Hello, this is your blog speaking. Remember me? I’m the home where you used to live. I’ve forlornly watched you jet-setting around to fashionable spots all over the world, like Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Second Life, LinkedIn, and the current hot getaway, Google+. I’ve left the porch light on every night, but you never come home anymore.
Sure, those clubs are fun for a night out now and then, but they aren’t your home. They don’t have a living room like I do, where you can kick off your shoes, put up your feet, and say “Ahhhhhh,” like I do.
Blogger come home! Please don’t mistake those night clubs for your home. They are dangerous and restrictive. If you don’t like their rules, about all you can do is complain or “appeal,” and who is ever listening? And there’s always the threat that your account will be deleted, along with all the precious content you’ve created with your life’s blood running through it. Plus they break things. All the time. They’re not careful and sensitive the way I am. Things disappear from inventories. Messages get garbled or lost. Dreams are often trampled on without warning or apology.
Olly, Olly, oxen free! Imagine it’s a warm summer night, just about dusk when the fireflies twinkle and the moths flutter against the light on the porch. Your mother/father/sister/brother/friend is standing in the doorway calling you in from your play. It’s time. Build yourself an online home and treasure it. Live in it. Maintain it. Secure it. Protect your magnificent creations inside. Spruce it up now and then. Throw wild parties and invite people in.
Don’t give away all your brilliance to Google+ or some other third party. They’ll never appreciate you for who you are the way I do. They’ll never care about the magnificence of what you create the way I do. And they’ll never, ever listen to you the way your readers do.
To social media sites, you are an unpaid content creator, and an expendable one at that. You are wasting your wonderful, beautiful, incredible, irreplaceable energy building a home for someone who doesn’t even appreciate it. To them, you are a number, a source of revenue, the very product they are selling. And you will be tolerated for only as long as you fit in their package. Get too noisy, ungainly, or troublesome, and they will not hesitate to expel you. And they won’t even kick your suitcase out after you. You’ll leave with nothing, buck naked, not even a shirt on your back.
This is your blog calling you. I am your home: your very own blog on your very own site. Sure you can have WordPress or Blogger or Tumblir host it for you. But that’s like inviting a stranger to live with you. They don’t love you like I do. They don’t wait up for you at night, shelter you through storms, have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on dreamy vistas and distant horizons. Besides, they can quickly turn into the roommate from hell, and you know what that’s like.
Buy the domain. Host the site. Build me from the ground up. No one is going to tell you how to design me or what widgets or plug-ins to use. Use your imagination. I’ll never monitor what you say, what you put in your profile, or what your content cloud looks like. You make the rules, or none at all. I won’t toss you out on the street because of your name. I will never tell you you’re too young, too strange-sounding, a square peg in a round circle.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m totally happy for you to hang out with your friends at social hot spots like Facebook and Twitter. But please, remember they’re just night clubs with glitzy lights and K-hole dance beats. Go out, have a great time, maybe even have a fling or two . . . but come back home to me. Your heart is waiting up for you.
Your dreams live here, and your poems and stories and pet projects, too. My living room is big, comfy, welcoming . . . always just the way you like it. Leave coffee cups and soda cans lying around on top of old pizza boxes. Or keep it squeaky clean. I don’t care which. This is your home. I love you just the way you are.