Thinking About Why I Blog

 ray_diary_150_150x180Is it for vanity? Is it to have a soapbox? Is it a derivative of the diaries I used to keep when I was a teenager? I expect every regular blogger gets to a point where they start thinking about why they bother. 

Brazen Careerist recently ran a contest asking their community about how blogging has impacted their life. Excuses, excuses, but   I missed the boat on the contest, but the question still intrigued me. Then Mat reached out and asked the community to fill out a survey on why they blog. And then Simon wrote a very thought provoking post on his new approach to blogging.

All this made me realise that it was high time for me to map out some of the reasons I blog, if only to help me map out a sense of blogging direction for myself. When I started this blog back in August 2008, it was purely to help me fulfil one of my objectives at work – to raise my external profile –  and a few of my early posts outline some of the ways I was planning on doing this. But things change.  And my reasons for blogging have changed. This blog was a great outlet for me during my extended jaunt to Canada last year and provided me a ‘home’ to share my point of view on advertising & digital marketing, great things I saw, found & heard, as well as to talk about other things completely unrelated. 

And, you know what?  It’s been nice, this whole blogging lark. I was initially quite daunted by it, but it’s been a worthy challenge. People who take the time to blog and tweet often tend to have very strong opinions and sometimes it’s tough if you have a contradictory point of view, especially when the ‘me too’ folk come along and the voices on the other side try to shout you down. This blog gives me the opportunity to take the time to flesh out my point of view and has led me to conclusions I may not have come to if I didn’t take the time to consider my thoughts. 

I was initially quite sceptical about the power of blogging, but no more. My blog is my ‘home’ on the Internet and has become my soapbox. Reading other blogs, commenting and connecting with those bloggers via twitter, email and in real life has exposed me to so many different points of views, ideas, projects and people.

So six months on, why do I still blog? To share a considered viewpoint on things that interest me, to comment on the world around me, to scope out & try to answer some of the big questions, to connect with people who share my views AND to people who don’t and to respond to issues that I’ve read about in other places. 

Why do you blog?

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7 thoughts on “Thinking About Why I Blog

  1. There’s a very similar post sitting in my Drafts folder. 🙂 Thanks to you it can now be deleted.

    I think there comes a time in every bloggers life they question why they do this. Does Descartes have the answer: “I blog therefore I am” or is it the subsequent revsion: “I blog about blogging, therefore I am?”

    After some contemplation of the “why’s” I came to the conclusion that ultimately, I blog because I am a writer at heart. If it wasn’t on a blog it would be on paper, in a book or the back of a beer coaster. I originally started blogging to tell stories. Then I blogged about social media making it part of an overall career strategy.

    But ultimately I blog now just because I love writing, am passionate about ideas and love a good yarn. 🙂

    My blogs:
    jonathannguyen.net
    etc.jonathannguyen.net
    tech.jonathannguyen.net

    🙂

  2. Good for you Le ‘Nise. There’s a whole bunch of good reasons why I do it. I have opinions, I value those of others. I’m curious. It exposes you to new stuff. Interesting people. I’ve learnt loads from some very intelligent thinking. I see stuff before its mainstream. I get more than I give. But more than anything it’s about the people you meet through it. Frankly, (like you’ve said before) I really don’t understand why more media people don’t do it.

  3. I agree, the motivation for blogging changes as you go on – but I think you can only really understand (social) media if you are actively involved and ‘learning by doing’ – and I think blogging is a key part of this. Anyone (and everyone) can have a Facebook profile, but blogging is curiously both personal and social at the same time. To a large extent I think it defines ‘us’, the way you write, the styles you use, the topics you address and the people (link references) you involve. As a participant, you learn new things, you meet new people and you end up being more in tune with the ebb and flow of trends then you ever could be as a spectator. I’m sure that deep down part of me is a frustrated journalist, but the discpline of writing regular posts is a great way of ordering thoughts (I have also found it a great way of ordering my filing systems – more and more when I want something I go to my blog archive rather than my desktop or computer drives, something I never expected!) Yes it’s an ‘addiction that needs feeding’ (as I have seen it described recently) but its cathartic and fun at the same time!

  4. @Dan – I like what you’ve said about in your post about finding interesting stuff to blog about and thinking about whether or not something is ‘blogworthy’. Similar to Elaine on Seinfeld’s ‘sponge worthy’ criteria, I expect?

    @Jonathan – I had similar writing ambitions when I was younger and now I find that blogging helps me hone my writing, especially after years of powerpoint half sentences!

    @Neil – Thanks! Like you, in retrospect I can see the value of blogging and its continual value – especially as a counterpoint to my Twitter activity.

    @Nick -Thanks for stopping by! I completely agree with the idea of ‘learning by doing’. I can speak to clients with much more authority about social media now that I’m much more heavily involved in it, as you say, beyond just a Facebook profile.

  5. Its a similar rationale to you I think – I often say to people when they ask the same question that its “where the show box meets the pub table.” By that I mean that I use my blog as a way of saving and sorting interesting stuff that I find, stuff that I know at some point I will have use of and that I don’t want to forget about. But more importantly than that, its a way of starting a debate; a way of connecting and sharing. I love that way that ideas build and develop once you blog about them. I have been blogging for just over 2 years and can’t imagine not!

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