Dec 132011
 

Hi. Can we talk about Get Off My Internets [GOMI] for a minute?

This website has been around for a while but in the past six months or so has picked up a lot of, ummm… popularity in the world of blogging that I find myself participating.  I’ve read posts from other people talking about GOMI.  I’ve had several email, Gchat, and in-person discussions about the forum labeled “healthy living bloggers.”  I’ve seen people talking about it a lot via several social media platforms.

Maybe you aren’t familiar with the site.  Here’s the gist, from the About page of GOMI:

Get Off My Internets focuses on commentary and giving people opportunities to discuss topics ranging from blogs, bloggers, the tech scene, and the online personalities of the day. With tens of thousands of interesting, intelligent participants from all over the world GOMI is a one of a kind place to gather and exchange opinions as well as interact via comments, forums and chat.

That’s pretty general, though not at all untrue.

As you can expect from the name, people often voice their opinions on the site regarding who should GOMI [get off my internets] and who should SOMI [stay on my internets].  Contributors to the blog discuss bloggers of a variety of themes and subject manners, and the forums cover a wide range of topics and genres, as well. Sometimes the criticism is friendly, and sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes I agree with something a commenter has said, and other times I don’t.  Sometimes I laugh out loud reading through the forums, and other times my heart hurts.  [Specifically when I read something said about a blogger I’ve spent face time with, and adore, who no doubt would have their feelings hurt reading such things written about them.]

To better sum up what I would call “the intentions of GOMI” here is a snip from the comment policy posted on the site.

Please note: We have always wanted, and always want, GOMI to be a place people can come and anonymously and safely be honest with their thoughts and opinions. We believe in free speech, commenter self-policing, and most of all, community. We do everything in our power to keep you all safe and happy and free to be you and me.

I’ve been asked a few questions about GOMI in the past few months, and again the past two days.  More specifically, people want to hear my response to a forum posting [in the Healthy Living Bloggers forum] discussing THS.  [It was originally started back in August, but received more comments this week, which bumped it up on the forum. I’m assuming this is why I received three emails yesterday asking my opinion on the site?]

I’ve gone back and forth, deciding weither I want to address my opinions on the site directly, here on THS, or even at all.  Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and give you my honest, though perhaps unpopular, opinion on the site, and my experience with being discussed by GOMI-ers.  Here’s what I have to say.

The way I found out about GOMI was a link back to a post on THS that a forum user published.  When I noticed that my page view stats had skyrocketed one day, I saw this site was sending lots of visitors my way.  Then I read through the forum.

Yes, when I read the forum discussing THS the first time, my feelings were hurt.  Without a doubt.  Because I am human and I have insecurities.  Because I like hearing nice things being said about me.  That’s the truth.  But after a little while, I started to have a few different feelings about GOMI.

First of all, I need to say that from the get go, one poster made me laugh out loud.  The post from Elpie is serious comic genius.  Satire at its finest, and if I could, I would give this Elpie character some sort of comedy writing award. This person should be writing for SNL. Seriously. She/he understands how to produce GOOD COMEDY. Someone get this person a discussion with Lorne. Or at least a spot on a Comedy Central Roast.

Moving on.

You know, fellow bloggers?  I may talk about kindness an awful lot, and while I personally don’t have a desire to write anything on the forum with the same tone as some of the commenters who wrote about me, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “wrong.”  This is America, and that first amendment thing? I like that very much.  I am sure these people do, too, and  I truly believe they are entitled to their own opinions.

Specifically because they are doing it in the right place.  That’s what GOMI is for – a place for them to say what they want to say.  Just as THS is a place for me to say what I want to say.  And so I do, and so they do.

A lot of times when this conversation comes up in groups of blogger friends I know, I hear a lot of one specific opinion. “If they don’t like what I’m writing, then why do they keep reading my blog?  Why not just stop visiting my site rather than complain all the time?”  Well, you know what, my friends? The same can be said for your visiting GOMI to complain about it.  If you don’t like what you are reading, STOP READING.  In my opinion, we are being hypocritical if we critique the way someone else is critiquing on their own space.

Also, some of the things the forum users said about THS, I needed to hear. The things said in the forum helped me to evaluate not only THS, but also my own intentions with THS.  It’s been a growing period for sure.  Remember the THS reader survey?  That was dreamed up thanks to the forum.  A few changes have been made in the way I blog and what I blog and the way I view blogging, but truthfully, I’m still just me.

Looking back, I see that a few months ago my blogging suffered because my perspective shifted; it got a bit cloudly and felt pretty unnatural.  I blogged for the sake of blogging, A LOT, which is something I never wished for myself.  Obligations have changed from producing content because I feel like I should, to producing content because I want to.  It’s refreshing on this end of the screen, and I hope it’s been a tad bit better for those of you on the other side of the screen, too.  I’m not evaluating and adjusting to please everyone, I am doing so to please myself.

The truth is, this is all a process.  This is just me, living my life, and writing my story.  Day by day and week by week.  At first there was a purpose set for THS.  Then I grew a little, and changed a little, and the THS grew a little and changed a little, too.  Then I grew a little more, and changed a little more, and THS followed suit, yet again.  I went through a tough season emotionally, and THS seemed a bit like a lost soul, drifting until it could find its way again – until I could find MY way, again.   I am not trying to become a full-time professional blogger.  I do this because I want to do it.  There’s not too much more to it than that in the grand scheme of things.

In summation, some unsolicited advice [let me spell it out for you]: If you don’t like what you are reading on GOMI, then GET OFF GET OFF MY INTERNET.  Just stop reading.

[ For more GOMI discussion, I suggest this post on Hollaback Health from Rachel. and the comments on that post. delicious discussion!]