At some point or another those who blog and those who read blogs end up having some sort of dialogue (internal or external) about blogging.
The Voice’s workplace has recently launched a blog. (Though, as it allows no comment, I would argue that it is more of an archive of articles.) And, as a clever sort of chap, The Voice feels compelled (or is being compelled!) to add his own opinion to the chorus.
My friend and former colleague Leisa and I often talk about blogging. She blogs regularly – I don’t. This blog is my most recent and, it must be said, most consistent attempt.
I recently read a newspaper article about bloggers. People doing it for self-promotion, for money, for fame.
So what is my motivation?
I think it is similar to my motivation for Twittering. I like reading other people’s blogs and I love reading other people’s Twitters; my blog is just another way of joining in.
Or is it?
Yawdogs suggests that Twittering is more about showing off in front of one’s friends. The thing is, I don’t tend to show off in front of my friends. What I have always done is communicate. I love talking, discussing, debating, arguing; I used to write lots of letters (and still write a few). Now I have all these new ways of ‘talking’ to the people I know. What is remarkable is that even though I blog and Twitter (and Flickr) most of the people I know will talk to me about the things I write about offline (or at least in one-to-one channels like skype or msn), some of them even apologise for not commenting directly to the blog.
Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty sure I would love to have an enormously popular blog, get invited to speak at great conferences and publish an amazingly interesting book. However, while I am still developing those great ideas that will make me the Queen of Blogistan, trailblazer and visionary all input is gratefully received, regardless of medium.
I’m sticking with my showing off, because I’m pretty certain that’s a factor for me – but it’s just one amongst many; off the top of my head I’d add:
Writing’s just nice to do
Elaborating thoughts in my blog helps me get them clear
I might go for a new job sometime and my blog might be a handy asset for that
I’ve increasingly felt the need to build some kind of online identity – I can hardly work in this industry and not have one, can I?
That’ll have to do for now!
If I have something to show off about, then, depending what it is, I may use Twitter to show off… but that’s an exception rather than a rule.
I’m with you Ivanka, it’s about communicating. I love knowing what people I’m interested in are doing and thinking and, sometimes, the mundane details of their lives. It makes me feel closer to them and more connected (even if that is a delusion on my part… that’s a whole other conversation!)
I’ve also managed to create connections with new people via blogging, flickr and twitter that I don’t think I’d have access to otherwise… that’s another of my favourite things.
Blogging about blogging tho’. Tut tut. You’ve done it now 😉
You’re all narcissists. Just accept it and bask in each others glow.
Don’t be like that Dave! You’ve joined in with the navel gazing now – how’s your reflection?
I find myself ugly, i try not to look in mirrors (or pools of water).
Narcisissm aside there’s much to be said for the idea that the interweb and blogs/social networks are helping to contribute to the polarisation of politics and our society. Indeed as Leisa implies above, a majority of people end up looking for like minded individuals or groups to befriend and thereby avoid different ideologies while reinforcing their own. I wouldnt totally disagree with the contention that social networking and blogs are a net negative for the human race as they pander to an individuals needs and not society as a whole. But then thats capitalism for you and perhaps im just in a bad mood.
Staring at my reflection in a glass which is half full (I wonder how far Narcissus can be stretched!) I am struggling to agree with you. People who don’t want to be exposed to ideas different to their own won’t be – regardless of medium. Online or offline there will always be people who invite discussion and those who don’t.
Participating in a an online network is really no different to going to the same pub, with the same people, drinking the same drink – except that in the online environment eavesdropping is part of the accepted etiquette as is starting a conversation with the stranger at the next table.
Plus online my ideas can be challenged by people who would never make it to the pub!