On Blogging

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly seven years since I wrote my first blog post. Most blogs end up with a flurry of posts and then fizzle out completely as the blogger gets bored or runs out of things to say. Way back in August of 2003, I gave myself even odds that I’d manage to actually keep this thing going more than a few months. Well, over 270 blog entries and two major software overhauls later, I’m still on the air, so to speak. Sure, there have been lulls, some of them long, but I’ve always come back.

In general, I enjoy writing these entries. Sometimes I write them because something has a bug up my butt but mostly I’m writing about things that are interesting to me. Anyone who has read through my posts will know that the things that interest me are somewhat eclectic. I mean, 地球少女アルジュナ, Battlestar Galactica, English grammar, and TRS-80 Color Computers? (No, I don’t read or speak Japanese; I just copied that text from a much cooler source.)

One thing I’ve never really thought about, though, is why do I really do it? I mean, my comments in that first post mentioned above are great but that doesn’t really provide any insight into why I keep doing it. After all, my blog is fairly obscure. I’m pretty certain almost nobody reads it. My web host doesn’t even notice the traffic I get. So I’m clearly not making any money from this thing and I certainly am not getting famous. Still, I must be deriving some benefit from doing this or I would hardly still be at it all these years later, would I?

I put some thought into just that question. Like everything else in life, the answer is not exactly simple. It turns out I have multiple reasons for having continued this long.

The first, and probably least important, reason is that I enjoy writing. I dabble with writing novels (none finished or published), short stories (some on my site), poetry (available in dead tree form from the publisher) and even non-fiction rambles about current events. But pleasure is not sufficient to continue something long term for it eventually gets boring if that is the whole purpose.

There is also a certain ego trip that results from seeing ones work published in any form. With the advent of the WWW, it is trivial for anyone to publish anything they want. And I have done just that. In fact, I had a personal web site with actual content on it long before the blogging craze took over the web. Indeed, I registered my first domain name on October 7, 1998 and that domain still directs traffic to the one I use today (which I couldn’t get until late 2000 when the .ca domain was deregulated). Since my site has been online as long as it has, when it actually has content relevant to a particular search, it seems to rank fairly well. Being able to say I’ve had a web site since 1998 is also an ego boost. But the ego boost is even bigger if I can say the site has been active since then. And it has.

But ego trips aside, I think real reason continue is for the occasional comment out of the blue from people I do not know and who wouldn’t know me if we passed on the street. Every once in a while, I’ll write a piece that gets somebody’s attention and they will care enough to leave a comment. It happened occasionally before I started this blog and, thus, posting more regularly. It has continued to happen since then. Some of these comments are available for all to see when viewing the blog archives. I think it is for these small moments of awesome that I do this. I think it is wonderful that I can write about some random topic and find that another person actually reads it and feels strongly enough to comment on what I wrote. I think this modern world with its Internet and WWW counts as one of humankind’s crowning moments of awesome and I am simply honoured to be able to participate.

So what it comes down to is I like hearing myself talk (figuratively), I like seeing my name and my work appear where others can see it, and I like being part of something cool. In other words, I’m human. And it’s fun. So I keep doing it. So sue me. 🙂

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