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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Great Unifier

The Great Unifier.

That is the name that I have decided to give the blogosphere. The Great Unifier. I have traveled extensively in the Blogosphere from Georgia to the Phillipines, Singapore, Mozambique, Tanzania and back again. And this is only the beginning. But more important than the different physical locales that I’ve traveled to are the different opinions and points of view that I’ve been exposed to. The varying perspectives presented either overtly in blog posts or more subtly in a sidebar.

I have visited blogs that are written by radical right wingers, feminists, womanists, all about power to the people – people being whoever the writer represents. I have gone to hair spots and beauty spots, fashion blogs and animal lovers (I must admit the cat people are an interesting bunch). I have visited mommies and daddies. Most of my travels are in the mommy clique but I have also visited single men, single woman, single mothers, teen boys and teen girls. And have had the pleasure of reading their words.

At a good number of the places and spaces I visit I leave my mark. Sometimes I post a witty comment and at others a dissenting opinion. But I am always respectful of the writer and their work. Sometimes I am the sole person commenting outside of family and I receive a note so thankful that someone else read their words. One place I visited I commented on a post that I had political differences with. It happened to be a mommy blog with a couple of guest writers- each discussing the current presidential race from their political perspective. The mommy and her husband are on opposing sides of this presidential race and she gave him a platform to speak. A disagreement ensued in the comments and I along with a few others were called out by name because of our opinions. The author of the blog wrote to all of us and apologized. I appreciated the sentiment but thought it unnecessary. We are not always going to agree and as long as we can disagree respectfully I am cool with that.

I guess the point I am making is that as I cruise the blogosphere it doesn’t matter if I hold the same political or religious views of the writer or if I am of the same ethnicity or nationality of the person I am visiting. I treat everyone with respect and if I read something that is seriously offensive I close my browser and move on. Making a note to self never to travel that way again. That is the beauty of the Great Unifier.

We are all on equal ground. All of our voices can be heard and those that choose to can read or move on. We have the potential to influence others and the blogosphere is a powerful tool to get our personal thoughts out there and see what others are thinking.

This is a beautiful thing. So many times we are guessing what folks with differing opinions are up to. Here we have this information on a silver platter. I feel blessed to have the ability to interact with democrats and republicans, Christians and Jews, pagans and witches. Old and young, computer savvy or just learning. Professional writers and wanna be writers. We may not always agree but we can learn from each other in a way that otherwise would not be possible without The Great Unifier. Perhaps you are not ready to truly be a part of The Great Unifier and remain comfortable visiting in your niche. That is okay too. But please understand that you have an opportunity to learn that folks you may not agree with fundamentally are just like you in more ways than you think. Ultimately I believe this is the biggest eye opener. At least it has been for me. And I for one am thankful. I don’t really know who to thank for this opportunity I will just say thank you God for the technology and thank you folks for putting your voice out there. Suffice it to say but I am enjoying myself immensely.

* Note * I do realize that there remains a digital divide and unfortunately not everyone has access to this wealth of information. There are still numerous homes without access to computers and like everything else it generally breaks down to socio-economics. I personally wish there was a way for everyone to have computer access, perhaps our world leaders can work on that. But barring that there is one way I know of to make a difference. If you know of a mommy/family/individual that you think is deserving of a computer visit 5 Minutes for Mom. They are hosting a giveaway of an HP laptop and printer for a deserving individual. Nominate someone there. They are accepting nominations until August 27th and announcing a winner on August 29th.

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65 comments:

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

What a great post! I am with you on this. I love to visit other blogs (my eyes popped out when I saw your beautiful cakes)and I enjoy and respect most of the differences that I see in the blogs. I find that there are so many great, creative and fun bloggers out there too. My life is for the better since I have been blogging.

Babette said...

Hi Renee, I for one appreciate your comments. Have I told you that your diaper cakes makes me hungry? LOL

Renee said...

You make a very good point about the power of the internet to disseminate information. It also really does have the potential to bring people together. I admit that I spend a lot of time on feminist blogs and how to blogs but slowly I broadening this daily. I love finding a new voice.

Tara said...

well said!

Sage and Savvy said...

This is totally true. If it weren't for this wonderful blogosphere, we would not "meet" the people we have, gain new perspectives, get some laughs, find good deals, learn things...I could go on and on!

Joanie said...

What a great traveler you are! I bet in real life you'd be just as polite a guest in a foreign land (or state) as you are on blogs.

The beauty of the internet is that we are all different. Some are definitely more different than others, but that's part of the fun of discovering new blogs/places. If it were all the same, why bother?

Your post is one every blogger should read.

Bravo!

Da Goddess

Dawn said...

Great post! I am always happy for someone else to want to read my blog and appreciate any opinions and comments. I respect someone like you who will post their opinion in a respectful way, even if it isn't the same as mine. And those cakes are beautiful!!

angie said...

Love the name you've coined for it, but mostly love how you've backed up your title. I feel the same way.

penlighted said...

This is really true! Thank you for visiting my blog. Your diapers cakes made me really write about it. Visiting others' blog will really give you an idea about what to write and be updated about the world. There are a lot of things that is happening that we don't see in the news. Blogs makes us listen and learn from other people as well.

I support moms because I love my mom..^_^

HOBO said...

Great Information...

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Bravo..well said. I think too that we are more relaxed and open to getting to know others because we do not have blinders on as we sometimes do IRL...judging poeple by wheat they look like, sound like or where they live...I think you have pretty much summed up my personal view of this blogworld as well...Bravo...bravo.

amiable amy said...

What a wonderful insight and an honest glimpse of your innate personality. Respect really is a key to everything we do even if opinion varies in all aspects. God bless you more.

ali said...

Just a silly note on how great the internet is: A lightbulb got stuck in the light socket yesterday and broke off when I was trying to change it out, so hubby went online and learned that a wooden broom handle can loosen it. Who knew? Technology is wonderful.

Lynda said...

What a beautiful & profound post. You're so right when you say -:

"...it doesn’t matter if I hold the same political or religious views of the writer or if I am of the same ethnicity or nationality of the person I am visiting. I treat everyone with respect"

If only, if ONLY the whole world would share the same viewpoint, if only we could see past the 'superficial' differences in people, and have respect for others - and ourselves ... you are so right when you say this, it summarises how I feel.

Not sure if you have heard the wonderful African saying about the spirit of "Ubuntu" which is ...
"A person is a person, through other human beings"

Thanks for a thought-provoking post :)

Debateur said...

Funny this post really capture why I started blogging in the first place. I love the dissenting opinions I get on my blog each day. So happy to find you. I'll be back.

Sydney said...

1. okay. LOVE this post.
2. LOVE your diaper cakes! WOW are they pretty!
3. You and your baby are cutie patooties!
4. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm so glad you found it! I'm adding you to my reading list!

Karolynn said...

Beautifully said! Thank you for all of your comments on my blog! I really didn't sleep at my sleep test and I took the photo myself so I could blog about it hehehe...

cy said...

Ditto-what you said! It's amazing how creative people are. Creative in presentations and in putting their interests and thoughts out to the net world. I tend to forget that not everyone has access.

Weith Kick said...

Great post Renee! I try to be open to all people's points of view. And I feel like I've been fortunate in the fact that most people have been tolerant of mine too.

Insane Mama said...

I love this, I always try to remain open. People have a right to write whatever they want.

Ms. Bar B: said...

The net is definitely a powerful tool and its a beautiful thing when that power is used for good =).

Enjoyed your post and I think your diaper cakes are amazing.

followthatdog said...

Awesome post. I agree completely. I read all kinds of blogs, and sites and online magazines. It is great for your perspective. Even when I disagree.

Jennifer said...

That is definitely an award winningly brilliante article! And your right - cat people are nuts! Except you said it the nice way.

Christy said...

So very true. You can't expect to find agreement everywhere, and our differences make the world go 'round, right? Disagreeing respectfully does more to unify us all than just sticking to those blogs/writers we agree with. Great observations.

Paula said...

Here here! How boring and pointless it would be if comments could only be reiterating the same opinion as the blog author. (As I type this I realize the irony. Makes me think I should type, "I totally disagree! Everyone should always agree with everything I say on my blog!")

T.Allen-Mercado said...

So true and soe very well written. I have occasion to post some pretty controversial stuff, as well as read some. I always leave feeling better having had the opportunity to share my voice. Even if everyone disagrees someone may stop and think-I know I have, and sometimes that is enough.

Peace.

Dori said...

This was a great post! And I feel that blogging has opened me up also to so many other views out there as I read other blogs. Before I started blogging, I felt so isolated here away from my homeland, but blogging got my mind on looking outward into the world. And I just love the variety of views that can be found in the internet world. I have found people who have similar lives to me and then people who are not so similar and it has just been amazing. Thanks for this beautifully insightful post.

Carrie said...

I often think of how lucky I am to have this connection with other people. I love learning from others and I love teaching them as well!

Great Blog, well said.

Jamie said...

Great post!!!!

Linney Shvede said...

Great post! I always love having you visit my blog and appreciate the time you take to comment! Love ya!

Petula said...

Superbly written! I must say I don't normally read long posts, but you had me drawn in.:-) I totally agree with you... I think one of the blogs I like the post is written by a pagen, but I am always respectful and enjoy her point of view. If we keep in mind what you've said here then this Great Unifier, as you call it, will continue to be a wonderful place to hang out.

Christine said...

Very well put! I agree with you one hundred percent on that too. Which is why I love the internet so much. It really does make the world, ONE world!

Immoral Matriarch said...

The Great Unifier. I think that's an awesome name.

Jennifer said...

I'm coming from sandiegomomma to Da Goddess to you. I am in complete agreement to your post. The blog world is a wonderful way to get connected to people who are wonderfuly differnt and diverse in all ways possible and find common ground and respect.
Thank you for putting this out there and creating such a pleasant blog.

Kristen Andrews said...

that is what i love about the blogosphere, so much diversity and so many nice people!

fly tie said...

i agree. wonderful words here. i especially agree with paragraph 5. the blogosphere is indeed a beautiful thang. it's definitely impacted me in a positive way.

Lucky Girl said...

Terrific post! I never thought about the blogosphere as a Great Unifier--until now--and of course it is. I have considered it the least expensive form of "travel", and love that I can "see" so many places and "visit" with the locals!

mannequin said...

Very nice Renee! You are so right; being a person that very much appreciates art, I have often wondered..
If you ask someone the artist or work of art they like, you may not agree but it's very easy to understand that "to each his own".
If only people were like that about everything and towards one another.
We may not all like Salvador Dali but I'll bet everyone can agree that he was talented and that if someone else sees something in that
art, great!
Of course, you would say that in a much more elegant manner and that's great too!

Petra said...

So true, so true...I love thinking of my surfing the net as "travel," it makes me feel much less pathetic about spending five hours a day in front of a laptop!

You are a great writer!

Frogs in my formula said...

I think you created the perfect name for the maternal blogosphere. Fabulous post.

Amazing_Grace said...

I love trawlin' (that's what I call it). It's amazing how many people are blogging and how good their blogs are. :)

Yes, I'm talking about you, kiddo. Great blog! :)

dcyrill said...

Well said. Blogging is awesome. And thank you for your comments on my new blog header. ;)

Mocha said...

Alcohol, too, is the great unifier. Or is that "equalizer"?

In any case, I'm so with you on the fact that the digital divide helps KEEP information from some people. I've wanted for years to see government help with that. Like the poor parents of my students - I want them to access information about attendance and grades, not to mention higher education for themselves and/or their children.

Excellent post. Really. Well done.

San Diego Momma said...

So, so true. I've been awed by the sheer talent out there, as well as the diversity. Blogging is such a wonderful forum to unite us all -- even if we hold differing points of view.

Great post.

Connie said...

What a great title for you! It does fit you well. And your blogging and comments help you share your thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a non-biased way. Keep on blogging GF!

I gave you an award on my blog for your blogging so this post fits well!

mamadance said...

I'm here via Da Goddess-- she was right, a must-read for all who blog. Great post, ditto to all that came before me. Sorry for the lack of originality. It's been a long day.

Casey's trio said...

This post is great...I love how blogging has brought me to new places and people. And I also appreciate it when people leave respectful comments to others even when they might disagree with something.

Fysty Mama said...

This was a beautiful entry!! I want you to know I appreciate your visits and enjoy coming back and getting "the update" from you!!

The Blogosphere is cute and may be stolen :)...

VCSMama said...

GREAT post! Thanks for this. I've only begun to start visting other sites, and your post has given me the inspiration to up-level my exploration. Thanks for continuing to be my Big Sister in blogging! :-) Now, about that Mommy play date...

Kelly said...

i really don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said. but i am going make this my featured post today. and i think you deserve 50 comments on this. so here is your 50th!

Kelly said...

i'm a moron and linked it wrong. so if you checked and cussed me out for lying, you can check now and laugh at me for being stupid.

Bridget said...

AWESOME post!!!!!! This is SO true, I am just figuring out how wonderful blog hopping can be!! When people ask me what kind of things I read... magazines? books? etc. I respond with blogs! i love it and I love yours! thank you for a great post!

Jennifer James said...

Great post, Renee! When we met online a few months ago, didn't you say you were a newbie? Could have fooled me! There are people who have been on the Net for years and probably will never reach this insightful conclusion.

Congratulations on a great post and congratulations as well on your Yahoo! listing.

Tracy P. said...

You've got some great insights here, Renee! I loved the Michael Phelps post--what a different take, but you are so right that he's a candidate for "lostness", I'd say, at a very young age. I hope he has as much focus personally as he has athletically to stand up under the pressure of his fame.

You've done better than I have at venturing out into a variety of perspectives, although I've done a bit of it. I'm curious if you have run across any blogs from homeless people--they could do it from a library.

Thanks for coming to the state fair with me yesterday! Hope your mom (and YOU) get through this stretch ok.

Rela Pantaleon-Manigsaca said...

Hi Renee! What a thoughtful, beautiful post. I totally agree with you!

texasholly said...

Awesome post. Love it. It took me a little while to realize what a blessing it is to be able to represent yourself somewhere the way you want...without pre-judgement as to what you look like, where you live, etc.

Thanks for linking today!

Colleen said...

Very nicely said! Seriously, I've often thought the same thing...whereas within my personal circle of friends there seems to be a lot of similar sentiments (probably the reasons we became friends to begin with), in bloggieland all borders are blurred, or invisible. You never know WHERE you may land from one day to the next, but you can be certain of one thing - you will almost always "meet" someone who makes you think!

MomsReality said...

agreed - it is a blessing to be able to make the world a little smaller & bring people together!

Debbie said...

I agree - it is the great unifier. And I love the fact that I get to know (on at least some level) people from so many different backgrounds that I would never meet in the "real" world.

jill jill bo bill said...

So nice to meet you and I totally agree that we can disagree agreeably and still get along. Great post!

Good N Crazy said...

I was thinking you were cool, now I see for sure...
Wish I had travelled like that?

I've been to Poland? I know. Don't ask. That's it.

zafiro80 said...

I very much agree about the vast amount of information available today thanks to the internet. we discuss it a lot in my Library school classes (yes we librarians must get and MS to be a librarian). I love being able to help people perform searches and help them search more efficiently so they can find credible info for reports or just for their reading pleasure. Social networking also helps with finding unique information. Glad to be able to read about that in a no-academic setting.

Alyson, the 3 P's Mama said...

Oooh, good job! I often have similar thoughts...the Web is a marvelous and amazing thing.

blogthatmama said...

Blogging's incredible isn't it? Some blogs differ som much from my personal viewpoint but really challenge my beliefs and perceptions. Just what the world needs now! Great read, Blogthatmamax

Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents said...

I'm so happy to come across this post Renee! I've followed you since you began blogging. I too, travel around the blogosphere, as it seems I only get to travel vicariously. I too like to find out opinions from the other side of the world that I live on, and people of all interests.

Thanks for sharing.

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