In the time since the humble beginnings of this effort a solo personal blog there have been many, other naturist/nudist bloggers have come along in the online space. A significant number of those have since disappeared. On several occasions there were invitations offered to collaborate, and in almost every instance the offer was rebuffed. Of those blogs, most have either disappeared or are no longer updated. The reasons given for choosing demise over partnership were many and varied but still the result was the same. Those blogs and websites disappeared into the internet graveyard of well meaning intentions. One Tumblr blogger observed
It seems that tumblogs and, especially, nudist tumblogs have a remarkably short shelf life. I’ll follow or favorite a page only to find in a few months it’s been deactivated without warning or fanfare. Granted it’s very to create a tumblr and equally easily to deactivate it when you grow board. I’m sure there are millions of for deactivating one, but I’m curious about the long-running survivors.
Recently someone we have partnered with at clothesfreelife.com tweeted this
Video killed the radio star and the internet is killing the clothes free world.
The subsequent conversation about the intent behind the tweet got me thinking about how effectively do nudists and naturists collaborate versus compete in the online space. The internet has allowed anyone with a little effort to start blogging or other gain a presence online. Over time that has only become easier with all the blogging and social media platforms. Anyone with an email address is given the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions. Starting blog or social media account may be easy but as observed above maintaining a blog with quality content is another matter.
The challenge of maintaining a blog with interesting content and committed readers takes work. On the surface it seems easy. Open an account on blogger, wordpress.com or some other blogging platform put your name on it and and start writing. What could be easier than that? But life can sometimes get in the way and interrupt the writing cycle, it certainly has for this writer. What if no one reads what you write or even cares? How do you keep readers coming back and interested, especially if writing about a single or niche issue?
A solution to that intense effort is collaboration. However, examples of collaboration among naturists and nudists in the online space is as limited as it is in the rest of the society. Nudists and naturists online seem to readily TALK about the equality and commonality of the community, but evidence of those values expressed in actual collaboration seem elusive. It seems we are all being challenged by the rampant individualism and exclusion taking over as a global worldview. “I don’t have time to work with you because I have some thing important to say and I want people to listen. I have some minor points of disagreement with you about the minutia of philosophy so I have to do my own thing rather than collaborate.”
While some say, “I need to go my own way,” others have chosen to imitate rather than collaborate. I have seen one site after another launched using the same format even sometimes similar logos in an attempt to capture an audience based on the active presence of clothesfreelife.com in the online space. Many of these imitators often disappear quickly as well or they drift into the seedy side of the internet where blogs are masquerading as naturist/nudist clothes free blogs but using naked pictures of others and some pics from porn sites in order to get or keep traffic. The saying goes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I like to think that collaboration is.
All these leads me to wonder, what kind of impact could be made if we actually learned to collaborate rather than compete. Fortunately, as often as I pause to ponder that possibility there have been some people who have seen the common good and benefit over collaboration and reached out to join in this effort to put out quality material relating to clothes free living that give life to naturist ideals and nudist practice. There is hope, and it comes from varied sources and in diverse forms. My co-editor and women’s issues contributor an African American woman who only two years ago knew nothing of clothes free living; a prolific writer of naturist fiction living in Europe; an accidental nudist art model, and bee keeper; and more recently a journalistically minded newbie nudie from across the pond; an Indonesian man pursuing clothes free life in a place where it isn’t readily accepted; a barefooter turned nudist exploring ways to positively share his clothes free life; An African American man with a fresh perspective. All of these people could produce blog material on their own and some do. Still they have chosen to collaborate towards a greater good. We don’t all agree on everything and have very different backgrounds. But the idea of simple nudity and clothes free living as we express it, giving life to naturist ideals and nudist practice is a platform for them to share their thoughts and ideas with the broad audience we have developed.
That is just one of the benefits of collaboration. Our contributors raise their online presence and visibility through the connection with this site. They get a platform for sharing ideas promoting naturism and clothes free living without the overhead of maintaining or marketing and promoting a blog. They get the support, encouragement and inspiration of other writers. They receive access to our other platforms like podcasting to broaden their reach. If collaboration appeals to you and you desire to collaborate with us it couldn’t be easier. Learn what we are looking for from contributors. Let me what you think about collaboration versus competition as seen through my eyes.