Fresh Thoughts On Blogging
“The writer of any first person work must decide two obvious questions: what to put in and what to leave out.” — Annie Dillard
I believe the Annie Dillard quote above comes from her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She was referring to her memoir writing if I remember correctly, and to all memoir writing in general. This was before the era of blogs and blogging.
Blogging has become an interesting phenomenon, a natural outgrowth of the world wide web. It is popular because it is easy.
In the past people criticized email because it was “destroying language” and wrecking good grammar, good English etc. Well, is it really? Now texting is the culprit. I’m inclined to take a different position.
Everything has a pro and con, including email, texting and blogging. I think it’s great that people are communicating. How many letters would people send in a day if they had to type, print, fold, and insert into an envelope that they must also address, stamp and bring to a mailbox? What a hassle. By email, I can maintain contacts with fifty or more people a day. At the office it might be a hundred or more. I certainly received hundreds there.
Email is easy, therefore more people can do it. Texting, the same.
Blogging, likewise, is a heckuva lot easier than building a website. There are a whole range of blog sites that will host your creative output, including this one. Some has gotten a lot of bad press, but maybe it’s because the Press is jealous.
In 2007, if all the people with a MySpace blog were to be named a “country” it would have been the 11th largest country in the world, just behind Mexico. (If this stat is incorrect, please feel free to send correction and it will be so done.)
In the mid-nineties I built a website, in part for the experience and in part for a forum where I could display some of my work. I used a software program that had limited capabilities but easy to use. Ease of use was key.
But even so, most people did not have sufficient motivation to get past the learning curve and although businesses everywhere built websites — almost as necessary as business cards and storefront signage — individuals with a website were far fewer in number.
Blogs changed all that. According to HostingTribunal.com, of the 1.7 billion websites in 2020, more than 500 million are blogs. We bloggers are posting more than 2 million blog posts daily. (This actually feels a little low.)
Blogs opened possibilities for self expression that seemed infinite in scope. The problem is, how much disclosure is prudent?
For example, when an employee has a problem with the boss, what is gained by filling a blog entry with a 500 word rant? I just heard such an account two weeks ago. What the employee gained was a two week suspension without pay. That, I thought, was pretty generous.
Many people have no sense of boundaries with other facets of their lives. Blogs are not intended to be a replacement for journals. In your journal you can do self-analysis and personal psychological assessments. But do you really need to announce to the world your every neurotic tendency, self-destructive fantasies, anguished self-accusations, prideful declarations or hypersensitive assessments of others? Guess what? There are some things we do not need to know. Work it out in private.
As for my blog entries here, if you have been following along, a lot of what I write is excerpted from my journals. You can be sure I’m being selective, trying to be helpful or using some ideas and thoughts as a springboard to additional conversation with you, my readers.
In the meantime, blog on.
Originally published at https://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com.
(The title says “Fresh Thoughts” and should probably say “Refreshed Thoughts” inasmuch as they were revisited and brought up to date.)