Sunday, April 17, 2005

On my new policy of deleting links and no longer visiting sites that have deleted links to my blog, I received the following e-mail, which I'm posting together with my response

Stephen:

I noticed a couple of your comments around the nacle that seem to be closing some doors. I just wanted to make sure things are all right. I certainly understand that we all sometimes need to make some interesting changes. Again, I hope all is well.


My response (with editing):

Thank you for your kind thoughts and concern. It is appreciated.

Last time my life was going this well was 1992, right before everything went south. I used to think of the long Indian Summer of 1992 as the best time in my life, and Christmas of 1992 to New Year's Eve of 1993 as the worst time of my life.

So, there are probably some emotional overlays to the way I'm feeling/acting, especially since when things are going well it now fills me with dread, but the real story is that I realized that people who had linked to me had cut the links out and intended to keep the links cut, others were never going to link back and (most importantly) that I was spending too much time on-line reading blogs.

I decided I needed to close off some time sinks to spend more time where it needed to be spent, and also wanted to be clear why and how I was making the decisions I was making. In a way, everything is arbitrary, but I wanted to at least have some basis for the decisions I made.

So I've cut off from links and posting everyone who cut off their links to me or who said they were going to link and then decided not to. But I did it only after following up and discussing the matter with the people I decided to cut-off from contacts and links.

I have to admit that the link issue is one that has rankled for a while, especially when bcc added a link to "Angry Mormon" and not me, I felt completely and thoroughly snubbed at that point. I link to him because he is in grief and a good example of someone finding a safe place to express natural grief and rage, which some people I know need. Those who have buried children need places to express their emotions.

But I'm not sure how his rage fits in with the theme of bcc and LDS links in general. When I realized they found it more edifying and typical of LDS thought and mores than my site, I realized that I needed to just drop bcc from my ambit.

Anyway, yes, I'm a little emotionally off, but I don't think too badly, given the inputs.

I recently spent a lot of time with my 16 year old as she suddenly regained a lot of missing memories and had severe self-doubt issues about whether she was screwed up beyond repair or not, that sort of thing, but those are just more steps in the process. Especially since she is not screwed up and is the most wonderful child I know.

As for work, and leaving for Paris for better than a week to celibrate our 20th wedding anniversary, yes I feel some stress, but I think everything will go ok at work while I'm gone and I think I've already covered the home issues. At work, everything looks cleared up, passed my file review with flying colors, with any luck they'll have my boss (who I got along with very well) replaced by when I get back (he quit on short notice).

Other than that, I have, for a while at least, given up on the book I was going to write and have realized I've aged out of the chance of teaching. Turning it down when I did, to come back later, pretty much shipwrecked a major goal in life, but life goes on and there were other things that were more important at the time, so it was a decision well made.

There are more important things than personal goals, always.

Appreciate your kindness and concern.

Regards,

Stephen

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI, I moved most of my Bloggernacle links to my Sideblog about a month ago. Just too many links for one blog to handle.

http://mormoninquiry.typepad.com/sidenotes/

-- Dave

Geoff J said...

Stephen,

I've seen your several comments stating "I won't be back" lately. I think this current tact might not be in your best interests

I know you want link a direct link from my page but the only ones that get that are the ones not included at ldsblogs.org. (kulturblog and planetlds). Would you prefer I remove you from ldsblogs.org and add you to my site instead? I guarantee that would not be good for your traffic.

Regarding link-back in general: Since this is really a marketing issue for you, have you asked yourself the fundamental marketing questions? Why would an LDS blog want to link to your blog? Is their sole incentive the threat that you might not come back to their blog?

There is a big difference between an LDS blog and a personal journal blog run by a Mormon. Since your blog is in the latter category, I suspect you will always have trouble getting links from blogs in the former category. Maybe you should focus link exchange requests on other journal blogs run by Mormons...

If you are determined to stay on this latest path, just know that at least I will miss your participation at my blog.

Stephen said...

Geoff, I link to The Mormon Archipelago and get a link back, so I'm happy there (and visit from time to time).

I wouldn't expect anyone to link to my site based on a comment that I wasn't coming back. That wasn't the point so I was obviously too terse.

You make a good point that I'm obviously not LDS enough and that the essays mixed with the personal content here really don't cut it.

I need to rethink, but the real solution might be just to delete the blog and focus on other things. I get enough attention on the web (cf http://adrr.com/wusage/ ), I just wanted to feel more of a sense of community, but you've pointed out that I really don't belong, which I hadn't thought of before.

Excellent point.

Stephen said...

Hmm,the latest accesses of 172,726 for last week is overstated by about 80,000 -- those were caused by some sort of robot glitch, idiot phishers.

Geoff J said...

Well I can understand if blogging is getting in the way of more important things in your life. I think time is the only real resource we are given in life so we must choose the ways we spend it wisely. Just know that I appreciate your comments and the online convertsation we've had. Plus we'll keep you live at my "links page" (ldsblogs.org) for as long as you keep your blog going.

yabadabadoo helper said...

I'll be sorry to see your absence in several of the places I post comments. I've told you before that I find your comments interesting and often fun. Your reasons for withdrawing strike my as sound, though. The bloggernacle is a really cliquish place. It gives me a glimpse of what it might be like to move into a Utah ward after having been raised on the east coast.

And I can completely sympathize with the time issue--I suspect that a "bloggers anonymous" 12 step group will startup soon. Or perhaps this is one of of the motivating factors behind the release of the Church's own new 12 step addiction recovery program.

Clark Goble said...

Jsut as a note, I've removed (or will remove) all blogs from my sidebar that don't regularly discuss more theological or doctrinal issues. It's nothing personal. It's just that my sideblog is huge right now. I kept having people want to be put there, but I had to make a decision of what standard puts me there.

By the same reasoning I don't really mind that many, if not most, LDS blogs don't link me. After all for the average person who reads blogs, my blog is far too technical and dry.

Anonymous said...

Clark,

I can do dry and technical, but I'm writing to try to get away from that.

http://adrr.com/living/ethesis.htm is an essay on my thoughts that is in the pattern of where I'm trying to get, blending both dry and informal ;)

But sidebar space is endless, more or less. Having managed a major links site, -- archived at http://www.adrr.com/adr0/linksa.htm, I'm aware of the way links can go.

Thank goodness for Hewlitt Foundation and the solution they paid for http://www.adrr.com/adr0/links.htm
But, I still see links as a part of community, which is a good thing, and a way to determine if one has become part of the community or not.

Though I need to get back to reading more books so I can follow some of the posts on your sit.

Stephen said...

BTW, if you want an explanation of LDS doctrine (written by the Church for members):

http://www.lds.org/languages/youthmaterials/trueToThefaith/TrueFaith_000.pdf

Great pdf file, downloads quickly and is easy to read.

Stephen said...

And for some very interesting non-LDS looks at religion where Frankovich and others have a group dedicated to taking a more nuanced approach to a variety of studies.

http://www.hakesher.org/hakesher/teachers.htm

http://www.hakesher.org/hakesher/frankovic.htm

http://www.hakesher.org/hakesher/Frankovic18.htm

So there are those who agree with you a great deal.

Rusty said...

Stephen,
I gotta tell ya, I always appreciate your thoughts and ideas at 9M. I hope you don't take from what Geoff said that "you don't belong", I don't think he's saying that at all. I think he's just saying that it's a different kind of blog (with a LOT of crossover, IMHO). If you still enjoy it, I say keep writing. I always enjoy your thoughts.

fMhLisa said...

one of my issues is I haven't really figured out a way to categorize all the links I'd like to make. So that people can find the sites they'd be interested in. I need to think about it some more.

Redstone said...

Steve,

I apologize I was not on top of my game earlier. I've linked your page to my msg board

http://p218.ezboard.com/flivinglifefrm2.showMessage?topicID=5.topic

I don't expect reciprocation, so please, don't add to your time requirements.