Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Do You Blog?

I must admit, I'm not a good blogger. Well, let me rephrase that, there aren't enough hours in the day and sometimes I get busy and I'm not always able to visit my favorite bloggers. And I'm not always able to reply to folks' comments on my blog. I received an e-mail a few days ago from someone doing research on why people blog, and one of the questions was, "Were you motivated to blog in order to meet other people? Why or why not?" I had to think about it for a moment, and I realized I was not motivated to blog in order to meet other people, but I have in fact met some wonderful people through blogging. However, I am a fairly reticent person, and familiarity does not come easily to me. I recognize that some people on the blogs have made very close friends with a lot of their fellow bloggers, but it is not in my nature to do that -- as much as I may like it to be.

About a year ago I had formed a friendship with a fellow blogger, and long story short, she came to visit me. After several months of forming a friendship on the blogs, once we met in person she and I could not have been more different -- in every way possible. In real life, my blogging friend was completely different from how she appears on her blog. I had gone to a lot of trouble to make her feel comfortable in my home, but without going into details, the whole visit was a disaster from start to finish. I had never seen so many beer cans in one place in my life. I didn't know people drank beer before instead of breakfast. Needless to say, we are no longer blogging friends, but we do unfortunately still have "common" blogs that we visit.

Over the course of blogging, I have seen relationships form -- close friendships -- where people are supportive of each other through their life events such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and so much more. It's really wonderful to see. And by the same token, I have felt comfortable being able to write about things that have happened in my life, and people have been supportive of me. It's a very positive experience.

What I am trying to say -- rather clumsily -- is that if I don't always have time to visit your blogs every day, please do not take it personally. Blogging is a hobby for me, but I don't have the time to devote to it that some other folks have. At work, we are discouraged from visiting our personal websites, and sometimes when I get home from work, I don't want to go anywhere near a computer. Also, I find my own little blog quite boring compared to some of your fabulous blogs, and I am amazed that I have as many readers as I do. I wish I could visit each and every one of you -- every day. You're all incredible, and I love you all.


~Brittainy said...

I think that a blog is a way to express your self and for some it is a way to unwind and clear your head. Don't feel obligated to respond to everything, you are still loved regardless.

Canarybird said...

Jo, you're a sweetheart and I don't know how you keep it up every day and still go out and work at a job! Thank you for your visits.

I guess I blog because I live in a beautiful and interesting place and like to write about it and I guess that's as good a reason as any to keep a blog.
Cheers, Sharon.

Tryingmybest said...

I blog because I'm scared I won't remember all the funny fabulous times that I have with my little boy as he's growing up. His daddy works away too, so it's a way of saving the everyday life things for him to catch up on.

Tryingmybest said...

P.S. Your blog is not boring in the least.

The Bug said...

Jo - I love your "little blog!" I don't even remember how I found it, but you always make me smile - even if I don't agree with you always.

I had (semi) high hopes for my blog when I started it, but life has been crazy & I haven't been as creative as I'd like. I think the fact that you write something almost every day that I enjoy reading is amazing!

Nancy said...

It can become a full-time vocation. I think I started blogging to limber up my writing skills, with the thought of writing a book that I have pondered for a long time. I really hadn't planned on learning so much. The on-line friendships are fun, but I can see how it might turn out differently "in person". We are all very different people who have found a mechanism to connect. That connection might not be as viable outside of this venue.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Blogging can definately take over your life if you let it!!
I blog because this is my venue to express myself.....not everyone will like my opinion but hey, they can just move on to the next blog right? I also find blogging very therapeutic. I feel like I have the most blessed life and this is my way of having a diary of it :)
Maybe one day my grand-kiddos will read it and enjoy it. I hope so......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Hilary said...

I had that same questionnaire in email and realized that although I've met a number of people from online connections (IRC mostly), I've never met a fellow-blogger.. at least not one that I didn't already know before I started blogging. I've also never been disappointed after meeting folks that I knew online, and that they've always been exactly how they portrayed themselves.

I totally understand your not visiting blogs as often as you'd like. My blog roll has grown considerably in the past year, and I too find it hard to keep up. We all do the best we can. :)

jackc50 said...

blogging can be fun and thats the way you should look at it. nobody has 24 hours a day to blog but it is fun to check things out and read about people whom you''ll probably never meet[or should...] take care, jack

Deb said...

Blogging should be fun not an obligation or something you feel you have to do... I enjoy it...but sometimes it can get overwelming..I enjoy your blog!

Scoobyloves2004 said...

Blogging to me, is a way to relax and read about the lives of other people around the world. I do follow several blogs and I admit, I don't always have the time to respond to everybodies posts'. Blogging should be relaxing to you as well. She should not need to feel pressured to respond to everyone. Some days I read a blog and don't feel the need to leave
a comment. Other days, it seems everyone has something very intriguing to say and I just have to respond. So take blogging as it comes. You have a life outside the computer, LIVE IT!!!!

P.S. Your "little blog" is my first and favorite to read!!!

Leslie: said...

Well, I am sure glad we both blog - otherwise, we'd never have met, even living so close to each other, relatively speaking. I've also made other good friends through blogging but I think I like to challenge myself to write something interesting (now that's an interesting word, don't you think? lol) and to share my life and family.

introspection said...

I think that the greatest advantage of blogging is you get to know other people's thoughts on a variety of subjects. That in itself is the best thing.

nomore said...

No, you are a good blogger ! The Best of Blogs....remember...

robert said...

Kid is asleep, silence governs the apparment, at least for now - time to enjoy your writing.
What an interesting question of yours today, allow me to answer it after some thinking, nevertheless, just nominated you for an award of insperational blogs.
Please have a nice week.

Leah Fry said...

It's not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. I am never bored reading your blog. I like the way you craft your posts — even the most mundane of stories are well said. To me, that's what makes a good blog. It can't be the Queen's Jubilee every day.

Russell said...

I literally fell into your blog on Sunday morning and, well, the rest is history!

I had no idea what blogging was before I came across yours. Now I have a blog and it is a fun hobby. However, it is not a major part of my life but, rather, something I do when I have some time and when I feel like it.

I enjoy reading other people's posts but often do not leave a comment. I am very impressed with many people's blogs.

I agree with an earlier comment -- your blog is not boring at all. It is one of the best ones on the internet!

Katalyst Ofmine said...

I love your blog! It's far better to read of real life than to read some of the "processed" and created blogs out there. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for entertainment value, but I blog as a release not as a way to get attention.

Keep doing what you're doing woman and we'll keep comin' back. ;)

Kimberly said...

Whomever is listed on my blog roll - if there is a new post I head straight to it. However, I don't always comment. Guilty as charged - but I do read, does that count?

I love your blog - you were actually the 1st one I added to my blog roll...I've been blogging a little over a year but have recently started "blogworking"...I blog because I like to vent. I blog because I am sorta anonymous and no one really judges me. I blog for peace of mind. I blog because no on laughs at my sweet sweet addiction to Nikki Sixx and handbags.

I blog because I can.

Thanks for all you do & all that you share. Canucks rock!

Leilani Tresise said...

Jo, I blog so my children will know me better. I blog just to have fun... needless to say ummm im a motormouth!! 0)

Patsy said...

There are a lot of reasons for blogging, and I think a lot of people blog for different reasons at different times.

I have an email friend who goes back to about 1996. We are very different in some important ways, but very similar in other important ways. I have told her several times that we are so different that it would be better if we do not ”meet.“ She didn't agree with me when i said that, but I know better.

I think that you fear being asked too many questions that you find intrusive, too personal.

I, on the other hand, tend to be very self-disclosing (not totally, but very) and that probably makes people like you uncomfortable.

But although I am very self-disclosing, I am also very much a loner. I am a sociable loner. I get along with anyone and can socialize with anyone, but if I had my choice, I would stay at home working on one of my projects. I only rarely get bored.

You might fear getting to a point where someone wants to be a closer friend. I understand that.

I blog because it is the one pasttime which answers all of my interests: Researching information, dredging up my feelings and memories, writing, formatting something to be aesthetically pleasing (as in my website) with fonts, photos, color, and in fact, I would have enjoyed being a magazine editor because I like all aspects of that profession (except the part about having to make money at it).

Don't worry about how much you blog or comment or reveal. Life is so short and it flies faster as one gets older. At 65 I feel the force of that reality, and it is more than sobering.

You and I will never meet, but we can be blogger and email buds and that will be just fine.

Lorna from Southern California

Jo said...

Brittainy, thank you. And yes, it is a woderful way to express ourselves, isn't it?

Sharon, thank you! You live in the most beautiful place in the world, and I love visiting your blog and seeing your pictures!

Tryingmybest, yours is the absolutely BEST reason I have ever heard of to blog. Yes! Wonderful!

The Bug, thank you! And thank you for commenting, because now I can visit your blog. :-)

Lover Of Life, you have a fabulous blog. You're interesting and multi-faceted. I think you just might write your book yet!

Midlife, "I blog because this is my venue to express myself.....not everyone will like my opinion but hey, they can just move on to the next blog right?" I love your attitude! Yes!

Hilary, yes, there is only so much time in the day, isn't there? And yes, I would hope most people would be the same in "real life" as they are on the blogs. :-)

Jackc50, yes, one of the things I like is reading about people who live in other parts of the world, but who may have similar experiences to mine. It's fun. :-)

Deb, yes, I think the social obligations can become overwhelming, and then blogging is not fun anymore.

Arley, thank you! :-) And yes, some days everyone's blog is so wonderful, and just draws me in -- I wish I had more hours in the day. *sigh*

Leslie, well, there ya go -- someone I met on the blogs, and I felt immediately as if I had known you all my life!

Introspection, yes! I have been given a whole new perspective on ideas that I have had, just from reading other people's blogs.

Nomore, thank you! Gosh, I was thinking about your blog just today.

Mo'ikeha, you have one of the best blogs I have discovered in a long time. I'm glad I found it.

Leah, thank you. One of the so-called "rules" of blogging is to mix things up occasionally, and I do try to do that.

Russell, yes, that fateful Sunday moring. *heh* You are a good writer, and between you and Mr. Bailey, you have a great blog!

Forgotten Katalyst, thank you! Someone told me that my blog is a "slice of life" type of blog, and I guess that pretty much covers it.

Kimberly, *heh, heh* Yes, we can be ourselves on our blogs, can't we? Even if people judge us -- so what? We can still be ourselves!

Leilani, "I blog so my children will know me better." Yes! We are our true selves on our blogs, aren't we?

Lorna, yes, you and I seem to have a lot in common, even from miles away. It is fun to connect like that. You're a very intersting person!

Jeannette StG said...

Everyone blogs for different reasons and go on his/her own pace!
I blog, because the process of finding people with related interests are as quick with one click of the mouse. In real life this process goes a lot slower:)

I know that my kids and grandkids will later read my posts (I print most of them), and it's kind of a journal of how life and art was like for me.

In this process I have met some neat people, and is a nice "extra!"

Miss_Nobody said...

I never really started blogging to meet other people,it was mostly a desire to express myself,but not that I regret meeting some of the wonderful members of the blogosphere.As you said,familiarity doesnot come easily to me either,as much as I'd like that to happen.And I agree with many of my fellow commentors here,you are loved VERY MUCH.And I love it when you visit,however I know its not really easy to visit 600 plus blogs everyday!

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

Photography is a hobby (and hopefully one day will become a profession) of mine. I also like to travel as I work in the tourism industy. One day I picked up on a daily photo blog for the city I live in. I followed it for a couple of months and got motivated to start my own photo blog. So The Firefly Photo Files started where I post mostly travel and nature photos with little bits thrown inbetween. My kids wanted to know why I don't put their photos on there, so I started a second blog for family photo which I don't have lots of time for and only post every week or two.
About two months ago the blogger doing the Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog that inspired me to start blogging asked me if I wanted to take it over from them otherwise they may have to end the blog. I could not allow that to happen. Thus I am the daddy of three blogs. One is strictly daily, the second is just about daily and the third when I get the time.
So why do I blog? Because I am passionate about travel, my country and photography and blogging is the ideal way for me to share that passion with others. And that is the long of it.

lovelyprism said...

I haven't had quite as much time for visiting myself lately, but I miss it when I'm away more than a day. I always enjoy yours.

the walking man said...

I blog because it is a good way to debut new poetry and to connect with an audience. I want the feedback and the inter personal communication, some of which goes on in e-mail which is good as well.

But on the other hand to be replied to in a comment section is a small nod of acknowledgment, it's nice but not necessary...unless there is something noteworthy to be pointed out.

That you have a life beyond the computer screen is to your benefit Jo, not your detriment.

Carl said...

Well put Jo. I enjoy blogging and sharing my art, but the demands of a full time IT career etc leave little time. I have a hard time catching up on my blog reading. My own blog suffers from manic depression... I'll be silent for days and then pust 5 things on Sunday. I really need to use the scheduling feature more.

Thank you for your thoughtful blog and all the intersting bloggers I have met there thru you.

Mary Ellen said...

I've always made it a habit not to meet up with anyone I've met on blogs. It's not like I have anything to hide, but sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. After going through the experiences during our last election cycle and I didn't go with the crowd to support Obama, people that I thought were blog "friends" turned out to be vicious and cruel. They turned on a dime and that just made me realize that people are not always who they seem to be.

Also, I understand your reasons for not wanting to sit at a computer after sitting at one all day at work. I love it when you stop by my blog, but I certainly wouldn't hold it against you when you can't.

Have a great day, kiddo!

Faithful said...

I haven't figured out what compells me to put my personal life out for the world to see yet- being new to the blogging world myself, but I am influenced by reading what I think are honest blogsites like yours. Your draws me simply because it doesn't ask anything from me except thought and the comments help to teach me and share others thought. I love that. After reading one's blog for awhile, you can see one's true intention and I invest in that.. because I know that it is so simple for a blogger to mislead people into thinking they are something they are not. A Blogger can pretend to be as noble, trustworthy, honorable, etc as their words can be written, but will their friends and family attest to all their actions. I too know a blogger friend who comes here and is not quite like the person her readers think her to be, but that too will show. There is a hyporcrite in all of us-some bigger than others!

Faithful said...

PS.....Mary Ellen -I hear you!

Anonymous said...

Jo, I think your a born writer, yours is an insightful and entertaining blog. I found your comments on blogging interesting and such a good question. I have read blogs for ages but really only started blogging because I wanted to share in the skills the kids I work with already have or are in the process of attaining. I can understand your need for down time from blogging, it can be amazingly time consuming. Another blogger I read is a retired teacher and she has talked about herself and other women bloggers as being the wise women of the global tribe sharing and preserving cultural and historical knowledge, I have to say I think you are one of those wise women.

Jo-Anne said...

hi jo, it's funny, i feel the same about my blog, only difference is, you have 600 odd followers and i have 5 so your blog actually is interesting. the only people ever to comment on mine is family or close friends. so even if you skip a day or two, thats okay, geniuses also have to rest. i love your blog keep up the great work

Paula Slade said...

I chuckled when you wrote about the "beer before breakfast" - that was an eye-opener I'm sure! I've said it before and I'll say it again Jo, you are a gifted writer and your space is a delight to visit! Please don't worry about responding in kind. It's just fun to come here and read what's on your mind and everyone's responses.