Saturday, December 16, 2006

What's a Blog For?

I've been trying to figure out why anyone blogs. Here's what I've come up with:

1) To keep in touch with friends and family, especially with pictures.
2) To express their opinions.
3) As a creative expression.
4) To disseminate information.

Those are all nice reasons, but what's missing for me is true dialogue. I love reading comments on this blog (LURKERS: please quit hiding and tell me what you think! I know all those ClustrMap hits mean something.) I love posting comments on blogs of friends and strangers alike.

Maybe I'm just missing something about the technology, but blogs don't seem to engender real dialogue. Perhaps threaded messages work better, I'm not sure.

The Blogger function where I get an email every time someone comments here is great, except unless I have that person's email address already, I can't respond to them other than commenting in my own post.

O ye 3-4 readers, what do you think? Why do you blog?

7 comments:

Helen said...

I started my blog to record Kiko's language development, out of interest because I'm an English language teacher. I also wanted to get into the habit of writing something regularly and improve my writing skills. I've never kept a diary and felt so weird about my blog when I first started it, but now I'm addicted. It has also mutated into a record of my writing, which was something I expected to keep private. But I'm happy about that because I always used to find it difficult to talk about my writing until I started my blog.

What I find odd is that I get numerous hits on posts I wrote about Kiko being diagnosed with fused skull bones (craniosynostosis - it turned out to be a mistaken diagnosis) and in the 10th percentile for his gross motor skills, but nobody ever comments on them. I wish they would. I found out in my blog statistics that somebody had found my site searching for "baby born with no skull". I got upset for ages after that, worrying about this invisible person and what they might be going through.

kjg said...

I have just started to blog (can't we think of a more pleasing sounding name for this?). www.artforjoy.blogspot.com
And I'm hoping for the same thing, Kristine! I want to have an interactive site, where there is some conversation about my writing, my art, my interests in reading, my links, etc... So I've been wondering if I'm just lonely for conversation (not true) or expressing my sanguine nature by starting another conversation (maybe) or wanting ego stroking thinking my friends are going to be interested enough to visit my site and actually take the time and effort to comment...

kjgimbel@gmail.com by the way!

And I love your Blog, Kristine! It's a great read!

(un)relaxeddad said...

Helen - I had no idea! He must be a very brave, determined kid. I'll have to go back and read your archives, now.
For me, I a) wanted to learn more about the phenomenon than just observing at second hand and then discovered that b) I needed an outlet for writing at a time when I couldn't find space in other contexts. Originally, I wanted to focus on parenting and vaguely keep to that but (inevitably) it's turned out to be much more loosely focused than that. The commenting? Well, the numbers of comments don't marry up to the numbers of page views but that's okay - anyone who does comment has something concrete and useful to say, which is nice.

Henitsirk said...

Helen: I still feel weird, like why would people want to read my random thoughts? I've never kept a journal, I'm not really very political (so many blogs already outraged about something!) and usually pretty private. I think the level of anonymity helps.

KJG: I'm so glad you started your blog, I love your paintings! Let's compare notes on how conversation really works in blogland.

(Un)relaxeddad: Maybe you're right, I should just enjoy the comments I do get and not worry about lurkers. I just love that I'm hearing from folks so far away geographically and culturally, and when I see blog hits from Malaysia, Nunavut, etc., I want to hear from them too!

MaGreen said...

we're getting something like 40 hits a day from this site in china, whose page our browser won't even upload. i'm so curious to know what they're so curious about.

gd started our blog because he's always wanting to try out ideas for books. i like writing without pressure. i like having a record of our days. i like that it's a team record, for us. and i love going out and making compilations of lists, it takes me hours, and it's really gratifying to have a place to share my compliations with other people.

i think that the blogs with just a few comments a post have more real dialogue than the sites with 50 or 60 posts.

healingmagichands said...

I started blogging in order to practice writing. I have always been saying to myself that I need to write a book, but never actually writing one. I thought that starting a blog would give me the impetus to start writing. It has. I have gotten a lot of postive feedback which has grown my confidence.

Then, what happened? I started making friends and having a blast reading other people's stuff too. It could turn into an addiction. . .

Henitsirk said...

Magreen: I agree, I am looking for real conversation, and while I find blogs like Metrodad and Sweet Juniper very funny, I hardly ever comment because I'm just one of dozens, and I won't get any response.

Healingmagichands: I love your writing! I told my family the story you posted about the Arctic Chamber Orchestra trying to make it to Nome, and my kids were enthralled.