I have been exchanging emails with a new reader and after a long and enthusiatic exchange of ideas, she asked the question which I’m using as the title of this post. Although she doesn’t realize it yet, she has probably "caught" the blogging bug and will become a blogger in the not too distant future. The signs are unmistakable. 🙂
Her question has inspired me to re-examine blogging again as it appears to new visitors.
Reading blogs is becoming a national pastime. It is a great way to get news and to find people like yourself. However, that isn’t blogging. That’s being a audience for bloggers which is at least as important as blogging, but requires different skills. Blog readers are what make blogging the social phenomenon it has become.
Blogging is about the spread of ideas. Without readers, a blogger’s ideas go nowhere.
Artistry in blogging is the presentation of ideas in an interesting manner so that they get disseminated widely.
Blogging starts with the discovery of blogs and the realization that this new area of open source media is unbelievably interesting and complex enough to hold your attention for years. It can draw you in and you start leaving comments on various sites. You get into conversations with various bloggers and you become a personality to them and vice versa. You find that you discover things about yourself and about life that you have not been able to express before.
After a while, you find yourself with so many ideas to discuss that your comments begin to grow to a length that exceeds the blogger’s original post. That’s when you get suggestions from bloggers that you need a blog of your own.
Blogging is the creation of a weblog on the internet and updating it every so often. It is the writing and maintaining a weblog that constitutes blogging. It is your place to say what you want. You are a citizen publisher. Your blog is your pulpit to preach or rant or titillate or amuse from.
It is an incredible learning experience and it changes your life. Those of us who are immersed in the daily give and take of citizen publishing, know that blogging changes things in the world we write about and changes us as individuals. It becomes an important part of our lives as long as we continue to write and exchange ideas with others. Furthermore, there is a permanent record of what we do and say while we are part of the blogosphere, so our ideas can theoretically go on forever or until the last Internet server goes offline.
Bloggers are generally people who want to help others. They spend a lot of time with interested newcomers because every new voice adds power to the blogosphere. We are building a free-form network that is changing the way the world exchanges information.
I feel that is altogether an excellent state of affairs.
On the other hand, some may feel that the blogosphere is already too large and that all of the good spots are taken. I will deal with that subject in a later post.