I have always had some inclination to communicate. So before the internet, there were articles in print. About a decade ago, Ria Tan of WildSingapore scanned and posted my undergraduate student articles up on the net for me.”Principally the Mudskipper,” are articles between 1987 to 1994. These were limited to one or a few articles per year, before the internet became common place.
A writer’s potential output skyrocketed with blogging. Ironically this ease meant blogging, which requires regularity to maintain a conversation, was a boon that threatened to become a burden! Walter, who blogs over at Cooler Insights, says he does struggle to keep up his momentum. This morning he posted “Who Says Blogging Is Easy?” and in an email to his fellow social media junkies, asks “what motivates and drives us to continue generating content online?”
Ignoring the issue of images and videos, I suggested that my reasons to keep blogging have been:
- primarily to share useful information (for others)
- enjoyment of writing, reflection or reminiscence (for self)
- contribute to the conversation (for both)
When I switched to this wordpress site in 2008, I wrote this:
“I hardly blogged this past month, but I found myself searching my blog for various bits of information. I have also had to point students and non-blog reading friends to specific posts for purposes of both work and play. A journal of events, links, alerts and information is pretty useful and cannot be adequately replaced just by jaiku [read twitter], del.icio.us and flickr.”
What discourages me from blogging:
- length of time it takes to construct a post
- lack of comments, linking (declined now that fewer people blog)
- too many blogs to maintain
- in a perpetual state having numerous unfinished tasks
- forgetting why I blog
- forgetting that my view can still be of interest, even about a well-flogged topic
- the seduction of twitter w/export to facebook where I need say less, more quickly and receive instantaneous feedback!
What encourages me to blog
- need to communcate
- archiving argument or instruction to point people to later.
- comments or citations/links from others
- that school student who tells me they read something I wrote
- finding an old post useful during a technical discussion
- inadequacy of Twitter’s constraints
- being able to stimulate the community
I did suffer a decline in blogging in 2008/9. Realising its value, I picked up the pieces at a much slower pace. I learnt to file away drafts and complete them in short spurts over a longer time. It is actually a treat to write on a quiet morning, rare as they might be.
I do get encouragement from meta blogs – Ria Tan highlights nature-related posts in Wild Singapore News and posts of reasonable relevance to the general Singapore scene can get picked up by The Singapore Daily and SingaporeSurf
Now that more (non-rss reading) people are appearing and communicating in the less anonymous space of Facebook, Feedburner has revived its relevance by enabling automatic twittering of its rss feed. I.e. new blog post titles and links from all my blogs appear on twitter and then get reposted to facebook. Thus a new post reaches rss and blog readers as well as twitter followers and facebook friends – all of them are a click away from new posts of interest.
The bloggers out there I interact with have provided a rich tapestry of information, comments, view points and ideas. And having experienced printing my undergraduate student society’s newsletter on an offset machine, I remain fascinated by the effortless manner in which crisp, well formed text appears on an lcd screen!
I guess I’ll always blog.