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Community Versus Audience

Recently I stated that “I have little respect for my community, yet I adore my audience.” Some folks believe that audience and community are synonyms.

They most certainly are not.

An audience may be an interactive audience, as this one sometimes is. In reality very few of my readers ever comment. Some of you email me, and I delight in that. I don’t need your comments to know you are here. I see you. We have a nice rapport, you and I. If I didn’t want you here, I’d keep a journal. Y’all delight me.

Conversely, it is entirely possible for a community not interact at all, but simply to be present. It is possible that the community can lurk, demean and harass It is possible that my friends would alert me to strange searches on their sites. Entire sites within the blogging community exist solely to destroy other people. Publicists behave like sullen teenagers throwing their weight behind blog posts that take an entire company and pit it against one (very green) mom blogger.

I’m not exactly sure how to proceed. Blogging used to be fun. I met amazing women, I’ve been given great opportunities, and this has been a nice living.

The reality is that my husband and I don’t need this income. I don’t need the feedback, the accolades or the headaches.

I’m back to the same silly place. The community is rancid, but the audience is terrific. We’re going to have to find a way to make this work.

Photo Marfis75 via flickr creative commons