Why do we blog?

A good question posed by undine.  Or at least, the purpose of the blog can’t change unless there was a purpose to begin with.

We started the blog on a whim.  Apparently one of us wanted money, though that has not happened (or not yet happened).  Money takes effort.  And possibly some dirtying of the soul.

The goal was to become famous on the internet.  I suppose we’ve picked up some moderate fame.  There’s a lot more fame out there, but whenever we generate a bunch of hits we tend to feel like it’s time to tone down a bit.  Too much fame can be scary.  (Though it would be nice to get oodles of money just for being… still, dividends are a more comfortable way of doing that.  If only we had a huge pot of cash to start with!)

Early on we searched for some meaning or some reason for our rumblings.  But really it’s just a hobby.  One of us has addictions and the blog is just the latest in that.  If not blogging, then it would be something else.  So far blogging hasn’t been dangerous (yet).  It does seem to be an excellent method of procrastination, especially while one is say, running pokey statistical programs.

So to sum:  We don’t really have any good reason for blogging.  We’re not trying to quit our day-jobs or change the world or gain deep insights into our innermost beings.  Apparently it’s just a hobby without any purpose.  Well, that and, of course, we get to interact with all our fantabulous readers!

In fact, we are sure much of our esteemed blogging readership are answering higher callings!

FeMOMhist even has a syllabus for her blog!  w00t!

Why do you blog (if you do)?  Or why don’t you (if you don’t)?


Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Why do we blog?”

  1. Leigh Says:

    Why do I blog? I blog because it provides an outlet for my finances when most people don’t want to hear it. I blog for myself, to get my thoughts out in writing instead of letting them fester in my head.

    I don’t want to quit my day job – I quite like it. I don’t want to get money from blogging. It’s really just a hobby and that’s one of the reasons why I’m staying on the free, hosted wordpress.

    That said, I’ve been cutting back on commenting absolutely everywhere. I’ve found my niche and my traffic seems stable enough that I no longer feel the need to go around commenting to improve traffic. So I comment on blogs now when I feel the need to add something and just read otherwise. Plus, I’m finding more responsibility at work, which means more busy work that I can do when stuff is compiling.

    You guys always provide excellent food for thought though :)

  2. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    I started bloggeing because I was steadily commenting on some academic science and political blogges starting in 2007, and three things happened. First, DrugMonkey asked me to become a co-blogger on his WordPress blogge, and in order to do so, I had to sign up for a WordPress account. Second, Driftglass lifted one of my comments to his blogge and published it as a post. Third, Driftglass and his commenters hectored me to start bloggeing on my own–pushing me out of the nest, as they put it. Since I already had signed up for a WordPress blogge, I just started bloggeing on it.

    I keep bloggeing because I am a performer at heart, and I love having an influence on what people think and do. I also love mentoring, and from an academia/science standpoint, a lot of my bloggeing and commenting is of a mentoring nature. I even enjoy it immensely when dumshittes come to my blogge and leave comments telling me how much it suckes complete total asse and is a disgrace to bloggeing or whatever–like these recent dumshittes–because despite their protestations, it means I’m inside their heads.

  3. Linda Says:

    I started blogging as an online journal to record stuff I was working on as hobbies: knitting and gardening. Keeping good records of both these activities is important if one wants to improve skills and document accomplishments (e.g. “it was a great year for growing cucumbers,” and “I made extensive alterations in this pattern to make a sweater that was flattering to my body type; here’s what I did…”). Over time I connected to others that shared similar interests and that became an incentive.

    Then I got the chickens, wrote about them, and my blog started picking up followers from all over. One of my current favorite Facebook friends, for example, first contacted me through my blog post about my chickens. She is British and lives in Norway. We’ve never met in person but have a lot in common and keep in touch.

    Writing about my finances is still pretty miniscule on my blog, but it started when I needed to pay much more attention to them due to my divorce. I’ve also been writing a bit about other things I find important like a more sustainable approach to living and women’s health and reproductive rights.

    So my blog is a reflection of me: my interests, and the types of activities and conversations that are most important and engaging to me. I never thought to make any money by blogging and I never have. I think that’s OK.

  4. Debbie M Says:

    I started when a friend said he needed a blog buddy. This is where you both promise to blog every day, and each week, whichever of you failed to blog every day that week has to give the blog buddy a cookie. So, mostly I just wanted to read his writing. And maybe get some cookies, though he’s quite competitive and I didn’t expect to get many cookies.

    He found another blog buddy and pawned me off on his wife. Later, she and I decided we didn’t need the pressure.

    I thought it would be a good way to keep my family and friends up to date on some stuff, but they mostly don’t read it. Instead, acquaintances with blogs started reading it, and I started reading their blogs, and now we know each other better, which is cool. Also, a couple of old-time bloggers I comment on started reading. Also, close friends of my boyfriend started reading to glean hints of his life. But then I read their blogs too, so it’s totally fair.

    My favorite thing is that I occasionally get good advice that I would never have gotten otherwise. I also like sharing and knowing that if people aren’t interested they can just ignore it without feeling rude.

  5. Cloud Says:

    I blog because it helps me think through issues that are on my mind. I also blog to capture my thoughts and memories about my life and my kids’ lives, although as my kids get older, I find that I am less willing to write a lot of details about them.

    I don’t really have real “change the world” sort of goals, but I do like trying to show the world that women like me exist and can be happy. I also feel motivated to try to convince people that you don’t need to work insane hours to be super productive. In fact, I think insane work hours get in the way of being super productive. But since a lot of my readers are in academia and I am not… I suspect that message doesn’t really work for my readers when it comes from me. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of people think academia is suc a different work environment that my experiences don’t transfer. I, of course, can’t really tell, since my last experience with academia was graduate school!

    I experiment with monetization only because I’m curious about its potential for another project I have in mind. I actually find myself resisting trying to make much money from my blog, because I am afraid that it might change how I approach the blog- either making me more afraid of controversy or making me seek it out, making me feel pressured to post, etc. I like my blog as a hobby, I guess.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      In terms of hours in academia– more hours works because there’s a mix of research, service, and teaching. These all take different skills. When I’m on sabbatical (or it is summer) I can’t work more than 8 hours a day– my brain turns to mush. But during the school year it’s easy to grade or sit in a meeting (or both at the same time!) even if your brain is already mush. Are meetings productive, or grading? Well… they’re necessary evils, even if they’re less fun than watching tv. (And one can grade while watching tv sometimes…)

      • Cloud Says:

        Companies have stupid meetings, too! We EXCEL at them. (Actually, I make it my mission to make meetings I run useful… but that’s a different rant.)

        And I have stupid paperwork that may be roughly equivalent to grading (which I have done- I used to teach an extension class in my field). I just approved a bunch of invoices, and accounting just changed a bunch of project codes so I need to roll those through our system…etc. I also have to write policies and vision statements and nonsense like that- tasks I think I can only do effectively at home with a beer.

        But I do think there are real ways in which academia is quite unlike my work environment. The fact that you have to provide all of the structure for your projects, for instance, generally without any training in project management. I just don’t know if that means that nothing I say about productivity transfers- and I don’t intend to go back into academia to find out! So I’ll have to be content with having my opinions about productivity be relevant primarily to people working in corporate environments. On techie sort of things. There’s lots of us, so that’s OK. I don’t need total world domination.

  6. becca Says:

    I used to livejournal, back in my angsty teenage times. I’ve wanted to start up a respectable blog (goodness knows that I can’t seriously use the “I don’t have time” excuse; given how much I comment), but I suppose I have some kind of mental block about starting writing. The first draft of anything is painful. I do well with cobbling things together, or responding to thinks (i.e. comments), or even shinifying writing/editing, but I don’t know. Actually, I suspect blogging actually might be good to use as a tool to get over these sorts of hangups, since there are many appealing careers that involve plenty of writing. I probably will start up at some point.

  7. QueSera Says:

    I blog largely because It replaces journaling and once I began to read blogs I had more to say than would fit in the comments. I’m not one to advertise my blog and purposefully comment on few blogs that I read for that reason. I keep blogging because it is cathartic and I enjoy the blogging community.

  8. chacha1 Says:

    I started my blog at a time when there was a strong possibility I’d be going freelance as a dance teacher and yoga trainer. It seemed like a low-cost way to help people learn about me and my philosophy of fitness, and to provide an avenue for potential students to contact me and to ask questions.

    Over the years it’s become more plainly a hobby. I enjoy it for its own sake because it’s helped me get used to writing (a lot) again, it gives me a platform to inform my few regular readers – almost all friends & family – of the occasional important-to-us event or project or of things I’ve read I think they’d find interesting, and it’s completely controllable, unlike Facebook.

    I’ve tried to keep my focus within the fitness/health, dance, and psychology/mental health areas but I occasionally slide toward op-ed. I don’t, now, have any interest (or need) to monetize the blog. I think $80/yr is a small price to pay for the fun I’m having with it. And if I ever DO go freelance, I can still use it for the original purpose.

  9. notofgeneralinterest2 Says:

    Thanks for the link, nicoleandmaggie! I blog for a lot of reasons, but the main ones are (1) people are wrong about things on the internet! (2) if I figure something out tech-wise, I post it so I can find it again, and (3) I like having a platform so that I can comment.

  10. Grace Says:

    I started blogging because I wanted to keep myself honest financially, BUT not in front of anyone I actually knew! Back in 2007, most of the financial blogs were written by young folks (hereby defined as anyone under 50 years old) whose financial needs and interests were very different from this (then) 58 year old. It is one thing to be 25 and in debt, quite another to be 63 and STILL in debt! Not to mention that many young bloggers are overly opinionated about things they have yet to experience–such as adult children, professions we love but that don’t pay well, mortgages, recessions that wipe out our gains, elderly parents, aging bodies, and healthcare. I think about monetizing my blog but have never gotten around to it.

  11. Tanya Golash-Boza Says:

    I started blogging because I was embarking on an amazing adventure of a lifetime – a 14-month trip with three kids and a husband to four countries to do research – and I wanted to keep a record of it and share my adventures. As I wrote the blog, I realized that I was writing on three themes: 1) travel w kids; 2) my research (immigration policy) and 3) academic success strategies. I decided to break the blog up into three. The last blog has done the best in terms of readers, and it’s the easiest to write, so I decided to keep it going. I make small amounts of money from Amazon Associate links.

    I am still not sure exactly why I keep blogging, other than that the blog attracts a lot of readers and praise, and it is hard to break the chain. I’ve posted one post a week for two years and it seems dramatic to stop doing so…

  12. SP Says:

    I blog as a hobby. I first started because I had an actual income and no idea how to manage money or generally do adult things. I’ve gotten beyond that (a long time ago). My blog sometimes dwindles into goal tracking, and has been talking more about career stuff lately, because that’s the phase of life I’m learning the most about now.

    I just like being part of the conversation!

    I too am unwilling/unmotivated to do the work it takes to monetize.

  13. mareserinitatis Says:

    Started “blogging” on livejournal as a way to keep up with friends. Still do now and again. Then other people started reading it. That led to me taking it marginally more seriously, as in I decided to not put such personal stuff in such a public place. Eventually, I moved over to wordpress because LJ became such a pain for non-members to read/comment. Now it’s evolved into a way to make friends and meet professional contacts…as well as just my way of processing things that I see around me.

    Honestly, though, I am still surprised anyone reads what I write. I feel like I ramble so much. :-)

  14. Z Says:

    I started to re-find a personal voice. I wanted to speak to myself and perhaps random others – not people who had to listen to me, or who wanted something from me, or who had any particular expectation of what was all right or not for me to say. I was in a relationship I didn´t want to be in, but felt I had to be, and so had to go out with this person Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays he wanted for himself and I was exhausted from the efforts of Friday and Saturday, needed solace but was too exhausted to seek it. One Sunday I decided to start a blog, to start growing a new voice; I decided to start from zero which is why I named myself Zero.

    It worked. Now, it is more or less my art project. It also seems to work as a kind of mandala, a meditation space. I have a lot of emotional pain over job related stuff and it becomes hard to remember why one came. The blog reminds me to push through the mirror, the glass (and sometimes, lack of gas money) which separates us from the books and research life or rather, in my case, from the version of myself I need to be to reach it. So my art project really works, in a way, like a religious service … !!! (No, I am not religious.)

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