I blog because I like the idea that someone out there is reading what I have to say. And I like the format of blogs, which allow for longer, more thoughtful posts than the quick updates I've seen people do on Facebook. (Not that I know much of anything much about Facebook. I don't have an account. More on Facebook in a minute. Maybe.)
Another thing about blogs: it's nice to have an audience. On the other hand, sometimes having an audience can be a pain. My diary is private--I do keep a diary, sporadically, too--until I die and somebody finds it, but by then I'll be dead anyway, so it's no big deal if they don't like what I wrote. But with a blog, I do have an audience, and I have sadly learned that I sometimes offend others. I am not the kind of person who intentionally tries to offend others. You would think that by middle age I would have figured this out how to be tactful, but no; I am still working on it. This becomes painfully obvious sometimes when I write blog posts that I intend to be honest or funny or clever, but instead they hurt or offend someone. I don't have to think about that with my diary.
But still, when I weigh out the pros and cons, I think having readers is a plus. I LOVE YOU, BLOG-READING PEOPLE! I know that all caps is like shouting, and yes, I did want to shout out that I love you. I really do. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting. I really really really love comments. (That was a shameless hint.)
Here's another thing about blogs versus diaries. This part is really intriguing to me. Diaries read chronologically. The oldest thing comes first, and then you keep reading and reading and the story unfolds. Like a book. You read about what someone says or does or thinks, and you make predictions about what might happen next, or wonder what's coming down the road. You get the cause first, and the reaction later.
Blog writing is backwards from diary writing. You get today. You can go backwards, but you can't go forwards. You get the current situation, and you can read back to look for causes, but you can't read ahead to what happens next. Maybe it's just me, but I think that blogging is setting up a whole new genre for narrative writing, a backwards-looking genre as opposed to the traditional forward-looking genres we have always known until now.
Of course, you have to love that it's so easy to include images with blogs. You can put in things like this:
I'm naughty about grabbing images from google and throwing them onto my blog. Do you do this, too? What blog etiquette do you think is important to follow when it comes to images? I really love including images with my writing. I hope I'm not too despicable about it.
More about Facebook and being naughty. I recognize that Facebook and other social media are quick and convenient and they facilitate a lot of nice things. But there are some things that worry me about Facebook, too. I think that the means of communication--social media, texting--is outstripping our social tools to handle the communication. The rules we learned about how to be play nice and get along are not adequate for the speed, transparency, and ability-to-proliferate-communication (is that a phrase?) available at our finger tips, especially with social media. WikiLeaks, anyone? Nothing online is private any more. And none of it goes away. Something to think about.
Why do I blog? It's my way to send my little voice out into the world. A way to say, "here I am, and I have something to say." Since I get a rash around Facebook, it's a way for me to participate in the 21st Century.
I had an email the other day from a woman in Australia. She asked what my terms would be to allow her to use my fabric ball pattern in a business venture. I wrote back to her that I don't have terms. I gave the pattern as a gift to the world, as it was freely given to me at a Relief Society meeting nearly 30 years ago. Since posting that pattern, my blog has had nearly 10,000 hits from all over the world, and I am certain that well over half of the hits have come from that one posted pattern. How can you put "terms" on something like that?
It's been fun blogging (almost) every day this month for NaBloPoMo. We bloggers send out our opinions, our recipes, our craft ideas, our stories, our worries, our fears, our dreams. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think!