Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why Do I Blog

Recent events that happened to some of the bloggers on my daily visit list have made me to think about the reason of why people, including myself, blog. Everyone I know from the list seemed to have their own reasons to blog. Is there a common thread that link all bloggers together which is absent in those who choose not to blog? Is there a certain type of personality that tend to produce more bloggers? What about the readers who come to our blogs, are they of a certain personality group as well? Is there a contract between the blogger and the blog reader that should remain sacrosanct without the need to be detailed?

These are the questions that crossed my mind (among other things – I had a really busy past week) when I see the events that have happened unfold. I’m definitely wouldn’t be answering them all in this one entry. I would imagine that I would hardly get through the first few by rambling away this way but I will try my best to share here some of the observations that I have noticed. This is in no way a judgmental attempt to impress my own view point to how people should blog. The blog world would be a very boring place if everyone blogged the same way especially if it’s the way that I blog. Take this entry as a starting point for your own reflection on why you blog, that is if you do. If you don’t, leave a comment behind as to why you don’t. It would definitely make for a more balanced examination of the question to have a view point of those on the non-blogger side of the fence.

Why do I blog? The short of it is that I need an outlet for my words. Thoughts that swirl around in my head sometimes just need to be noted down and documented as part of my life’s journal. The surprising thing was that I have never been one to keep a journal before and yet I’ve kept a type of journal on this blogspot section of the Net for almost 5 years (on and off considering some years I just go silent for extended periods of months). I guess the idea that my words have an audience out there makes me more keen to blog than to keep a journal. Instead of just bouncing around in my head, I can reach out and tell the people who come to my blog what I was thinking.

Does that makes me someone who seeks attention? Probably although those who know me in real life would hardly label me as an attention seeker. Being able to hide myself behind a pseudonym when I write my blog affords me the freedom to overcome my reluctance and give my entries more access into my life. Blogging for me is when I let other people in to who I am and how I live my life. Granted I don’t give as much access as some bloggers on my daily read list but that was my choice to make. The choice was partly out of necessity and my own insecurities of having people judge me based on incomplete data. Judgment from blog readers are bound to happen especially when we put in interactive components like comments and tag board on our blogs.

As content providers, so to speak, we will have to be cognizant that what we know and believe might not be the same as others who read our blog. Some things might be better off left unsaid or undocumented in a blog entry unless we would be ready to accept the reaction of the blog visitors. Far from advocating self censorship, I fully believe that a certain level of tact is definitely required when considering what to share on a public blog. That tact will come from experience so there is no tried and true method to pass on to the next person. Rule of thumb for my own blog entries has been whether I would like to answer more follow up questions resulting from what I put out in my blog entries. If I can’t honestly answer yes to myself then what I was planning to write about would be pushed back to another time when I’m more sure that I would be able to tackle the follow up questions.

The blog readers also bear the burden of responsible blog relationship as the process of blogging is not a one way street. We as blogger value your visits and comment since part of why we do it is to communication to visitors to our blogs. What we don’t need are your judgments and condemnation especially those who think they know all about the blogger by virtue of reading just a few pages from their blog. Holier than thou attitudes are neither requested or welcomed. I can say (at least based on my own blog) that what gets documented in the blog entries are just a small portion of the person the blog writer really is. To pass judgment based on circumstantial evidence only reflects on the shallowness of the person. “Judge not least ye be judged” definitely holds true in comments as they reflect the person who writes down hurtful words.

Our blog entries are also glimpses of our lives that we allow the blog readers to be privy to. For some blogs, this access is more than you would actually get than if you would have known the blogger personally in real life. There is an implicit trust between the blogger and the blog reader that what they read is for their own consumption and not to be shared with others who don’t come to the blogger’s blog. To use part of a blog or images from entries to besmirch the reputation of the blogger is a clear betrayal of that trust. To reproduce private correspondence without it actually being in it’s entirety as well as taken out of context will always be unpardonable in any circumstances or for any reason. Being able to enter the live of a blogger is a privilege that the blogger gives to readers. It’s definitely a privilege that could easily be revoked should the trust relationship between blogger and reader continue to be abused.

A friend once told me that he doesn’t blog because he feels that blogging is too intrusive. I believe that he is correct in his assertion but there are still many of us who feels comfortable with some degree of the intrusion. For me personally it comes from the need to reach out and make a connection with other people. To feel that I am not alone and isolated in my own world. My blog has been successful in that aspect for me at least. I have gained more friends from my blog this year than the past 12 years combined outside of the blog. The fact remains that I blog by choice and not by necessity. That can easily be changed should I feel that I no longer feel safe and comfortable to blog. Events of the past weeks that happened to some of my blogger friends painfully reminds me that there are other people out there who do not want you to be safe and comfortable even within their own blog space.

They will always be there just waiting to pounce hoping that by doing so would make their lives slightly less insignificant. They are not the readers that I would be writing for. I write my blog for those who would listen to what I say even when I get to rambling on and on like today. I write for those who would lend me a sympathetic ear when I need it and an assurance that I am not reaching out to empty space with outstretched hands.

That’s why I blog.


[danial][ma] said...

hej! nixx...
wishing you and family a happiest eid-adha, merry christmas...may you have a great celebration and may this festive seasons bring you peace, a lot of love and joy! happy new year 2008 and may you have a great and productive year ahead...

Nickxandar said...

Danial ..

Thanks and you have a Merry Christmas as well.