So when I saw an email from GoOverseas.com telling me that my blog had been “selected as one of the top travel related blogs in New Zealand,” I wasn’t sure how seriously to take it. But then a curious thing happened: I started being followed here (and on Twitter) by folks I didn’t know, but who were also expats in New Zealand.
It turns out that we’re all listed on that site, as the picture shows (and this is why the GoOverseas.com badge suddenly popped up on my sidebar). Up until then, I’d only heard of one of those blogs, and I already had it bookmarked. I’ve had fun checking out the others listed, and trading comments/Tweets with these other expats.
I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly, but hey, we’re all friends here, right? At first I didn’t notice that the list isn’t a ranking—it’s alphabetical. In my defence, the list IS labelled “Top Blogs in New Zealand” and the email told me:
“As recognition of your outstanding writing skills we are delighted to include your blog in a select list of websites representing New Zealand. We select only the most exceptional blogs that meet our exacting standards and we hope you feel a sense of pride that you have been recognized for your efforts.”
But, in truth, I don’t really care about rankings and such, as is probably pretty obvious when I write about whatever interests me at the moment, not simply what might draw visitors. And, I’m never afraid of saying what I think about, well, anything.
What does interest me is that this turned out to be a way to make connections with other expats in New Zealand, and I value that. Before I started this blog I’d never actually met another American living here, apart from the occasional clerk in a shop. Now, I interact with several, have met a few and became real-life friends with Dawn and Darren, though we don’t get to see them enough, living on the opposite sides of the North Island.
So these new international connections have made the whole thing worthwhile for me, whether I gain any new readers or not. I’ll eventually update my blogroll to include these expat blogs, but for now, go to the listings on GoOverseas.com and check out the others on the list.
From now on, I think I’ll pay more attention to my emails, too.