Saturday, April 09, 2005

Why Blog?

I've been wondering a lot recently about why I should or shouldn't blog. Haven't come up with a good reason yet :o)
I just want to get my opinion out there on the internet I guess. But I've always been opinionated and so it's normal for me to feel compelled to speak in any situation.

I was wondering why more people on Redbrick didn't have blogs. Redbrick is a university computing society. It's actually called a "networking society" but that causes a lot of confusion with the term "networking" in the social sense so I don't use it when explaining Redbrick to people who aren't familiar with it. I have started using FeedDemon in the last few months and had begun to wear the blogger blinkers, seeing the world from a blog reader/writer's perspective. As a society with a very computer literate membership I was surprised Redbrick didn't have a lot more blogs. So I posted to their forum asking why more members didn't have blogs. I asked:

What I find funny (funny odd) is that rb is such a techie forum and yet so few people here have blogs. What's the deal with that? Is blogging not really something that appeals to Irish people?

Here are some of the responses I got:

"I think that blogging doesn't generally appeal to *people*, not
specifically Irish people."

"Well, it's always going to be a niche interest IMO, but it's a particularly interesting one. The idea of self-publishing fully realised, through simple tools."

"I dunno, I tried it two summers ago, for 30 days, as an experiment and it got a reasonable amount of readers - for some reason, but tbh it's a bit "Look at me, I'm interesting, read my thoughts, give me attention" which doesn't really suit the Irish psyche, which no matter how attention-seeking, arrogant and self-centred you really are it's always a no-no to outright appear to be so.

Maybe we Irish have the good sense to realise we're really not all that interesting?"

"For me, it's kind of the same reason I've never really bothered maintaining a website - it would be just one more amongst masses, and I don't consider myself that interesting. ;o)"

"The cross-site blogging messing is just mad. It's like peer-to-peer news. People cutting up newspapers, and passing them around to their friends."

"I've never had an urge to keep a diary... let alone publish it on the interweb....

I think the rb boards fill the "mindless prattle" part of blogging so most people here already have an outlet for it...

I wonders if all these bloggers are old usenet veterans who have just migrated to a new medium, or are they prattle-to-the-masses virgins..."


There weren't many posts in favour of blogging. I tend to agree with the above sentiments.. and yet I still feel compelled to have a blog.. So maybe it is more a personality thing than people sitting down and going "What can I contribute to the web? Is a blog the best way to go about this?"

When reading some of the leading blogs there is definitely an echo chamber effect. Read enough blogs and you can begin to think that the world does actually blog. In fact, I'd seriously question the signifigance of some of the figures around the amount of blogs on the web. It's probably got more to do with the state of internet publishing today than with a desire to blog regularly or blog for the betterment of mankind. People find blogging tools an easy way to have a homepage which you can use to share jokes, stories, and pictures with friends. In that sense they're not much different to old school "home pages."

Correct me if I'm wrong..

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