Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why I Blog

OK, Rowena posed these questions on her blog. Well, it's her homework and I suspect she's using the power of the internet to do it for her. *winks* :-). Or at least, that's what I'd do if I was her, which I may be, or not, this being the internet.
So Ro, this is for you (sort of, I may be veering off topic, a little).

1. Why do you blog?
2. Blogging v journalism – is blogging the "new" journalism, an adjunct to it, absolutely nothing to do with it? (I’m talking about "current affairs" type blogs here obviously)
3. Do you also write for a living? How do the two co-exist for you? Why do both?
4. Positives and negatives of the blogging experience?
5. Does blogging foster connection and dialogue between people or is it all an illusion? Does blogging matter?

A1. I always saw it as a diary/journal. I know it's not, but that's how it started out for me. I thought it'd be cool for my kid to be able to read it when she was older, trying to figure out her dad. I know I could have used pen/paper instead but I'm an online kind of guy. It'd be so cool if my grandad/great-grandad had kept some sort of journal. Maybe they did, but it doesnt exist now.
These are some comments from my vicious real life 'friends'.
"I think your grandchildren will be very comforted to know that their grandfather was a nerdy loner, spending hours cataloguing his existence on an online blog,rather than actually living ;-)
Ahhh, they dont understand, do they.
The content sort of changed when I realised some people read it (my fault, I should have been anonymous). Which means I dont write stuff which is too personal and as hard as I try to ignore it, stuff which I think is not interesting to others. The latter which I didnt care before. Not that I do now, but it's at the back of my mind.

A2. First, define journalism. I think it's one type of journalism. Maybe a hybrid between a journalist and a writer. What makes something journalism? If one writes for a paper, then it is journalism? If said same writer gets sacked from the paper but continues writing the same thing via a blog, has anything changed? Just the medium. So I think the answer is in the content, rather than the medium used. Similarly, just because it gets published in a paper doesnt make it journalism. The medium used is inconsequential.

A3. Is writing software considered writing? If not, then no. I guess I sometimes write documentation for it, as well as requirements, correspond with customers, which may need use of lots of weasel words. Anyways,...

A4. Positives are that I get to communicate with people with whom I would never have been able to in a real world, cos of geography, different social circles. Just like friends of engineers are mostly other engineers. I assume it's similar of other fields. Plus I get to read some wonderful writers. I think Jay is very talented. And I've actually met people (eg. fluffy, bekk, rachy, tim and a few others who I know are bloggers but not what their blogs are called off the top of my head). This should be under 'Negatives', you say? Yeah, very funny.
Negatives - it is so frigging time consuming. It takes a lot of energy, time and creativity to maintain a constant output, which I dont have and I admire those who actually manage to do this. Chicky and Steph comes immediately to mind.
I am quite surprised that some people still visit here cos I would have thought my irregular posts and uncommentable content would repel all, eventually. :-) Do I care if I get zero visitors? Yes and no. I dont want any readers (I think. Wait! Dont leave), but I would be a little upset, initially. I dont understand either.

A5. For sure (fosters communication). It is just another medium. 100 years ago, people were using the poets corner in the market, now it is this. Nothing has changed except the medium. You still get the odd loony spouting whatever. But the internet gives all a global audience.
And I dont think blogging matters in the whole scheme of things. The internet matters, but not so blogging. If blogs disappeared overnight, I'd have a few hours a week of my life back.

Hope this was of help, Ro. I have opinions on many other matters as well, such as the AWB thingy. Poor Mark Vaile. He can either tell the truth, and get into big trouble or pretend he remembers nothing, and come across as an incompetent buffoon.