I actually agree that this should be put in perspective of other life goals, but strongly disagree that this isn’t worth doing. Since I’ve begun blogging 5 years back, I’ve learned a lot, and being a better blogger has both mirrored and helped my growth as a person.Simple reasons why being a better blogger is good:
- It’s a good way of keeping in contact w/ friends and family
- Blogging is not only a form of communication, but of self discovery. You’ll be glad when you look at what you were writing about 5 years ago, regardless of what you write about.
- As you write more, you’ll be a better writer. Probably.
- It’s a way of participating in a larger global information ecology, and more importantly a global community. [This is Good]
- It’s damn useful for helping to organize information overflow.
- You will have readers and will probably meet a lot cool people through your blog. (If you don’t want to, put a password and make it private. Also, do try to not get fired. Seriously.)
- Learning more about yourself, meeting people, and being more capable at communication obviously has secondary benefits.
That being said, I wouldn’t define better in terms of spending more time, getting more readers, etc. That’s a valid goal, but I think as others have mentioned, but don’t beat yourself up over it. I’m not going to give advice too much more advice. Lots of people have pontificated on this. Also, this seems to be a popular goal, which is curious to me, but well, I’m interested from an academic and intellectual (ethnographic) perspective as well, so I’m just going to observe.With the terseness out of the way, lemme spiel some:
- Blogging is what you make of it. The formal definition of reverse chronological microcontent (sometimes hypertextual) is simply that, a description of a format. While one can’t deny the power of the medium on the message, the sheer range of content and form can’t be denied. Also, we’re just at the beginning of things. 43things in some ways is an extension of the exploration of the medium. It’s also related to the trends I see in life-logging.
- Blogging is inherently democratic as a medium. To put this within one modern socio-economic deconstruction, blogging helps connect people with themselves and others, working against the other pressures that tend to isolate. It’s a disruption of the consumption cycle, although, not in the sense of stopping but rechanneling. It’s not “saving” the world, but it is helping people communicate, which is a good thing. (Yeah, somewhat scale-free, but still way more fluid and sure beats pure broadcast hierarchy anytime)
- To elaborate on that last point, while blogging can become insular, degenerating into pure egoism or echo, all the worst parts of mob behavior (amplified by a central arbiter of pagerank)... well, ok, I’m just depressing myself now. However, for most people, being exposed to other views and information and being able to anaylze their own selves is good. Lets hope that this sort of behavior can be encouraged.
- Our online lives and digital lives have begun intersecting. This deserves it’s own space. Perhaps I should write some essays …