Thursday, January 26, 2006

What is it we do when we blog?

What is it we do when we blog?

Enter this tech-reverie, this meta-blogular musing with me, please, and I promise we'll have fun, and learn something highly valuable. I want you to introspect, look inside yourself, and tell me what you see. Do you see what I see?

Now listen to the non-blogger part of my personality remark on my blogging.

"A lot of time is spent blogging," he says sorrowfully.

I hang my head. He's right, I know it. I won't deny it. Blogging can be done with no money, no expense financially, so it's got a great ROI. If you make one penny, you're a success.

But it eats up a lot of time. Blogging is like computer gaming: it's addictive. If you're a perfectionist, a blabber mouth, or a know it all, you're going to spend tons of time on blogging. If you're an approval addict, and live or die according to how many comments are posted on your blog, you'll spend massive amounts of precious time on that habit with an ugly name: blogging.

My non-blogger part of my personality irritates me. I hate to admit that I do spend way too much time, because I am manifesting physiological damage to my infrastructure, again. My entire right side is practically paralyzed, twisted into contortions that make me look like a human pretzel, underwater.

I don't write like anybody else, no matter how hard I try. I am pulled toward a pillar of uprightness in rhetorical virtuoso-ism, the Inscription Ventriloquist that I am, making these words speak themselves inside your mind, without ever moving my lips.

I will think about "What is blogging?" and my eyes are on fire. My shoulders ache. My neck is killing me. And in the midst of this agony, I keep inflicting more physiological damage by typing typing typing typing typing, staring in a fix manner at the screen. I don't even hear the Aaron Spectre music blaring out of my stereo. I'm in hardcore, injurious blogging mode.

I contort my upper torso as I type, but you didn't know that. I have no web cam hooked up to a video link on this blog so you can watch me type this blog In Real Time, as I actually do it in both present time and present space. If you could watch me blog, you'd think I was acting silly, bending and stretching and fidgeting around.

What it is
that we do
when we blog:

(1) "Speak" globally.

(2) Address an audience.

(3) Form a community.

(4) Provide advice, entertainment, information, news, opinions, unique viewpoint, special expertise, charming personality, and a role model for new bloggers.

(5) Link to other blogs in post text or sidebar badges.

(6) Post comments on other blogs.

(7) Self-express.

(8) Self-fulfill.

(9) Attract clients.

(10) Gain recognition as an authority, comedian, journalist, political analyst, eccentric, mommy blogger, activist blogger, personal trivia blogger, etc.

(11) Acquire large fan base, which might be marketable (or profitable if you ran ads on your blog).

(12) Make friends and have exo-blog interactions with some of your blog readers and fellow bloggers.

(13) Sell sock monkeys, music CDs, PDF reports, e-books, white papers, seminars, restaurants, other products.

(14) Sharpen thinking, researching, writing, linking, computing, debating, networking, community-building skills...which means ***marketable professional development***, costing you only what time you spend on it.

Bloggers do much more than this, they do research, attend conferences, speak at seminars and conventions, and so forth.

But blogging itself, the act of "bloggging", seems to comprise 13 or 14 items (number 13 is optional, not everyone has something to sell, but most have some cause or club or similar to promote.)

Isn't this what we do when we blog?

Blogging is not writing a killer post, then sitting around waiting for comments to arrive.

Comments don't just "arrive" at your blog. You must promote your blog, interact with other bloggers, and post the kind of comments at other blogs that enrich that other person's blog, add to the topic of conversation, and attract people to your blog.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

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