Why do a weblog?

Fred of ~Fragments fame posted this question from a friend who now publishes a periodic newsletter.

Newsletters, whether electronic or not are “push” type publishing. I have done email newsletters in the past and I stopped when I realized it is kind of a mini-spam. People may not complain because they are friends, but it is an enforced communication.

Weblogs, in contrast are “pull” type publishing. You post an essay and it is read by those who actually want to read it, WHEN they want to read it. Furthermore, your essay, once posted, will be available forever, or until your hosting company goes out of business, which will probably occur sooner. Your essay becomes part of the permanent references on the internet. You could become famous in your own lifetime… 🙂

I can send an essay to a hundred of my long-suffering friends or I can post an essay on my weblog and it can be read by thousands of people in a few short months. It will show up on Google for years if the topic is of sufficient interest.

I wrote an essay on shanty towns and I got hundreds of hits from students in England who were studying the social aspects of shanty towns.

The effort to post an essay on Typepad, complete with links to hundreds of supporting documents and images, is the same as for writing an email. There is no extra time involved. If you can handle email, you can be a published author on Typepad or any of the other weblog hosting companies.

In short, if what you have to say is important to more than five people and it is not proprietary, you owe it to yourself to have a weblog.

Try it. You may like it.

You can also become an agent for social change.

UPDATE:

Marie has now been linked with a trackback. (See comments.) This is something else you cannot do with a push type publication. Web logs allow for continued linking and relinking of existing documents.

…If this post gets any more convoluted, it will look like a DNA chain.

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0 Responses to Why do a weblog?

  1. fredf says:

    Thanks, David, for this contribution to the discussion. And looking forward to seeing (and reading) more of you in the coming new year. Who knows what great things can happen between those of good will who share their wisdom and experience, as you do here with your readers!

  2. Marie says:

    I begin to blog because I needed a place to publish my work without being edited. I continue to blog because of the feedback and encouragement I get from you and the others that hang around my site. It is a strange, but warm friendship that fills a need that I did not know I crave. All my best to both you and Gretchen. You both have been with me from the beginning.

  3. Ironbear says:

    Yup. Except that thanks to that last line you now have me filking “Social Agent Man” inside my head…

  4. David says:

    Ironbear,

    You just had to do that, didn’t you. (introduce a new word, filk, to my vocabulary)

    I have gone past that word so many times without looking it up that it just hammered me this time and I got verrry slowww and st-u-u-u-pp-id.

    I had to look it up in dictionary.com. Here it is for anyone else who didn’t get it. It is a totally appropriate word.

    FILK

    /filk/ [SF fandom, where a typo for “folk” was adopted as a new word] A popular or folk song with lyrics revised or completely new lyrics, intended for humorous effect when read, and/or to be sung late at night at SF conventions.

    Thus “filking” can be the creation of a new song from an old song, in this case the old song is “Secret Agent Man.”

    “Social Agent Man” sounds like it might be a hit with bloggers.

    If there are additional meanings I’ve missed, Ironbear can provide supplemental references. First, he has to come up with a set of lyrics.

    Over to you Ironbear…

  5. Marie says:

    David,

    Would you please teach me how to do that trackback thingy? I’m confused ( my husband says that this is not an unusual state for me ).
    Thanx, marie

  6. David says:

    Marie,
    I have made this post trackback to your most recent post by doing the following:

    I clicked on the trackback link on your site and copied the URL that says this is the trackback address or whatever.

    Then I pasted the URL into the trackback field for this post. I use Typepad which is quite civilized and walks me through these steps.

  7. darren says:

    good post – have a good Christmas

  8. Denny says:

    Thanks for the push/pull contrast idea–a telling perspective on weblogs. I’m new to weblogs, and I find it a great way to get my writing juices flowing in the morning. Also, I find it easy to focus in on the voices I want to listen to. A great time to be alive. Best wishes for the new year!

  9. Ironbear says:

    Heh heh heh. Hurting people’s brains is my business. 😉 Sorry, David – I didn’t get back to this one for awhile.

    Looks like you nailed it: it’s a sci-fi convention variation on “Folk” – “fliking” new lyrics to old tunes.

    Hrmmm… my lyricist bone’s been a bit rusty the past few months, but let’s try this anyway…

    “Oh now
    There’s a man who is a word arranger –
    His essays have become a social danger!
    With every post he makes another world he shakes.
    But the odds are he won’t post until tomorrow…

    Social Agent Man! Social Agent Man!
    They’ve given you a blog – you’re on the road to fame.

    Beware of turns of phrase you find attractive –
    For every turn of phrase beomes reactive!
    Oh becareful what you say…
    Or they might take you away –
    And the odds are you won’t live to post tomorrow!

    Social Agent Man! Social Agent Man!
    They’ve given you a blog – and now they flame your name.

    —– lead guitar bridge —-

    Social Agent Man! Social Agent Man!
    They’ve given you a blog – and everybody wants your fame!

    Catapulted by the InstaLaunches one day –
    Delinked by every leftwing blogger next day…
    Oh no – you let the wrong post slip –
    The wrong sacred cow you’ve tripped
    Odds are that you’re yesterdays news until tomorrow.

    Social Agent Man! Social Agent Man!
    They’ve given you a blog so you can shape the culture games.

    Social A-gent Man…”

    *grin*

  10. Ironbear says:

    Needs a bit of work to scan properly, but… just add guitar and bloggers convention, and yer set to go. 😉

    Can add variant verses as needed.

  11. David says:

    Ironbear, I’m glad you returned to complete the cycle. Your unique commenting style has been missed.

    Tiger has just demonstrated one of the other unique attributes of weblogs. He has looped back from the future (March 1) to comment on this Christmas Eve post.

    I am going to push this “Why do a weblog” Moebius strip through one final evolution to show that you can link future posts on the same subjects together. If that doesn’t turn your head inside out, nothing will.

  12. Ironbear says:

    Sorry ’bout that. I have way too many weblogs in my favorites folder to be able to read all of them daily. I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of commenting I do just because of things like this – it’s too easy for me to forget where I’ve commented and never make it back to the discussion. ;[
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Social Agent Man
    URL: http://ripples.typepad.com/ripples/2004/03/social_agent_ma.html
    IP: 66.151.149.26
    BLOG NAME: Ripples
    DATE: 03/01/2004 08:17:45 PM
    I wrote a post in December titled Why do a weblog in which I incautiously said, ” You can also become an agent for social change.” The inimitable Ironbear immediately commented, suggesting a song title of Social Agent Man. Several
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Why do a weblog? he asked … why not?
    URL: http://tiglaw.com/blog/archives/002401.html
    IP: 160.79.194.70
    BLOG NAME: Tiger: Raggin’ & Rantin’
    DATE: 03/01/2004 04:47:47 PM
    One of my favorite bloggers, mainly because he is never snarky, inane or anything else like me, but writes such to hold my interest in whatever topic he addresses. David, of Ripples wrote the most perfect piece explaining the need…

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