Sunday, August 29, 2010

Building Web Community

So I am fairly new to this whole blogging thing, and am slowly discovering amazing blogs and writers as I go. I felt the need to share the wealth.

Often, I discover a great blog through someone else's blogroll, or I discover a new one because someone leaves a comment here and I go to their blog.  Some of my favorite blogs that I have discovered this way are (not in any particular order):

The Forest Witch:
I found this one from a comment left in my blog by its author. I was delighted to get inside the head of the blog's author, Miaerowyn, who writes on divination, herbalism and more. Solid stuff!

Reproductive Rites:
Strangely enough, it took a comment left here by the blog's author for me to know about this blog! You see, the author and I know one another share a spiritual teacher and were in the same class together for over two years! We also had children around the same time. The blog content is awesome: feminism, reproductive rights, paganism, and more are all covered.

Raising My Boychick:
What can I say? This blog is my favorite at the moment. Arwyn's essays on parenting a boy to grow up to be a respectful man, dealing with mainstream society, and relationships, are always insightful and thought provoking. Her book reviews are amazing (so much better than mine- I love the format!)and I always read RMB when it appears in my inbox.

Free Range Kids:
By far the biggest blog I subscribe to, this blog is a web phenomenon, for good reason. Her blog is all about how fear and paranoia (incited by mainstream media) keep us from allowing our kids to have normal childhoods and develop into autonomous adults. She's a hero of mine at the moment, as I try to build community to benefit my son and other pagan kids.

What blogs have you discovered? How did you find them? What are your favorites? Share share share! 

And bloggers- I have two pet peeves as I scour the web looking for great content, so here's some unsolicited advice:

1. Make subscribing easy. Don't coyly hide the link (or even worse, don't put one on at all! Not everyone has a blog reader built into their browser (or wants one))! Make it as easy as possible for people to sub, in a variety of ways.

You can tell that this is a pet peeve of mine, because I offer no less than 7 ways to follow this blog: Google Reader, a Facebook Fan page, Networked blogs (which feeds into a Facebook newsfeed for those who subscribe), Twitter, a traditional RSS reader link through Feedburner (which is compatible with virtually all readers out there), a subscribe by email option (also powered by Feedburner), and Blog Frog, for those members of that community of blogs. I firmly believe that the reader should be able to choose how to let Witch Mom into their lives.

I know that bloggers just want to be read- so allow people choices in how you come to them and more people will opt in!

2. Please, I am begging you, for the love of Mithras, no more embedded sound! It is distracting, not always appropriate to the reader who wants to read your blog (sleeping baby or work environment anyone?), and seriously adds nothing to the enjoyment of your work. At the very least, make the default option OFF, and allow people to add sounds if they choose it.


  1. Thanks for the blog tips, and I couldn't agree more on your pet peeves.

    My blog isn't fantastic,but if you want to have a look, it's at

  2. I really agree with you on the music. I have some blogs that I dearly love but have to scroll down as fast as I can to shut the music off. Another way around it is that I have a feed for some on my google page and I read them through there so no sound.

  3. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now. I just wanted to say I was very much enjoying it. My children span from 4 years to 18, and I am still learning.

    Free Range kids is my favorite site I wish she had been around with my oldest.


  4. Thanks for the link! I'll have to check out the others whose company I'm sharing.

    I totally agree with you about pages with sound. I don't even know any blogs that are dumb enough to do that, but maybe that's because I do all my blog reading via Google reader.

  5. Thanks everyone! There are so many amazing voices out there- I will probably periodically do an update post to share who I am liking at the moment!

    Lily, aka Witch Mom


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