Sunday, September 18, 2005

Why Blog?

Sometimes I tend to forget why I created a weblog in the first place. I think sometimes I start considering what kinds of subjects will get the most reaction from the readers. What will get my blog, among the thousands of blogs out there, the most readers? Not the most readers of any blog. The most readers of mine.

And that's another thing.

How important to me is it that I even have readers? The answer to that is -- very important. But that goes to why I started blogging. Here is a short explanation behind the reason I started blogging:

I am a very opinionated guy. As if you didn't know that. I foolishly think my opinion matters. Call me an egotist. I've been called worse.

My father was fond of saying, "This might come as a surprise to you, but nobody really cares what you think." As ego deflating as that is, he was probably right.

But I work alone with no one but myself for company and no one to share my opinions with, and when I hear something on the radio or on TV that I have an opinion about, I want to tell someone. Originally, my intent was to say something about things I heard in the news that make me say, "What the....?". So blogging is a perfect forum. I want people to know what I think. My ex-wife hated hearing my opinions. She had this to say about all my opinions:

"Shut up!"

That may be one reason her and I aren't married anymore.

Probably many are like me and just wanted a forum to voice their opinion. But I have read others that are like short stories, others that are diary's. Why would someone want to share with the world their personal diary's? Remember when diaries were secret?

Now, I am curious. Why have others started blogging? Why have you? Answer me in comments.

And no, this isn't a poorly disguised effort to get a long thread of comments. I really want to know.

Note: I just got a pop up that said I am the 1,000,000th visitor to my site. I feel honored. And just yesterday I had only had 20,000+ visits to my site.


Mark said...

Oh, if you can't read the signs in the first cartoon, they say:
Breaking news
Tenacious fact checking
Relevant links
Insightful commentary
Ruthless satire
Breaking news.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Mark, this was an enjoyable read. I liked your father's and ex's comments.

I think we all like to express our opinions, and seldom have a platform to do so. At some point, we all like to have our voices heard from the top of the mountain.

I'm still trying to find my niche in how I should blog. I don't know enough, or keep pace well enough to be a serious citizen journalist. What I find myself doing is half posting for myself and half reporting news that interests me, but not commenting on it so much as I am just "leaching" it from somewhere else that I've seen it. I guess that's because sometimes I feel the pressure to post something each day, all though there's nothing I really have to say. I don't know why that is. Readers only half interest me. Right now, I don't mind slow traffic. I'm just so busy with the daily routine of my life, I don't think I could handle a huge volume of comments/criticism that I would feel compelled to respond to.

I think my original intent to start a blog was so that I could record my own thoughts and commentary on subject matters that interest and affect me; and if written thoughtfully enough, will hopefully be able to share it with friends and others. I had no interest in keeping people "informed" as there's the NY Times, news networks, and major powerhouse bloggers like Hugh Hewitt and Istapundit, Powerline, for that. I do like to be the finger pointing to the moon and any readers I do get, point them in the direction of people I read myself and whose body of work I like and respect.

Blogging is just sorta weird, because I feel like I have more responsibility than just opinionating my own thoughts. I feel like it's important that I don't get my facts wrong, which I'm endangered of doing now and then. So it's important to factcheck all the time. Linking is time-consuming, but fun to do. Sometimes I think I go overboard with it. I think being able to link to your sources is one of the major disadvantages that old media is experiencing in competition with the blogosphere. I think the newspapers should run their online articles with links to their sources just like bloggers do.

Well, I find this very addicting and time-consuming. Like I said, I'm still finding my groove of comfort. I'm slowly learning what works for me and what I wish to ad to my blog. Sometimes I've felt like making a 2nd blog where I can write non-political, personal keeping a journal. I want to be able to record my own history of day by day events.

Anyway, congratulations on being your millionth visitor, Mark! You should give yourself a door prize. I just recently added on a stat counter like yours, and in 2 days, I'm up to 200 visits. Whoo-hoo!

By the way, you really should check out Sister Toldjah. She wrote a very good blog yesterday on blogging tips.

Dorable said...

My blog is more like a journal of my overall life, some of which include opinions on current events or philosophical views but many others can be mundane and regular life stuff that I just want to remember about my kids or whatever. I dont think you can get much more personal than what you talk about here, talk about your personal Christian conversion and drug use! I dont think that sharing other kinds of personal thoughts and rants and joys and pain is that much different than just commenting on political views. Political views are just another outlet for sharing who you are and how you think right to the core. Honestly, cant get more private than that. I just have a few online friends who read my blog, and that is just fine by me. My blog is for me and me alone. I really write it for no other reason than to get my thoughts - no matter what flavor they are for the time being - out of me. Since Im a loner and work in a 2 person office, I really dont have anyone to talk to, and the blog is a great way for me to anonymously put what I think in words.

Francis Lynn said...

I started blogging for 2 reasons. The first was the technical challenge, when I first discovered Blogspot. Not being puter savy at the time, it was a great way to learn html, linking, posting pics, etc. I've learned an incredible amount from playing around with the blog.

The second reason was to vent about politics - the elections were coming up & it was a great way to rail against Kerry & crowd. I was not looking for readers. It was just to vent & develop some writing style.

Currently, the brain seems to have shut down, because I can think of nothing worthwhile to post. I hope I can get out of this block soon.

MadMustard said...

I started reading blogs because I have always been a political junkie. It was a little over a year ago, it was an election year and blogs had become all the rage. My fascination with reading strictly political blogs has run hot and cold since then. I’m easily bored with the constant message hammering that goes on at those sites.

I still visit them to see what both sides are saying, but rarely leave comments. I found that if you left thoughtful comments, you’d get bashed! On ‘lefty’ blogs I was called a ‘knuckle-dragger’ on ‘righty’ blogs I was called a ‘communist’, it just wasn’t much fun. Committed partisans never seem to see past their own bias.

Along my blog journey, I did find a handful of sites that I have really come to enjoy. You read them long enough and you come to know something of the personalities of the ‘bartender’ and the regulars who come by for refreshment. It is very much like finding a favorite bar; you come back for the conversation and not the drama.

When I step into 4 Rows, ER’s and some of my other favorite spots I never know what the topic will be about, but I do know that it will be interesting and different. Does everyone always agree? No, and thank God they don’t! It’s the differences that make us three-dimensional, human and challenge our own views of humanity.

Why did I start a blog? It was a whim. I have always enjoyed poking fun at pompous ‘big-shots’. Absolutely nothing that I post is serious or thought provoking and that’s just fine by me. I enjoy the cheap laugh; it’s a part of my twisted personality. I did it to share my slap-stick, cut-ups with my own family and friends. I don’t even think they look at the site anymore, but it doesn’t really concern me in the least. I really do it for my own sh*ts-n-grins.

If you glace at it, you will see that the target of satire is mostly republicans, but rest assured if this was still the Clinton-era those damn-democrats would be squarely in the crosshairs. And come the election next year, I will be a fair-and-balanced abuser.

jgaoehals14962 said...

I think the best reason to blog is that it does help us grow in our opinion, and understanding. I like the Proverb: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. If no one ever challenges us on our opinions, we will be left to thinking we really are right on everything. Our world becomes: the world according to Pastor Timothy, or the world according to ER. (God help us on both accounts. :) ).

Just over the past week, I have had to rethink some of my opinion concerning schools and raising children. Daffy really challenged me. After further thought, I still hold to my opinion, but I am glad she challenged me on this. The beauty of blogs is that I can have discussions with people who are outside my circle, and give me the opportunity to either strengthen my position or abandon it. Otherwise, I will sit with all the people who already agree with me, and become more puffed up. We certainly don't need that.

God bless

rich bachelor said...

I wrote my first blog posting about this. I was bored, and was Googling. I discovered this site, recognized how easy it was, and there you have it.
Except, I've always been a person who writes a lot, and a person who had no fear about sharing their thoughts in public.
Yup. Lazy+Loud=Blogger.

tugboatcapn said...

I started mine basically to show you and ER how it should be done. ;)

No, seriously, what got me started was that i was home with a back injury from work, and was in serious jeapardy of dying from boredom.
While researching my own injury, I stumbled across a blog entitled "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure."
It described the experiences of a surgeon, and the cases of some of the people he had been able to help, complete with gory photos and x-rays.
I thought it was fascinating.
Then the "Next Blog" button in the corner caught my eye.
I clicked it, and then clicked it again. I read about twenty different blogs, and then it dawned on me...
I can do this.
I clicked on the "Start your Own Blog" button on the other corner, and the rest is history.

I honestly do not know how I got along before.
I have a lot of opinions and ideas, and I have long needed an outlet for some of them, as well as other thinking people to bounce them off of.
The blog provides that outlet, as well as dissenting opinions to challenge me, making me actually think about what I believe, and why I believe it.
I have come to think of blogging less as stating my opinions and then arguing my point, and more like hanging out with a group of friends, talking about current events.
I enjoy it very much.
Thank you Mark, and you too, ER, for being a constant source of inspiration to me.
I think of the two of you as close friends, even though we have never met face to face.
This is really cool!

Poison Pero said...

Very good topic, Mark.

I started doing Email blasts years ago....Way before I ever heard of a blog.

I started out in 1999, in an attempt to turn a few of my friends and family from being Gore voters.........I succeded in flipping 5-10 of them.

Then I found Yahoo Groups, and got involved with a few political groups.......One in particular was a fake nation-building group. --> Sounds corny, but it was very enlightening, and we had to follow the rules of government. Which was very educational.

Then I heard Hewitt talking about "blogs" during the 2004 election cycle........Read a few (Hugh's, Powerline, LGF, etc.), adn though it was an awsome medium.

I've been an addict ever since....Started my Right is Right and This Day in History blogs right after the election ended, and my Jackass Quote of the Day blog at the New Year.

It's been great, and even better to meet all the people I've come across on the blogosphere.....Met some good freinds and linked up with some great thinkers.

Keep up the good work, Mark.

Daffy76 said...

This is all Tug's fault. I was happy in my little blogless world. He started his and told me about it. I set up mine because it was the slowest part of the year at work and I thought it might pass the time. I used to write quite a bit when I was in college. I was an English major in fact. (You must excuse any grammatical, punctuation, etc. errors in my writing. College was quite a few years and two kids ago.) So I thought this would be good place to practice my writing.

There are lots of people I respect out here. I have argued with a great many and agreed with even more. In fact, it stung a little bit to have to argue with Pastor Tim last week. I usually respect his opinion very much. Thanks Mark for keeping it up and don't be afraid to tell it like it is.
It's all opinion anyway.

Mary said...

My blog was an escape for me.

I was a regular on a political discussion board for about eight months. After some really bad experiences there (and I mean REALLY bad), I started blogging.

I still wanted to comment on political matters, but I didn't want to be part of the hostile environment of that board.

It was a lonely venture at first. Sometimes, it still is. Sometimes, I wonder why I devote so much time to my blog.

Thanks a lot, Mark.

I'm going to google "Bloggers Anonymous."

I need help. :)

rich glasgow said...

Hi Mark....I actually blogged about this on my 1st "blogoversary" this past August 16th....being an inveterate news junkie, I have always felt the need to pass on what I think is important to others which is what I did long before blogs. After awhile I began to realize what your wise father told you. So now I blog for myself in hopes it may be of interest to others. It's a great venue for activism and I think we have a responsibility to defend the tenants on which this great country was founded. Far too many Christians are huddled passively in their homes in the fetal position praying for the Kingdom of God when they should be out there armed to the teeth for the battle of our lives in this fierce cultural war. It's a spiritual war that requires physical action.

Blogging is a fantastic opportunity for people who like to write or wish to communicate. It's an awesome technology that has helped to transform the balance of power in the media. Individually we are just little guys reaching just a few, but collectively we can be extremely influential by way of networking and "swarming."

Keep blogging, you ruggedly individualistic scotsman, you.