Last week, Bob Bly asked a simple question on his blog – …why not just read books, periodicals, and Web sites? Why do you read blogs … and bother writing posts on them?
Here was the comment I left in response to his question:
I own a few of the books you’ve written. I like them. One in particular has helped me in my career. I thought of writing you in thanks, but never did. I always thought you were too busy or must be receiving unsolicited input all the time. In short, I always thought I’d be a bother.
Then you started to blog and as such, I had an easy means to reach you. You opened a dialogue and I can communicate with you as easy as leaving this comment. Since then, you’ve emailed me a few times in acknowledgement of comments on your blog. We even had a short conversation on the phone. All because you blog.
Why visit your blog? You are very good at offering insght and opinion – opening a conversation. Books, magazines, newsletters and such are often better thought, more informative, and better written than blogs I read…but I never “met” you until you blogged. You’re better here than in your books. You’re human, one of “us.” You lead and participate in the conversation. That’s why I read and comment on your blog.
I blog because it makes me think. I learn from what excites people, what gets them talking, and what leaves me speaking in the “dark.” I’ve met and joined in conversations with people across continents, and have learned from comments left on my blog.
Blogging makes me better at my profession – that’s why I blog.
For those of you that blog, why do you do it? For those of you that read and comment on blogs, what do you get out of it? Why participate? Why blog?
I read blogs to learn more about a topic, to join in the discussion when I have my 2 cents to share. There is a great sense of community when you’re participating in a blog, making me feel like I’m part of something bigger.
I blog to get my ideas out there. Not everyone is able to get that book deal. Blogging is far cheaper to share what’s going in my life or what I care about.
It’s about sharing ideas, getting feedback and learning more.
Excellent post : ) For me, it is human interaction that makes blogging so much more fulfilling than just cruising the web, or breezing through the newspaper. From having traveled extensively in some less developed countries, I have a theory (as I’m sure many people share,) that once the developed world lost it’s “village-type” or “small town” structure, it began to lose some of it’s soul…not in the sense that development is necessarily bad, but in the sense that human beings absolutely require social interaction in a way that our modern lives aren’t all that capable of fulfilling.
In many parts of the United States, where I reside, a sense of community is totally lacking, and there is no real central place to convene (think this might be why coffee houses are so popular, as are bars.) I am sad to say that at least here in the States, many, many people choose not to even meet their next-door neighbors. Crazy. The internet has made it a lot easier for like-minded people to communicate, and for those of us lucky enough to have computers, I think it will go a long way towards solving this problem. Blogging is living!
Perhaps I may sound a bit odd here and frankly I hope I do. I just only recently started blogging more frequently after finding ProBlogger. I think ProBlogger covers many great topics related to blogging and that’s what keeps it as good reading. I only wish I had as many subscribers and readers as ProBlogger does. I am sure if I stay at it I will also… … where was I?
Oh yeah.. okay. Since being motivated by finding more information on blogs and what they are really about, the more I post the more therapeutic it seems. I guess it’s like folding towels or what ever anybody finds therapeutic. That is totally their thing. Granted I may not be the greatest writer in the world I can improve and I always keep that in mind when I blog as well. So I guess I see it as a “therapeutic self improvement course” that I am the teacher of.
Now wasn’t that odd? It’s ok I’m used to it. :)
Great posting! I blog because I can ‘meet’ people. Via my blog I have 2 or 3 new contacts a day! First virtual conversations, emails a.s.o. and later a live meeting/chat. Great to see that it works in this way. A lot of people contact me directly because I am visible they say. It is easy to reach and in normal case it is hard to find a real person behind a company-logo and address.
From commenting and reading commetns I learn a lot and it gives me feedback on my postings and thoughts. It is like steering and finding the right way.
I love to interact with the readers of my blogs — even the people who don’t agree with me [smile]. Often people lose sight of the fact that all the pages that make up the web are because of some person. Blogs allow that people connection at a different level.
I agree in the fact that there is an interactive aspect but I also feel that there is a certain freshness that can’t be matched by a book. This is especially true for books on markup and programing languages.
I remember checking a book out on XHTML and one of the six authors was Dave Raggett.
Mr. Raggett is not only very much in the know about the mark up but is actually part of the organization that establishes the standard for the language. The book was actually wrong on some syntax matters. I suspect it is because the WC3 changed standards while the book was on the way to the printers.
As for why I blog, I do so because I like to write.
[…] rs, to non-profits to politicians. Why bother, reading, writing and commenting on blogs? On problogger, JS Logan answers this question. He points out how easy it is to use a blog to […]
I blog for several reasons. I spend a lot of time at work, but my coworkers aren’t interested in the same things as I am, and generally don’t want to hear about my comments, so my blogs are a good outlet. Also, my PF blog is a motivational tool for me. It also works as a personal resource, sort of like Bloglines or a personalized web site (which it is), because it keeps topically oriented links together in one place. I also like to write. Plus, blogging is a type of interaction without much commitment, you don’t have to blog, you don’t have to comment, and if you don’t like the topic thread, be it comment or content, you can drop it and pick up another.
Thanks to all of you for the kind words and commentary. It’s interesting to read through the comments and see why each of use participates in the blogosphere.
The genius behind this post is truly Bob Bly. If you don’t visit Bob’s blog , I encourage you to do so. For those of you not familiar with Bob, he’s a copy writer and business consultant. That’s an understatement; Bob is a highly accomplished copy writer and author of over 40 books, mostly on copy writing and business. He recently secured a book deal to write about business blogs, the post I cited is part of his research.
There are many lessons to learn from Bob and blogging, he has an incredible ability to engage readers and get them to participate in a blog. Regardless of your domain of expertise, it’s likely there are a more than a few things each of us can learn from Bob regarding writing style and engaging an audience.
And lastly….Keven, I hope this doesn’t scare you…I found your comment “normal” and I agree :-)
I blog because I always wanted to write about music that was of interest to me and would be perhaps of interest to others. It is a great way for somebody who is really interested in a topic to become a micro-publisher. It is quite straightforward using something like Typepad and is a lot of fun. If I was younger and wanted to be a journalist blogging would be an excellent way to build a portfolio. Plus you really build a connection with a lot of people who feel the same way about a topic that you do which is really cool.
Yes, it’s the human interaction. While I spend plenty of time with the folks around me in meatspace, there are dimensions to my life that many of my family, friends, and community members just don’t share. Many of the people I interact with daily just don’t share my technical interests, for example, since there are other (admittedly more important) factors that draw us together.
Blogging (and reading other blogs) is my way of having real individual interactions with other people on subjects that interest me, whether it’s security, Unix, gaming, or whatever. Two heads are better than one, and so even for topics about which my local compadres are indeed experts, there’s a wide world of other perspectives and information out there that I’m otherwise missing. I’m tired of the corporate-speak and neutral voices, I want to hear and talk to real people.
I blog only when I believe I have something interesting to say on business, Internet marketing or blogging. Interesting usually means that it’s something that isn’t getting commented on or alternatively the commenting that I’m aware of is missing some important aspect of the subject. I don’t just want to be the extra voice among the horde that’s merely pointing.
Surprisingly by watching the world through quite a collection of newsfeeds, I find there’s something to be said almost every day.
Blogging is a great medium because of it’s simplicity and ease of access.
I have a friend who is a true entrepeneur, trying his hand at a lot of things. He was at first an engineer, then became a lawyer, then a mechanic and now working for a mortgage brokerage.
For him, the beauty of blogs was disseminating information in a timely and cost effective manner. He had so many people asking him questions on various topics that I suggested a blog would be a great way to aggregate all that useful information.
However, the real kicker is the fact that I can just go on the internet and read whatever blogs are available. For books, I first have to drive to a bookstore, then physically look for something, then sit for quite a while to read the book.
Blogging eliminates all that in a very eloquent way.
The reason described in the post is an obvious reason, however why do I read blogs by people I know nothing about and have no proof that they have any business giving their opinion on a subjec?
What I like is the realness of the conversation on a blog. It’s the bad grammer. The italics. The profanity. The stupid pictures. The jackloads of links and props given to other bloggers. It’s all a lot more interesting when everything hasn’t been cleaned up by an editor.
You can find in my blog many posts that may be of interest to young adults concerned about spiritual things. But I write more then devotionals and teen articles—I also blog about the struggles and joys of my pastoral life and Christian journey. It helps me sort out my feelings, digging deeper into my devotional time. Due to the public nature of blogging, I filter my entries, of course. Nevertheless, it is an excellent means of coping with stress.