feel guilty about), is a terrible affliction. I know this because I suffer from a similar condition. My guilt is so ridiculous that I apologize to people who hurt ME intentionally or otherwise because I wouldn't want them to feel bad on account of something I did or didn't do. It's madness.

(Of course I'm just kidding around).

Great post! I could tell from the first sentence it was going to be a good one. Some fine writing her sir :-)

MT Nickerson said...

Well thank you, Rachel.

I know that feeling guilt in this situation is at least a little silly, but I can't deny that the feeling is there- nor can I shake that feeling.

I just need to accept and move on, I guess.

Michael Pokocky said...

Can you please post this to twitter: friends of Michael Pokocky!!! He was kicked off twitter. Starting a new one. go here -> leave your twid so he can add u.

Michael Pokocky
@antresolcafe --> gone

jocelyn koehler said...

Are you worried that the people who support you will stop supporting you if your remove a link to a dormant site?

If they're that fickle, you don't need _them_ as supporters.

People stop maintaining websites and blogs for all kinds of reasons. If you're really conflicted about a particular link, just ask the person whose link it is. If they say "Yeah, I'm not doing that blog anymore", how could they be upset when no one visits?

Matthew MacNish said...

That's a tough call. I very rarely add or remove links to or from my sidebar.

MT Nickerson said...

Jocelyn- not so much worried about folks dumping me if they aren't linked on the side bar. I guess I just feel like it's a loyalty issue (and I know how stupid that is). I want to choose exciting and interesting sites and to support those who support me, but intellectually I understand that I control my site and not the frequency or quality of posts on other sites.

Intellect does not always trump that little voice in the back of my mind, though, despite facts and reason that argue against feelings of guilt.

Not letting it bother me over-much, but the feeling is still there- no denying that.

Patricia Lynne said...

I understand your conflict. I was looking at my blogroll the other day and noticed I have a few that haven't been updated in months. Naturally, by some of the first friends I made in the writing community. One blog used to have great content and I really don't want to remove it in case he starts posting again. Ugh. But I think I might take your approach and remove the blogs that aren't doing anything. I still follow them so if they update their blog, I'll see and can tweet the link.

MT Nickerson said...

Patricia- excellent advice. I think I'll follow your lead and do the same.

Robert said...

oh, that is just so not an issue. Cut inactive blogs, unless ancient content is still seminal; or keep them on the bottom of the list so they are there, but not prioritized; or make your own page/blog entry with all that archival links entries on it so readers can click on "archived blog links" to search your early influences without taking up space on current list. All valid approaches!

Now, the one I struggle with is what to do with old books? Sooner or later I will have to prune floor to ceiling storage, but to toss out a book that once influenced my love of reading or my writing or just gave me pure enjoyment -- that's tough! As a book lover I cannot part with any of them. I am not the sort who have a series of cheap affairs -- where they have their way with a book, read it and then discard it like yesterdays trash! No, I love my books and promise to cherish them always. But, you know, after 30 years, seriously running out of space. Getting a Kobo has helped slow the influx, decreased urgency of more storage space, but still....somebody's going to have to go, and I am totally conflicted.....

MT Nickerson said...

Robert- If you thought I was conflicted about out dated blogs, you really don't want to know how I feel about all my old books!

I might need a team of analysts and many, many hours to deal with my old book issue...

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

I don't quite understand your dilemma. Whilst you blog every day, many don't have the time to stop by on a regular basis, let alone post themselves. Me for one. That is not to say I/we do not enjoy your posts.

But, at the end of the day, this is your blog and you can do whatever you bloody well like, good sir :)

Oh, just one more thing ... I very rarely look at the links on other peoples sidebar. I can pretty much figure out who I want to follow for myself - thank you very much :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

You are so sensitive! What a lucky woman your wife is! You worry like my dog worries - he's filled with existential angst.
What is my place in this world? Am I doing the right thing? Why is the cat allowed on the kitchen table?
Okay, for what it's worth, and thank God you kept me (sorry, teasing, could not resist) um I clean out my blog list from time to time.
I keep those who link to me but do not visit under a subcategory.
I put people who do not blog often under friends.
I have a list of resources for writers that I keep for my own purposes and I don't care if they link back or if they even know I exist.
I update maybe every couple months - that means I check to see that those people who never visit are still linked to me. If they are, great, they get to keep their spot. If not, their spot goes away.
I also check out the friends list occasionally. If they never link back and I have no overriding reason to read their blogs, off they go into the wild blue yonder.
No guilt. Quid pro quo to some extent.

MT Nickerson said...

I am well and truly admonished, Wendy. :)

Call me weird, but I think (and worry) about such things. Perhaps it is the newbie in me, or perhaps the reason for my conflicted state of mind is insecurity, or it could be simply a weakness of character that makes me want to achieve a perfection neither wanted nor attainable.

Not sure but from the comments, I appear to be in small minority and am conflicted by a non-issue.

Ah, well...

MT Nickerson said...

Thanks for the comparison, Julia, to your dog. He must be a remarkable creature of exceptional doggie charm and handsome demeanor. :)

And thank you for the tips- I'm still trying to figure out which way is up in many regards in this strange blogging world.

Rachel Howells said...

"Thanks for the comparison, Julia, to your dog" ROFLOL

MT Nickerson said...

I know, Rachel, right? I hope Julia's dog wasn't too insulted by the comparison... :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Oh my dog is the most handsome German shepherd. He's extremely intelligent, thus the chronic existential angst.

MT Nickerson said...

Hate the angst, though mine is not due to anything remotely related to intelligence...