Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why Do We Blog?

I suppose everyone has a different reason or set of reasons, but I know what my reasons are. The more I think about it, the more I realize I have quite a few reasons.

I sometimes have a poor memory, and these times with the wee ones are ones that I want to capture – and not just the good but the bad and the ugly, too, so that I can empathize when they have children of their own. I had started writing them letters that recapped the previous year each year for their birthdays, but I know there was so much that I was forgetting and so much of it was the little fun cute things that I want to remember.

I also find that my blog is a great outlet for me when I am frustrated or irritated or confused by something. I can pick and choose the gory, unrefined and sometimes pitiful bits that may provide a colored view of my world, but they allow me to vent here. Once it’s out of my system, I then regain the zen (ha!) that I normally do and don’t take it out on anyone around me. Or less so, anyway.

I also generally like to write. Anyone who’s ever received an email from me knows that I’m pretty good and spinning something out of nothing. I’m not claiming by any stretch to be a great writer, but it’s something I enjoy. Disciplining myself to keep my blog updated ensures that I write just a little bit more frequently than I would otherwise, and I think that’s good for me.

For a long time I put it off, thinking that I wasn’t good enough or didn’t know how to do it or it would be too hard or too humbling. Now I wish I’d started far earlier as there are stories that I’d thought I would remember but only the vaguest of details remain with me today. If you don’t have a blog or aren’t keeping yours up to date, go for it! It is yours to make of it what you will, and that’s part of what makes it so great.

Plus, there’s a great community of bloggers and blogger readers out there. While I have no ambition to ever make money off my blog (and kudos to those who do!), it is nice to know that what I write doesn’t just go into a black hole but that someone else gets it – or doesn’t – or enjoys or appreciates something that I wrote. It’s something of a selfish ego boost, granted, but I won’t deny that it’s nice to see my reader counter slowly rising and see comments pop in on most posts.

Towards that end, I have added a couple of buttons to the left of my screen. Both are new blogger communities that have pretty lofty aims that I applaud. They aren’t soliciting the best of the best – whoever determines that – but recognizing the everyday blogger and helping them find an audience and a voice.

AllMediocre is a play off AllTop, which shockingly I hadn’t heard of. Apparently AllTop features the crème de la crème of the blogosphere, while AllMediocre takes that and runs with it. As members sign up, they are encouraged to go visit new blogs that are part of the community. It’s a great idea, and I have to say that there are some entertaining blogs part of the community. Go check them out!

The other new community button is SITS – The Secret Is In The Sauce. Every day, they feature a new blogger, again not the high profile blogs but average blogs by average people who submit theirs to be featured. Obviously submitting isn’t a guarantee that a blog will be featured, but what a great way to find new blogs that you like while at the same time increasing readership for the featured blogs. I love the idea – and of course, I’ll give them a plug on their contest. In their effort to get this cool idea off the ground, if you comment on SITS by Friday, you’re entered to win a bloggers survival kit. And to keep the momentum and give incentive for readers to go visit the featured blogs, there will be a small weekly contest for those who go visit the featured blogs and comment.

I love the idea behind both these communities. And it’s given me a nice opportunity to reflect on why I blog. Or some of why I blog, as I’m sure there are more reasons that I have yet to identify. So why do you blog? Or if you don’t blog, why not?


The SITS Girls June 3, 2008 at 11:34 PM  

Michelle, just check the blog every morning.. we will only post once a day.

And, actually, EVERYONE who submits right now will be featured, so you are guaranteed your day in the sun and a month as part of our "Saucy Blogs". All we ask is that you comment!

Thanks for posting about us.. 2 additional comment entries for you!

Feener June 4, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

i started blogging b/c i needed somewhere to vent about motherhood. however it has turned into so much more for me. i have always enjoyed the thought of writing, but never thought i was all that good. blogging has created a writing outlet for me and i have to say i am so happy with doing all i am doing.

Melanee June 4, 2008 at 12:08 PM  

Hi Michelle! I know just how you feel! I have been blogging for about 4 years now and it is amazing to go back and see how much I have changed (and grown, hopefully) over that time. Blogging helps to keep me sane!! And I love AllMediocre! It makes me feel that I am not so small and alone. I am going to check out SITS right now!

Keep up the blogging, I am enjoying reading your blog (and promise to comment more regularly)!

Irene June 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM  

Hi! I started blogging on a fluke. I told no one, not even my husband. But I loved doing it so much that soon I had to tell him. I told my family a couple months later. Now my in-laws still don't know about it. I don't talk about them on my blog, but I am not sure they will get it and may think I am a bit more whacky than they originally thought...And I now I feel I have had the blog so long that I feel weird telling them about it.

Some people wonder why not just keep a journal? But I really feel that when you write publically, even if you only have a few readers, you are motivated to write SO much better. I try to write well, keep things brief, interesting and funny. Not sure I always achieve that, but I enjoy trying.

I know a lot of bloggers start gung ho and quit about 6 months or a year later. I really can't see myself doing that. I love blogging. I have fun, I learn a LOT and I will keep at it.

Steph June 4, 2008 at 1:43 PM  

It keeps me from beating my husband and kids, no seriously it allows me a space of my own and a place to be me. Plus I end up getting great ideas for stuff!

Mabunny June 4, 2008 at 1:51 PM  

I'd have to say I blog for a variety of different reasons. When I first started blogging I didn't think my life was interesting to put up in cyberspace for anyone to find. I was reading my friend Lena's blog and she is truly the one that told me to try it. Now almost a year later and I'm having such a great time, and have met some truly amazing people. Its fun, and like you said helps with your memory, and your blogosphere freinds will help you out by giving you ideas to solve problems that were bothering you.
Keep on blgging and have a great day!

Cookie June 4, 2008 at 3:32 PM  

THanks for links! I'll be looking into those blog sites.
I just started to blog and I still haven't figured out why yet!

Anonymous June 4, 2008 at 5:34 PM  

I started blogging for a lot of the same reasons that you mentioned. Beyond that, I was in need of something I could do for ME that didn't require a lot of time or thought (I have children . . . books with chapters and long crafting sessions are just not feasible!) Thanks to blogging, I have 'met' an incredible number of people who have provided me with hours of both laughter and tears and support beyond my wildest expectations . . . I frequently find greater satisfaction in the blogging community than I do in real life (is that bad?!)

Michelle June 4, 2008 at 7:01 PM  

SITS Girls -- thanks for the clarification on how you're operating. I still think this is a way cool idea!

Feener -- I sooo get the venting part. How on earth did you come up with the name of your blog?...

Melanee -- Hi there and welcome! I'm so impressed that you've been blogging for so long. Out of touch me had never heard of a blog before last summer!

Irene -- I haven't told people really that I blog. How is it working for you to have your family reading yours? I think I totally flunked on the brief part, but I've never been brief!

Steph -- I promise not to call DCFS on you. What's been the best idea you've gotten from someone's blog?

MaBunny -- I'm right there with you in thinking that I'm not interesting enough to blog, but so far so good!

Cookie -- I love the honesty! And definitely go check out the community sites. It's nice to have support no matter what we're doing!

Nicole -- I totally forgot about the need to do something for me that I can do with small children. Generally this waits until they're in bed, which is fine. But I'm with you that books don't tend to happen near often enough! Quick blogs, however....

Cassie June 4, 2008 at 9:14 PM  

Those are good reasons! I blog just to keep myself occupied. I have a lot of random thoughts throughout the day. And you're right, it helps later to be able to go back and look at posts to be able to see what was going on when. I know it will be helpful when my baby boy arrives!

Kelly June 5, 2008 at 9:34 AM  

I have no memory either! I'll love looking back on my blog and recalling the fun and my thoughts! coming from allmediocre!

Thanks for your comment...and, I agree about all the little pieces and the EXPENSE of these toys. BUT the have provided hours and hours of creative play time!

Michelle June 5, 2008 at 8:59 PM  

Cassie -- I'm so with you on the random thoughts. I try to have them make sense for others though. It's a struggle!

Kelly -- phew! I'm not the only one with memory issues. Creative play is a must. We don't have DVDs or computer games or anything yet, so good point that I'd rather pay the money for the toys that are more stimulating of the imagination.

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