The Village needs a HUB – #1000Speak

Beyond everything, if I were to use one word to explain why I write and how I best operate in life, it is this word – connection (hopefully followed shortly after with ‘love’, but you have to connect with someone, or at least connect your brain and recognition to their humanity before you can begin acting in loving ways (anyway, I’m off on a tangent and it’s only the first paragraph, so good luck! (kidding; you won’t need it, this is going to be lovely))) – and indeed, it’s one which has been used at/near/around me by many people, because of my determination to build community wherever I possibly can.

I love that, and if there was a niche for ‘connection’, I would GLADLY own it (for those who don’t know, I pride myself on being one of the bloggers nobody can put in a niche (except the other day I realised that perhaps my niche is egocentrism (but here I go, rambling again!)). Back to connection.

There is a long tradition of dwelling-places having somewhere for the dwellers to connect, be it a village hall, a longhouse, a kitchen, campfire or community centre – wherever we settle, we recognise with a designated area the need we have for each other, and a neutral space in which to interact. Where communities are most vibrant and full of life, there is a connection or purpose, which transcends the daily lives of the individuals (at least in the first instance) and generates a place for them all to go and operate as a collective.

The gorgeous thing about writing is that it instantly connects writer and reader, but it connects OVER something (whatever concept or happenstance is being written about), and that’s one reason that bloggers find niches so important – it gives them a ready-made set of people for whom there are specific expectations and a demographic they anticipate will be most receptive to what they’re putting out there (except Jamberry nail groups on Facebook; I’ve not met a single person who’s receptive to being added to those sans permission) – It gives them an abstract arena in which to operate as a collective. It gives them a HUB.

The Village needs a HUB

From very early on in my blogging life, I realised that there was no niche which would fit me because my writing was too eclectic to survive the narrow expectations of any one. For the poets, there would be too much prose; for the thinkers, too much fiction; for the storytellers, too much introspection and observation of daily life; for the daily-life set, too many book reviews – there was no one place I belonged, and yet that gave me the freedom to dip in and out of all of them, and the boost to start generating my own communities.

It was hard work, but GOOD work, and work I loved to do. Using my blog as the hub, I responded to comments, visited other people, found ways to connect, focusing on the ways in which we were alike, rather than the (fewer) ways we were different. I encouraged conversation, rather than a simple ‘post >> comment >> response’ set-up. I enjoyed it when people talked to one another in my comment box, and often joined in. I sewed tiny bond-seedlings and nurtured them until they were strong enough to bear their own weight, their roots having been firmly established in the souls of the people on the other side of the screens.

But still there was an element of disconnectedness; of disapparateness, and what I realised we needed was a hub – a focal point around which they could all begin building their own bonds with one another as well as with me.- and they flocked as I worked, generating a blog hop celebrating the good in people’s lives through a weekly challenge to find and share Ten Things of Thankful. I wasn’t sure it would work at first, but I was encouraged to give it a go, and we just celebrated our ONE HUNDREDTH week of running…and time and time again, the thing which participants said they loved most about the hop (after the chance to be thankful out loud, and the goodness it did their soul to focus on finding those Ten) was the ‘TToT gang’ – the core of people who join up and welcome new people, encourage one another through the week as well as just the weekend, and exhibit every sign that these friendships, in spite of their hardwired status, are The Real Deal.

I became a founder member of The Sisterwives, where our motto is that ‘Alone we are enough but together we’re stronger’, and we support people in writing free, unburdening the thoughts which are gnawing at their souls, and give them a safe space to share these thoughts in a manner which will inspire empathetic feedback and genuine care. WHICH THEY GET. Consistently. Beautifully. From another set of people who believe in what we stand for, and are determined to support it and engage with it.

Then there’s 1000Speak, which (I assume, if you’re reading this) is where a new community is burgeoning with people who are committed to embettering the world one blog-post and one compassionate act at a time. And that is WONDERFUL, and it’s already making a tangible difference in the world – these posts are not just WORDS – they provide inspiration which is being taken and ACTED upon. And look at YOU, here, engaging now…

How wonderful!

THIS is the World Between the Wires, to which I hardwired my heart and in which I found My People. As I’ve caught up with technology, I’ve added layers of instant messaging, video chats, photographs, voice messages, glitterbomb letters and genuine phonecalls to the relationships, and those wires have mattered less and less; the Real People have shone through. Their hearts and souls and the way they sound; the ins and outs and nuances of their daily lives (rather than just the highlights in blog posts) were what delight me and encourage me to continue – these people are no longer faceless entities or writers I admired from a distance: they are real, breathing, complex, wonderful FRIENDS. At this point, many of those friendships have stood the test of years; there are some with whom I speak every. single. day. some I speak to on-and-off, yet we pick up as though time had never passed since we last spoke, and others without whom I would likely still not be around to tell you how vitally important they are to me. They are vitally important to me. All of them.

Yet there are those (who might even read this) who are stuck in that place of not-connection, and that lonely feeling of pouring their heart and soul into the pages, where it wavers before blind eyes, and is ignored (or minimally responded to, which is just as much of a gut-punch). There are those who haven’t found their niche (or found a way to own their non-niche) and who are drifting, lost in cyber-space, banging their heads against the screen and screaming in pixels to be heard; to be acknowledged; to be NOTICED.

Perhaps if you find them, suggest a hub around which they might gather themselves alongside like-minded people and begin to connect. That’s what hubs are for, and why they’re important, and how they turn hermits into Villagers. But that’s the very first step of connection, isn’t it – noticing; not that someone has done something, but that the something was done by a SOMEONE.

Remember that, as you traverse the Blogosphere – there are people out there.

1000Speak

This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a particular focus on Connection, as well as the broader topic of compassion.

Write a post relevant to this month’s focus – CONNECTION – and add it to the link-up right here by clicking the blue button below.

Here’s how to get involved:

Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook

Visit the 1000Speak blog

Follow @1000Speak on Twitter

Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.

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92 thoughts on “The Village needs a HUB – #1000Speak

  1. Hi Lizzi, it’s taken me an age to get here and it was worth the wait (gulp, cheesy feeble attempt to excuse my sloth). It was easy to nod alone to the opening but my head damn near fell off at the end. Yes, we do need to grasp the fact blogs and so on are people, the are windows to fragile flesh and blood and need us to think of the person behind the keyboard. My blog has never had a theme – I have nether the patience nor the attention span that would permit that – so it flits between all sorts of blogverses. I hang on to a lot of coat tails currently without really feeling part of many, but if I may destroy you lovely hub analogy, I’m climbing up a few spokes and maybe one day like the dragonfly nymph I will break out of the self restricting shell and fly. That is really an awful mess of a metaphor. But really I’m grateful to you, as to Yvonne for starting the 1000 speak village and letting me join in. I’ve read several of the TToT too, though stupid superstition makes me reluctant to say them out loud in case they all disappear. It is a great idea mind and clearly a lot of people love it

    Liked by 1 person

    • *grins* It’s okay to have your thoughts, and I just am glad that you read them and enjoyed them in the capacity which suited you 🙂

      I like your hatchling analogy too – I think there comes that point in a blogger’s world when they’re on the peripheral of a number of things and suddenly there’s a shift and it all takes centre stage 🙂

      I’m so glad you liked what I wrote. Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote half a comment days ago, and it’s gone now of course. But I’m back.
    You certainly have a knack for building hubs and creating connections!
    I think that your last 2 paragraphs are possibly the most important – reaching out to those who aren’t connected who are alone and show them where they could go. Actually, now I think about it, that’s sort of what I do when I talk to homeless people, who are surely among those most in need of connections. I tell them about places who can help them – it’s amazing how many don’t know there is support.

    I’m going to ever so slightly disagree with you because, while I think hubs can be important, I don’t think villages always need them – I’m not sure about online, but in real life my mother lives in a small hamlet with the nearest hub being a church too far for her to walk. She and her neighbours regularly visit each other and other people from slightly further away come to see her too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol then that makes HER the hub. Hubs can be people, not places. Your mum’s a hub, and my comment stands :p

      I think I need to learn more about the provision here for the homeless so I can do the same kind of thing. SUCH a sensible thing to do if only I had the commonsense to do it. I shall keep watching you, Yvonne, and keep learning. THANK YOU 🙂

      Like

  3. I did not have a chance to connect my 1000speak post in the linky this week, I wrote it none the less. And it seems to be the ying to your yang.

    Like you I’m no niche blogger. As a human beeing, which I must certainly be I have a huge interest in a variety of things and like blogging on them all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. I have lost my hub. It makes me tremendously sad because the main reason why I started blogging in the first place was to form connections while I made my way through this hellish journey to recovery (ahem ack cough). The support I received was far greater than what I was receiving in real life and the support I was able to offer — it was just an amazing beautiful thing.
    These bloggers either stopped blogging, or they’ve moved on to bigger and better endeavours. A lot of the time I feel like I’m just writing to myself. Like a journal. So I keep a lot of my posts just there — in a journal.
    I find it hard to connect with other “hubs” even when I try through hops — even yours Ms. Lizzi Ten Things of Thankful. No one sticks clicks. It’s poop. I don’t enjoy blogging as much as I used to…
    Now I’m finding connections through the little blips I post on instagram and on facebook. And right now, they help so much. Connections are important for the spirit. It can be just one — but meaningful…ya know…not the drive-by “nice tits in your pic” comment… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • But no-one can connect with a journal, lovely 😦 I’ve missed your blogs and I’m glad you’re getting the odd bit of connection in blips on FB and Instagram but I miss your writing 😦 Seems that when you DO write, though, there’s a core of people who seem to comment on a lot of your posts, so I hope that you DO have those connections which still count. Kinda pissed that people would leave you behind just because their blogs got bigger. That sucks completely 😦

      Give the TToT a chance again…I always enjoy your posts, like I said, and I love seeing you link up.

      And hey, it’s not much, but *I’VE* stuck 😉 And you’re gonna be stuck with me for a while. And if you don’t like it I’m gonna stalk you anyway. And if you shut me out I’ll resort to rude drive-by comments :p (you get those? people disgust me sometimes)

      *HUGS*

      Like

  8. Here’s to the people and the connections and to you who have done amazing lovely sparkly things in rooting and growing conversations and love. F’real.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This month’s topic has Lizzi written all over it – you’ve made so many connections through this blogging thing. I love coming here and seeing all the comments, people I don’t know but who come here regularly…it’s so very awesome. And congrats on 100 weeks of TToT. I did read, but I was already unplugged for a little vacation so I didn’t comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Was your weekend away a good one? I hope so. I hope you spent lots of time doing lovely things and being connected with people In Real 🙂

      I love having people who are ‘regulars’ but I also love it when some people who I’ve known for a long long time, come back and say hello again 🙂 I always like it when you pop in, my Dana 🙂 I’m so glad to have you as part of my World Between the Wires 🙂

      Like

      • It was lovely! Just connected with one person, and it was much needed, since even though we share a home we often get bogged down by mundane things.

        I will always pop in and say hello, Lizzi. I love this space you’ve created, and I feel very fortunate to count you among my friends. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

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  11. I’m beginning to think the thesis statement – or niche – of your blog is to first create, then gather the villagers. I missed the 100th of TTOT, but got in under the wire to join the world between the wires this month for #1000Speak. It’s funny – professionally, we’re talking about Ihubs and Innovation Labs and such – I think it’s all new speak for recreating community space and exactly what you do here. Keep doing the good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehehe gotta love jargon!! Have you seen the – ohhhhh what did I google to get it? ummm…. – marketing bullshit generator (I think)? It’s such a lot of fun and just chucks out loads and loads of complete sentences which way absolutely NOTHING and take a heck of a lot of words like ‘blue sky thinking’ to say it. Makes me laugh for about a minute and then my head begins to hurt.

      But YES – I saw that you scraped into 1000Speak (your post is my next stop) and I’m glad that you’re part of both of these worlds online. I like knowing you in this vast and peculiar Blogosphere we inhabit. And thank you – I quite like the idea of ‘gathering people’ as my niche. That could cover all manner of things, couldn’t it, and it’s a bit preferable to ‘egocentrism’ 😉

      Like

  12. “THIS is the World Between the Wires, to which I hardwired my heart and in which I found My People.” – This sentence is beautiful, my wonderful Sparkle! It’s so amazing to see how you connect with people, the words you share on their blogs and on your own. I’m honoured to be a part of it.

    I just went through a bunch of blogs and need to get up early tomorrow, so will reply to your comment tomorrow as well. But let me tell you…YOU are most definitely one of the gems I was talking about ❤ ^_^ Evan's purring was a clear sign indeed. He was giggling purple puffs of smoke? Silly little dude haha! He's so cute 😀 I'll leave the rest of my comment for tomorrow, I'm falling asleep he….ZzZzZzzZzzz

    *falls on a bed of soft iridescent feathers with fluffy pillows made of clouds and stardust*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apfel, you and I have been doing the same thing, I think, though I’ve been trying to keep up with the TToT 100 as well as 1000Speak! Such a lot to READ, but how glorious it is!

      Your incredible feather bed sounds amazing, and if you let me, I’ll come and steal a corner of it and snuggle down to sleep, too. It’s really quite late now!

      I hope you have a gorgeous day tomorrow and that your early wake-up doesn’t have a negative impact on all of the things you planned to do. I’m SO glad I get to be one of your gems – that makes me very happy 🙂 ❤ And Evan…yes, so silly but so adorable 🙂

      And YOU, Apfel, are very much part of 'my People', and I'm so happy about it 🙂

      Like

  13. If I had to sum you up in one word it would indeed be “connection.” I haven’t come across anyone else in the blogging world who is as generous, as giving or as willing to connect others with others as you. Thank you, Ms. Connectivity Connection. For all that you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh bless your boots, Kelly – that’s such an incredibly sweet thing to say 🙂 Thank you! I really like that my word might be ‘connection’ – it’s something I’m so very determined about, mostly (selfishly) because I love having people around me, and it delights me to build communities where I’m included 🙂 Thank you for being PART of the all the things I get into 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A World Between the Wires is such a wonderful wonderful definition! In this post you’ve perfectly summarized what I try to tell my husband whenever he starts a debate about the futility of spending your time online. Come to think of it, I may just point him in your post’s direction. I think that all of us are a little bit niche-less (unless we’re really uni-faceted – I think I may have just made up a word) since we consist of so many, sometimes contradicting, facets. I’ve heard someone responding to a question in a blogging conference asking them to define their blog’s niche as “I write about ____ (insert your name here)”. I don’t care what you write, I heart it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness me, I could NEVER sum up in once sentence what I write about, although there are strong themes which come back to connection and love and community, I can never preclude the other stuff…I love writing ALL OF IT too much!

      YES! Ask your husband to read this – it might help him to understand. Failing that, my piece ‘World Between the Wires’ over at Roshni’s blog is another good example (albeit fiction) of the kind of space we inhabit while we’re here.

      There is NO futility online though. None at all.

      I like the idea of having different facets. Hmmmmm might need to play with that.

      And thank you, my dear. I’m glad you’re here, and I bub you 🙂

      Like

    • It’s a gorgeous community, and I can’t take all the credit for 1000Speak, because it was Yvonne’s idea, and a team of us put it all into action each month, but it’s GORGEOUS and I love being part of it, and it’s delightful feedback to hear how much you like it. Thank you 🙂

      Like

  15. Lizzi, you have described your space perfectly in this post. Hub is exactly what you have created as well as community, connection, love and a safe space. You welcome us all and make us feel at home by sharing so freely of yourself, your life, your emotions in a raw, honest, refreshing way that makes us want to share a piece of ourselves too. Thank you for making me feel like I don’t have to look at you through the glass. The water’s safe and the company is awesome if I want to go for a swim in your fishbowl. 😉 Love you fishy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that – I love the idea that because I’m open and have a tendency to write free (try and stop me!), other people feel able to, and safe enough to, and they know that they’re going to be taken seriously and respected and CARED about, if they say something here. I think that’s really special and speaks not only to the hubness of the place, but of the calibre of people who visit, and I feel endlessly astounded and humbled by the people who DO rock up here for a chat 🙂

      You never have to look in through the glass – you’re part of the pool, and the water’s lovely 🙂 *squooshes face with palms of hands and sends lots of fish-lipsy kisses through the air to you* ❤

      Like

  16. I liked this, Lizzi. I sometimes feel like that hermit. I know that there are villages out there I could join, but sometimes I just feel too exhausted and technologically bombed (is that even a thing?) All I want to do is sit on my couch and watch mindless television and rest. I guess that really, I’m more of a nomad – wandering for periods of time and then connecting with others for a bit before moving along in my journey. Luckily, the path takes me to my friends from time to time, so I don’t ever move on completely or forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s odd, Jana, because I don’t ever feel like you’re ‘out of the Village’ – I always feel like you’re part of it, and that you most definitely belong. The amorphous nature of it is wonderful, and those boundaries by their very nature are incredibly stretchy…the whole point is that as long as you are carried in the hearts of others, and you carry them in your heart, it doesn’t really matter if you stop writing and watch television for a week here and there – the point is belonging and being part of, and you ARE. That doesn’t change.

      You’ve got me all confused over metaphors now! I don’t know whether we might be saying the same thing but different. It’s only just past 7am, so you’ll have to forgive me this one 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I wrote a big ol’ comment but it disappeared. So here goes it again.
    True story…I remember when I found your blog way back when in January. (I think through a comment you left on Dani’s). I thought I had stumbled on the blogosphere’s most popular blogger. I had never seen posts with SO MANY comments. I was smitten not only with your writing, but also with those darn comments! I could easily see the rapport you had established with your readers-turned-friends. (With inside jokes like FRIST which I have no idea what it means.) THAT, my dear Lizzi, is what drew me to you. The connection you have with your readers. One day I put on my big-girl underpants and commented and I was giddy that you responded. Silly, I know. But true. Thank you for engaging; for connecting. Thank you for being the hub.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. When I found your blog (I think through a comment you made on Dani’s), I felt like I had stumbled on THEE most popular blogger on the blogosphere. You had more comments than I had ever seen on any other blog and you responded to each and every one! I was so smitten with your posts and comments. I could see the rapport you had with your reader-friends and I thought how awesome that must be. But i was also intimidated to engage, because “who am I? She doesn’t know me. Why would she waste her time responding to me?” But one day, I put on my big girl underpants and made a comment and you replied! How silly is it that I felt giddy that the popular girl had acknowledged me? But I did. And that is definitely your niche…you connect with your readers through your posts as well as your thought-out replies to comments. You make them feel that what they have to say matters. You connect. Thanks Lizzi for being the hub.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sat here smiling my head off and kinda shaking it too, Jackie, because ‘the popular girl’ was never, ever me, and probably never will be. I’m the goofball who wanders around the edges of the crowd, wishing she could somehow be centre-stage but also simultaneously acknowledging that ‘that’ place means a lack of connection because of a surplus of envy and pedestal maintenance.

      But BLESS YOUR BOOTS for being so smitten with the way I interact, and the comments I enjoy with other people. They truly make my day better, because each one means that someone took the time to acknowledge ME! I think that’s the key here, really – cripplingly low self-esteem and the wonder of being noticed. I love being noticed. It’s probably a bit sad that it’s like a drug to me, but…there ya go. My confidence and sense of self can hang altogether too much on feedback. #FirstWorldProblems 😉

      You DO say things that matter, though. Because they matter to ME. And you’re welcome for whatever level of hubbishness I bring. I love being hubbish 😀

      Like

  19. Just love this, Lizzi:

    “But that’s the very first step of connection, isn’t it – noticing; not that someone has done something, but that the something was done by a SOMEONE.”

    So much love to you, my dear, for being a Hub of heart and encouraging others to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’re right, Lisa – I want it to get HUGE and take over the Blogosphere (in a good way – with compassion and empathy and people building community together) 😉

      And thanks – those things matter to me, so I’ll keep trying.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Well said, Lizzy.
    Like minded people = connection

    I have participated in your thankful theme and wish if it was not hosted over a weekend cause that’s my time to actually disconnect with humanity and connect within 😉

    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah you’re allowed to connect within – that sounds like a very useful endeavour. The hop is over a weekend because it means that people can link up slowly, as they’re ready to. Feel free to schedule things though 🙂

      Like

  21. One of these days I’m going to join that TTofT hub of yours. Lizzi. I’m rather nicheless too, but gratitude is definitely something I write about quite often. In the meantime, I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy our #1000Speak hub. In all the internet world, it is THE place to come for Compassion. Hubs are indeed a great place connect with other like-minded individuals and find happiness. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! DO! DO IT! Oh that would be super, Marcia! We have SUCH FUN! And if you already write about gratitude I can only imagine that it would suit you down to the ground, but oh….the PEOPLE THERE! They’re so lovely and warm and welcoming, you can’t even imagine! They’ll be so happy to see you join up 🙂

      I think our 1000Speak hub is INCREDIBLE and the thing I love best is that this is the very beginning, and we’re going to get to see just how huge and far-reaching and important it has the potential to become. I love that – it’s VERY exciting 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: 1000 Speak: The Compassion and Connection Linkup | Just Gene'O

    • It’s a talent I love to exercise, and even though I feel like I do it mostly for my own benefit, I LOVE that other people make connections, and that the communities build and become their own thing, which I then get to be part of rather than an instigator of 🙂 (Has to be the right people though 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh thanks so much, Darla – I’m so glad that this resonates so strongly for you, and that you have such high regard for those connections, too 🙂 I’m glad you find me inspiring – that’s an amazing thing to hear! Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Connection was by far the best unexpected perk of blogging for me. I just wanted somewhere to safely post what I write….and I ended up meeting a whole bunch of awesome people all over the world.

    Like…you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I think I found much the same thing, and I was astonished by how quickly the connection stuff UTTERLY overtook everything else. I still LOVE writing, and I need it, but those connections have taken on a life of their own now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah but never alone, Kerry, because connection takes at LEAST two people, and I’ve been lucky enough to happen upon people who want to connect back, and who are willing to put time and energy into the hubs I’m part of.

      But yes – I absolutely agree that we should be striving for more connection; more recognition of each others humanity and value.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I am one of those outsiders who found a real connection with Ten Things of Thankful. I revere the connections I have made in that blog hop and all the others than stem from that Hub. Thanks to you, Lizzi. I think of things in terms of “Village” much more than I did when Hilary wrote the book. And I feel like our connection spans an ocean and a generation.

    Liked by 2 people

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