wife, mother, ph.d. student, hot stuff.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Why Blog?

I've been blogging for a long time. It started on my college webpage, over 5 years ago. Every month or so, I would add a text blurb about whatever interesting thing was going on in my life. Since then, I've gone through a variety of online presences (some on personal webpages, some on blogging sites), all with different amounts of interaction. In turn, I have watched as over the years, the number of people I personally know who were blogging grew exponentially.

A question that I have struggled with since the beginning was who my audience was, and what kind of interaction I was hoping for. Clearly, blogging is not just for personal record keeping... that is for paper journals. What I put on here is accessible to anyone and everyone; in essense, I am informing the world about events in my life, thoughts that I have, etc. Are my parents and brothers reading? What about my in-laws? Without interaction (or paying for web counters/IP trackers), it's hard to tell.

When I was simply posting text to my webpage, interaction was limited to email. Other online journals I have kept encourage a lot of interaction between the blogger and his/her readers in the form of comments on each entry. For some reason, I tended to chat a lot more with other bloggers whom I had never met in person, more than I did with friends I knew in real life. Slowly, my posting became geared towards interacting with these other online presences. It wasn't simply about keeping track of my everyday life anymore, it was socializing. Audience became tied in with interaction, something I didn't (but should've) foreseen.

And what about the people who are reading and not responding? I'm sure that my online blogging has had an unseen audience. I know that there are blogs and websites that I keep track of, but do not correspond with the author. Surely the same applies to me. Should I care about the voyeurs? Do I brag about my accomplishments? How much should I censor myself to prevent others from nitpicking/laughing over my entries the way I tend to do to others?

Ultimately, these are questions that only I can answer. I don't think those answers exist anyway. The reasons I blog are continuously evolving. All I know is that I have blogged online for a long time, and I will probably continue to do so far into the future.

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