This has probably been addressed in many different ways on many different blogs, but I wanted to take a stab at it.
Warning! This post will ask some tough questions and you may be a little uncomfortable with your answers.
As with many of my posts my wife is my inspiration. This time she asked if my blog was taking away from "real life." After my initial reaction of being defensive (some old habits are hard to break), I began to think of it in a more useful way. When I come home from a business trip I have a tendency to go to my blog as quickly as I can. It's like I have missed an old friend that I can't wait to get reacquainted with. Like everything in life, blogging is a compromise. Am I putting too much importance into blogging and letting some more important things go unattended? (A question to myself.) So, I decided to open this up for discussion. It may help me in getting down to my root need (yes, I did say "need") to blog. It may also help you, not that you need help.
I would welcome an open discussion on this topic. I personally think that it totally depends on the individual. I have identified the following five reasons that people blog:
- Cathartic - the need to share experiences.
- Altruistic - a way to disseminate valuable information (valuable in the mind of the blogger. Whether it is actually valuable has no real bearing for this discussion) that needs to be put out their.
- Validation – I have changed my definition from “
Blogging is their life; without it they would not have a way to validate themselves”to “to feel valued as a person, or feel that his or her ideas, opinions or creativity are worthwhile.” My first stab at validation was, according to Baba Doodlius, “way over the top,” for which I have to agree.
- Earnings – A way to make money. (Again, whether blogging actually can make money has no bearing on this conversation.)
- Strength – Blogging gives all types of people: strong, weak, extroverts, introverts, etc. a voice by which they can possibly effect change. This may be closely aligned with Altruism and Validation; however, I feel that it needs a category by itself.
For the sake of this post let's consider the five reasons noted above as the five prime reasons; kind of like prime colors. And for the sake of this conversation we'll say that we all live in blogging CAVES (Cathartic, Altruistic, Validation, Earnings & Strength) of our own design. I believe that we all have some aspect of each reason, just in different proportions.
Again, for the sake of this discussion let’s use the following scale:
0 = Absolute no
10 = Absolute yes
Let's all agree that there will be no judging here! There are no right or wrong answers.
I'll talk about me first. At this point I am not trying to make any money. That may change down the road. I'll give myself a 3 on “E”.
I have a life outside of blogging but I do use blogging to validate myself (especially when I get some of those wonderful comments.)
However, blogging is becoming a significant part of my life. I'll give myself a 6 on “V”.
I honestly feel that I am disseminating some very useful information that will have a positive effect on the world. I'll give myself a 9 on “A”.
I feel that being cathartic has very little to do with my blogging,
although, the act of sharing my ideas and experiences does feel good. I'll give myself a 3 on “C”.
As far as the category of strength goes, I feel that I can effect change with what I say and it definitely gives me a feeling of power. I put humor in this category; the power to make people laugh. Humor also falls into the “A” category as well. I will give myself an 8 on “S”
Let's see now, that puts me at:
C – 3
A – 9
V – 6
E – 3
S - 8
Let's also keep in mind that this could change tomorrow, or even in 5 minutes from now.
You know, it's funny how something that seems so complex can seem so clear once it is broken down into its component parts. We just have to be honest with ourselves.
Please, I invite comments on this. I do not believe that I have a fragile ego......anyway, if I do not like your comment I can reject it. Actually, to date, I have rejected only one comment and that was challenge that was too absurd to even respond to.
Why do you blog?
I wish I was computer literate enough to create a fancy widget that could be used to better illustrate this and maybe even be used by bloggers on their sites. If anyone has the knowledge to put such a widget together I would be more than happy to share the authorship.
why do you blog validation altruism cathartic earnings strength