Why Blog?

| Friday, April 24, 2009
Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn wrote another lovely post about blogging. This one specifically, as I took from it, was about the recent push to improve blogs. In all honesty I stopped reading once it got practical: about actually improving it. I am not a practical person. Instead I cared about the start, asking why you want to improve/change?

Well why would you work to improve your blog? Obvious answers are things like making it more useful or informative. They eventually come around to more readers or happier readers (keeping the ones you have). Why more readers? I see a few reasons.

A bigger audience means more people to influence. This is important if you're in the propaganda business, or any other form of mass manipulation such as advertising. More and better are nearly the same thing.

If you're looking for profit, a bigger audience means more ad revenue.

These are fairly straightforward and predictable. How about someone effectively trying to confirm their existence? More readers mean more people who by their reading are confirming existence. Or maybe a sort of virtual popularity contest. Being popular makes people feel better, ignoring the massive pressure that can come with it. I realize these sound a little pitiful, like lonely people making websites just so someone with realize they exist. It's not exactly like that. The online world is a bit like a city: you're surrounded by people, but also potentially alone and completely ignored. This is not a comfortable state for most people; to be ignored and by inaction have their existence denied. They seek confirmation that they exist. Online people may do the same. Writing and being read means that you are not alone in the giant city.

So yes, back to my point. We improve because it is increased fulfillment of the original purpose of the blog. If you write a blog to inform people of the dangers of say, land shark attacks in apartments, and no one read or learned from it, you'd be failing. Improving the blog to get people to read and learn would mean fulfilling the original goal of informing and presumably protecting people from the dangers of land sharks. Along the same line, if you wrote a blog to be noticed, improvement would mean making it and you more noticeable or if it was to spread your views on feral druids, improvement would mean making more people share your views.

So why do I want to improve my blog? I used to write on the official forums for WoW, but I stopped making many threads or even responding much. I felt like I had something worth saying (don't we all think that? Our egos are ridiculous) and it was getting lost. It was also frustrating to try to write something good and end up with responses of nothing but tl;dr and flaming. I suppose it's a bit of that confirmation of existence thing, not wanting to see a thread drop down ten pages in an hour due to spam. It would be cool if Blizzard noticed and was influenced by what I write, but let's face it, that's not a realistic assumption. In the meantime I can write what I think, record my experiences, and maybe learn something from the process. Improving that means writing more clearly and perhaps more often, though no more often than I have something to say.


Stabs said...

It's my internet lawn and I enjoy mowing it :-)

LarĂ­sa said...

There's nothing wrong about improvement and development, but what I don't like is those recepies, patterns that people are just supposed to copy... Like that elevator pitch idea. Try to do it YOUR way is my suggestion.

Christian said...

What was that about landsharks? Do I need to be worried? Are there Anti-Bullette Fetishes I can hang over my doorway?!? I don't want to be eaten in my apartment by a landshark. Please tell me! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SAVE ME FROM THE LANDSHARKS!!!

I also think that a lot of bloggers have personas that they have developed and need to invest in (as do most comment-writers and others in the community). Being true to yourself is just as important on the internet as in real life, and often that requires expression. On the internet, I can't express myself with my clothes or my bumper stickers or my choice of music that I blast through my headphones to the people around me - so blogs (and comments and emoticons) fill the role.

Klepsacovic said...

@Stabs: But do you yell at kids to get off it?

@Larisa: I agree. I suppose I misrepresented my reading of your post, it's not that I skipped it entirely but more that I went "oh, the advice section... You can't tell me what to do, you're not my mother!"

@Christian: Land sharks were a gag on SNL a while back. I suggest reading my "why we have memes" post, it's a bit relevant to your clothes thing.

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