~ I’m taking the morning off from my coffee shop article series for a much needed day off……but if you’re interested in a few of my ramblings read on – Kenneth
“What’s the point of blogging?”
That’s the subject of both an email conversation I had with someone this past week as well as a conversation I had with someone at coffee……what do you think the point of blogging is?
Here’s my take;
First there are the obvious reasons;
—-) Some people blog as a way to meet people via the Online World
—-) Some people blog as a way of self-therapy
—-) Some people blog because they love writing and it gives them an opportunity to write publicly
—-) Some people blog as a way to showcase their artwork, poems, writing, etc
—-) Some people blog as a way to market themselves to a larger audience in the hopes of selling a book, artwork, etc.
There are lots of reasons people blog………but one of the most important reasons that I believe has yet to be fully analyzed by the psychological community is that more-and-more writers are blogging because the Western World has begun to change. Thanks to reality television, Social Networks, and other direct-to-audience type mediums, more and more readers want to connect more with the authors, journalists and writers that they read.
‘Back in the day’ people were satisfied with reading a weekly column in the local newspaper by their favorite journalist…..but now people want to connect more with the personality of the individual journalist or writer; people want to feel a closer affinity to the writer.
One of my favorite novelists is Michael Crichton the Sci-Fi writer who died a couple years ago….I always enjoyed Crichton, but it was after I read his memoir “Travels” that I felt even ‘closer’ to him and who he was…..through reading about his personal experiences, his private life, I felt that the chasm between him as a person and me as the reader decreased through my reading of his memoir…..and that is what blogging allows; it gives us a bigger window into the life of the writer that we have come to love.
—) Have you ever watched a movie or read a book in which you became so connected to the characters that you wished the story would go on longer?
—) Have you ever seen a documentary or Hollywood Movie based on a true story and after you finish watching it you find yourself on google looking up more information about the characters or events?
I became a big fan of Grace Kelly when I was younger and not only did I make a point to find and watch all 11 of the films she starred in….I also started buying up every biography on her life that I could find (I think I have six or seven Kelly biographies on my shelves). She died when I was only a couple years old but through watching her films I wanted to learn more about her life.
And so blogging gives us a deeper dimension between the writer and us the reader. It’s for this reason why it can feel like we’re losing a friend when a blogger goes away; we’ve come to feel like we’re a part of the blogger’s life and then they announce that they are no longer going to publish their writings….this can be a very sad experience for readers.
For the blogger, the experience of writing publicly can be a bit overwhelming. What began as the simple task of publishing a couple of their personal thoughts, pictures, or art…..has now skyrocketed into unrequested popularity. Now the blogger feels ‘guilty’ if they don’t get their articles published on time or they feel guilty if they don’t interact with their readers……….
It can also be a bit daunting to come face-to-face with the reality of blogging as being an important component of society. Writers effect the culture. Whether a writer recognizes this or not is irrelevant; but the fact of the matter is that as people interact with your writings day-after-day they cannot help but be influenced (whether negatively or positively) by your articles.
—) Charles Dickens changed the culture through his writing
—) Karl Marx changed the culture through his writing
—) Authors and writers throughout history create both positive and negative change within society
And so the growing awareness that your ‘writing matters’ can intimidate the bloggers who don’t want to be responsible for other people and their lives, “I’m not my brother’s keeper” the bloggers says as they mimic Cain…but ultimately in our heart we know that we are responsible for our actions. Everything was fine when 15 people were reading your blog…..but now that 10,000 people come to your site every week your perspective toward blogging has changed dramatically.
And so it’s for all of these reasons and more that I keep certain elements of my private life…private. I admire bloggers who post pictures of their family, who talk about private arguments they’ve had with relatives, and who get into the personal nitty-gritty details of their relationship with their significant other……but unfortunately, that is not my style. Thus, since I believe one of the reasons people come to blogs is for a deeper connection to the writer…..I’ve had to develop my own method toward conveying a sense of the ‘personal me’ while at the same time retaining as much privacy to my personal life.
I’ve also been aware for some time that I need one day a week to rest from my writing. At times it can be a herculean task to put together a 700-900 word article about the interactions I have with people at coffee. Not because I am at a loss for material, I actually have hundreds of encounters I’ve yet to write about…….but rather due to the time it takes to craft the real-life-conversation into a story that is readable, interesting and palatable enough for readers to bite into.
Therefore, I’ve decided to turn my Sunday post into my day off while at the same time giving me the opportunity to write about things that I’m thinking about….such as today; “What is the point of blogging.”
I’ve never been successful in my blog at doing a weekly
theme; every time I tried last year the response was dismal to say the least………so this time I’m taking the pressure of myself; Today is my day of d**n it! So I’m gonna write about whatever I want to write about and it doesn’t matter if anybody reads it!
My Drinking in the Culture Tour resumes tomorrow, some of my upcoming articles are;
“A pastor’s secret sins…REALLY???”
“I got yelled at in church this past week…REALLY???”
BTW) I’m currently on a national and worldwide tour of 100 coffee shops in the Central America, the United States, and Europe…..my next stop is Atlanta on the first Saturday in March. Check out my homepage for dates and locations; I’d love to have coffee with you!
Categories: Culture & Society