Reasons I Blog

As I thought about this, I realized at least seven reasons I blog which fall into two categories: A) To talk with myself  and B) To talk with others. When I began blogging, I was just curious, but as I continued, my motivations for blogging evolved.  Blog lifespans are usually 2-3 years.  My evolved motivations has helped me go longer.  Here are my seven reasons for blogging as they stand today, with each category given in somewhat chronological order:

A) To talk with Myself

(1) Exploring

    • (1a) to explore blogging technology
    • (1b) to anthropologically explore bloggers of different realms (atheists, poets, religionists …)

(2) Creativity

    • to exercise a the deep pleasure I get from being creative

(3) Improved Communication

    • (3a) to allow me to make short comment on other blogs, by linking back to points I find I often make in a simple post.
    • (3b) to stop from repeating myself — to capture stories and ideas that I often repeat

(4) Improved Thinking

    • (4a) to organize my ideas
    • (4b) to test, polish, and refine my ideas through discussions with others
    • (4c) to practice rhetoric
    • (4d) to take time to reflect

B) To talk with Others

(5) Influence

    • To influence others: to address many of the foibles of religion, and the wrong-headed approaches I found among some blogging atheists.

(6) Legacy

    • to create something my kids could possibly read later

(7) Company

    • to have folks that I enjoy talking to– or even debating with.  I treat this blog like a fun coffee shop with folks with similar interests — a shop that doesn’t have to worry about paying the bills!

Question for readers: So, why do you blog?



Filed under Blogging

21 responses to “Reasons I Blog

  1. Comments on my sites are enormously important to me. Some of what I write is somewhat conceptually difficult, and feedback about what’s clear and what’s not is invaluable. And, readers contribute ideas I didn’t have—objections, amplifications, and implications.

    I think this is one of the reasons “e-books” make no sense. An e-book is a web site minus all the interactive features—of which commenting is the most important.

  2. @ David Chapman:
    But, of course, after enough feedback, organizing, re-thinking and rewriting — (as comments die down) — perhaps compiling an e-book version would be one way to get ideas out to a whole different group of readers who don’t enjoy blog formats. OR, use the information you have polished to make a YouTube series for yet another different set of consumers.

    Have you daydreamed of such ventures eventually? [your stuff is of high quality] Can you see that if your ambition is to influence and disseminate, then those may be vary important methods?

  3. Yes. I’m hoping that books die before I get to the point where I have to write another one. That’s probably over-optimistic, though! Some of what I write could turn into a book more easily than other bits.

    The vampire novel, for instance. But even there, it’s heavily hypertextual and may not work so well without its explanatory non-fiction commentary. So I’ve thought about publishing it as a reversible book, like Computer Lib/Dream Machines, with a cover on both sides. Read it one way, and it’s the novel The Vetali’s Gift; flip the physical book over, read the other way, and it’s the commentary, Buddhism for Vampires.

    I do have active fantasies about YouTube. It seems like that would be another huge project, though, and I have too many of those as it is! Still, yes, it may be critical to getting the material better-known.

  4. associatedluke

    I average 40 views per post and around 900 total site views a month. Each post generates 2 visible comments, 6 emails, and 12 face-to-face interactions. I have an interesting audience. I’m happy to be a part of yours and happy you’re a part of mine. We blog for much the same reasons, although I’ve never considered the legacy part. Very cool!

  5. Hi Sabio,
    I found this post useful. I’m an “almost blogger” but have held back for years. I’m constantly on the verge of starting a site, but have serious doubts about whether to invest the time and energy. So far they have prevented me starting.

    My reasons for not blogging are as follows:
    – I’m not sure I have enough to say that is interesting or useful – that is, different enough in content or manner of expression to what others say already
    – I have had several experiences of unintentionally causing offense online. They were unpleasant and regrettable. I’m not sure I have the skill to avoid that.

    There’s a correlation between the two reasons: I’d be more happy to risk causing offense, and practice not doing so, if I were more sure that I really have enough blog-worthy (as opposed to tweet-worthy) material.

    I guess that puts my ‘reasons for blogging if I were to’ into your categories 5 and possibly 6.

    I’m not interested in being persuaded one way or the other, just re-considering the reasons for and against blogging (again :-). Possibly it takes most of us some necessary years of practice to get to point 5? Seeing your obvious enjoyment in creative blogging is inspiring in the bloggitudinal direction at any rate.

  6. “Blog like you may die soon” was my philosophy a couple years ago. I wanted to communicate honest and useful insights which may help others avoid traps I had fallen in. Sabio has been kind enough to leave some comments and suggestions, including that some of my posts were too long. I enjoy most comments, but am not always ready to read them first thing in the morning.

  7. @Luke:
    Many of our site views are by people not interested in our site or posts per se, but simply that a google search or such brought them there and then they are gone. How much time is spent on a post it the revealing information, and how many returning viewers. My statistics are orders of magnitudes above yours and I know they are mostly hits not for reasons I would count as meaningful.

    @ Rin’Dzin,
    “Almost blogger” made me smile. Your reasons for “not blogging” are interesting. Here are my reactions to those:

    (1) Since much of my blogging is to learn, challenge and organize my ideas, I am not concerned about having anything meaningful to share — I will let readers decide that.

    (2) I am not worried about “offense” per se. Sometimes offense can be usual to the other person or yourself — an often surprising ways.

    It does sound you would be a # 5 or # 6 person, I think the creative side #2, is biggest for me. I am driven to create and explore.

    @ ancientwaykevin,
    Thanx for visiting — I wager you are a big positive influence on several people.

  8. Thanks, Sabio. Perhaps inspired by you, I’ve started some other blogs on different topics under pen names. It feels nice to be able to anonymously express myself in areas unrelated to TCM.

  9. associatedluke

    Yeah, those numbers were adjusted for bots and image searches and whatnot. I use the blogger stats as well as two other programs… kinda obsessive about my “actual readership” and who’s reading, how they found me, what impact all this has if any. So those were stripped down stats, hope to hone those even further as I strive to make my site better and my writing clearer.

  10. Hmm, this touches on an itch I’ve been scratching at recently. I have a moderate and (slowly!) growing readership, but it’s common for me to write something that gets multiple likes and maybe a single comment. The likes are nice, and they encourage me to keep going, but I do end up wondering what I could do to get a genuine dialogue going. I don’t want to nag my readers to comment – if they aren’t, there’s probably a reason – but it’s a bit unsettling.

  11. Ian

    My original reason for blogging was that you kept bugging me to 🙂

    Mostly it is about the conversations, for me. Though it is tricky. I get big audiences (for my blog that’s anything over 1000 uniques in a day) when I blog about stuff that I don’t really enjoy blogging about (“Mythicism”, problems with prominent atheist positions). And often things I’d really like to work out and have challenged get zero comments. So it is a bit of a crap shoot balancing one’s own desires and the centre of gravity of the community.

  12. TWF

    You’ve got a fairly comprehensive list of reasons. I greatly overlap, although not as much 1b, I take 7 in a much different sense, and 5 is number 1.

    I definitely like comments, but I don’t blog for them. And I suck at advertisement. 🙂 To me, seeing the stat traces of someone reading through post after post after post on my blog is much more rewarding than a comment. However, comments are much more fun!

  13. On our Undead in the Netherworld blog I feel the lack of comments is because we scare people. We’re a bunch of lunatics who write whatever we want and don’t give much of a damn what anyone thinks. This would of course mean that the lack of comments really doesn’t bother us, as the blog is for us and not the populace at large.
    I used to fret about not getting comments. These days I just do my thing. If they come, they come. If they don’t, I’ll do my thing anyway.

  14. I absolutely love comments and commenting. Partially, it’s interacting with the community. Most important is that I love it when my creativity evokes a response of creativity or even just a little engagement. Creative expression feels like the alien erupting from my stomach. If it grabs others, that’s great because that’s what it’s supposed to do. If it doesn’t, then it’s just surgery, a discreet event that’s over and done with … useful but boring.

    That said, I have no wish to offend anyone. My audience and my commenters are my guests and I want them to look good and be glad they came.

  15. @ Orange and Spectra,
    Thanx for stopping in and for the fun comments. Curious how you found this blog?

  16. To Everyone:
    I have decided to change #7 to “Company” and not “Community”. For I certainly don’t build community here in any normal sense of the word.

    Luke :
    Ah, then those sound like perfect stats to follow.

    I find that focused ideas, and re-writes that don’t ramble tend to keep people’s attention. And I try not to say something too common sense.
    I think an important thing for people is to keep their posts short and focused: focus on one or two things you are trying to convey.
    Then, ask a good question at the end.

    And my bugging you payed off big time for me. Thanx for blogging.

    I also don’t blog for numbers — it is easy to draw commentors that you don’t want to spend time with.

  17. Sabio: How did I get here? Through a convoluted path involving strange adventures with odd creatures … well, really I just noticed a comment you made on Irreducible Complexity and one click later, here I was.

  18. Ah, thanx Orange, hope to see some more of ya.

  19. rautakyy

    To me blogging is much like a diary of stuff, that I needed to clear out in my head. So 4 a) The fact that it is public makes it easier for me to be honest with myself.

    On the other hand I also like to comment interresting blogs. And I do enjoy comments people put in my own blog.

    However, all this is not even a secondary hobby for me, and I do not use much time on it. Though I am a fast writer I sometimes struggle with expressions of the English language, wich is very different from my mothers tongue Finnish, that is not even related to any of the Indo-European languages. And yes, improving my English skills was one reason for taking up blogging.

  20. Well, I finally got around to doing something…I’ve started a blog at
    What got me over the procrastination was attending a Buddhist Geeks conference unplugged session. It was clear from the conversation that people there had experienced Vajrayana Buddhism as inaccessible, or were worried that it is increasingly less available to newcomers. So the motivation for actually doing something, as opposed to thinking about doing something, came from the sense that there is a defined need that I might help meet.
    I’m not sure that fits exactly into your categories. Maybe it’s closest to 5.
    You’re one of the main influences for the style I’ve chosen to start with. In particular, I’ve adopted your ‘questions for readers’ at the end of the post.
    So, thanks for influencing me! 🙂

  21. @Rin’dzin:
    Great place to put this. Glad I was able to influence you. Thanks for being a person open to influence. You and David continue to influence me too. See you over at VN!

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