Recently I’ve seen a bunch of ads online, lots of them on Facebook, about how it’s time to drop the whole blogging thing and do something else. I’m not sure what that “something else” might be, although it appears that there is a movement towards more focused, interactive community sites where people who share common interests connect and communicate with one another instead of tossing one’s thoughts and ideas out to the whole wide world and hoping someone finds your blog and likes what you are saying. But I’m not sure if that is exactly what is being suggested. I just know that blogging has been around for quite a while now, and it just might be time to change things up a bit.
Since I really enjoy the whole process of creating my blog and putting stuff on it, I’m probably not going to stop blogging any time soon . . . . but I’m just curious what you are thinking about blogging and why you are still blogging – if you are. One thing that I have observed is that, unless you are pretty committed to keeping up with your blog on a regular schedule, it is really easy to forget all about it in the midst of the day-to-day events of our lives.
This is a blog post that I wrote several months ago. I decided to repost it because I’m even more intrigued with the direction of blogging, social media, and digital communication than I was back then. There are so many great things about our access to communications across the miles with people we will, most likely, never meet in “real life.” So how do you feel about blogging? Are you STILL blogging?
I remember when I first heard the word “blog.” I couldn’t quite make out what it meant; it sounded an awful lot like “blob,” but I was pretty sure that was NOT was was being said. It was a friend of mine who is a whole lot more tech-savvy that I will ever be, and at the time I was just getting used to the whole idea of using a computer to write research papers. As a “non-traditional” college student, back in the day, all those young college students were whizzing around writing their papers and doing their assignments on their new-fangled computers, and I was still wrapping my brain around the fact that to turn the dang thing OFF I had to click on the START icon (or whatever I called those little thingamajigs back then). Oh, I see . . . if I tell it to START, it will open a new window (open a window? isn’t that what we do to let in the fresh spring breeze?) that will give me more options, such as TURN OFF. Great. Figured that one out. So now, tell me about this thing called “blogging.” Please.
So he started telling me about how he had created a blog and he was writing stuff on it. What kind of stuff? Well, any old stuff that you want to write, he said. So, let me understand. We can go online and start telling the world all of our thoughts, and someone might actually care to read it? Isn’t that kind of scary? Blogging sounded like a really not-so-good idea to me, so I just moved on with other projects that I was working on at the time. Like filling out a million and one documents for our adoption and getting ready to travel to China. Which we did, and so for a few years I was pretty busy with all that goes into being a mom (again!) of a 20-month-old who very quickly became a busy toddler. And then we went back to China again, and so on and on and on my life went, all the while “blogging” was becoming kind of the cool thing to do. But I had no idea what was actually going on in the world – by that time I had a four-year-old and a two-year-old so there wasn’t actually many brain cells or energy left for anything other than just getting everyone through the day, fed and clothed, and still alive.
Eventually I returned to a place where I could pay attention to other things going on in the world, and with our girls now both in pre-school, I had some time to get back to my sewing projects. Discovering that there were lots of mamas who were more than happy to pay for me to make pretty dresses for their little girls, I was busy designing and sewing outfits to sell online when I again heard the word “blogging.” Well, once I started, there was no going back!
But our blogging reasons and motivation evolve over time, and recently I’ve noticed several things that have happened to the blogging world. In the beginning, there were quite a few “celebrity” bloggers. Not “celebrities” as in movie stars or musicians or other famous people, but ordinary people, mostly women at the time that I first noticed, who had a way with their writing or story telling or something, that seemed to attract lots of readers to their blogs. There were even whole conferences for bloggers (I think there still are those kinds of events) where people would go to listen to the “celebrity” bloggers talk about how and why they and their blogs were so popular. That was back when there were fewer bloggers and more readers, and reading a blog was kind of like reading a magazine or a newspaper. A few writers wrote about stuff that lots of people wanted to read – and so those bloggers got lots of traffic and interaction with tons of comments on their blog posts.
Now it seems like everyone is a blogger. And since it is kind of a truism that “there is nothing new under the sun,” with that many people writing stuff and fewer and fewer people just looking for something new to read, that many bloggers are investing a ton of time and energy into writing blog posts, and then fly around to the various blog hops or linky parties and drop links hoping that more people will find us and read our blog posts. Meanwhile, many of us are part of those parties and we visit our assigned number of other bloggers to keep the party going . . . all of which is fun, but it brings me back to my question of the day: Why are YOU still blogging?
I’m still blogging because I have something to say and this is a way for me to get all of that junk out of my head and in black and white so I can stop thinking about it. Even some really personal stuff I put on a private blog because I need to put it somewhere, not necessarily for other people to read, but because I just need to dump it out of my brain occasionally. But, for me, I don’t blog because I expect the world to read what I write, or to impress anyone, or to offer great, innovative, original, and amazing information to my readers. It is just a place for me. And I do try to interact with other bloggers as I am able, and it has been great fun and truly a gift in my life to connect with other bloggers over the years where I have made some amazing “long distance” friends.
So let me encourage you, if you sometimes wonder why YOU are still blogging . . . do it for YOU and if someone else wants to come along for the ride, that would be fun, but if not don’t despair. Say what you mean and mean what you say, and maybe, just maybe, there is still someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say. What do you think about blogging? I would love to hear your thoughts and reasons for why YOU are still blogging.