lørdag, november 17, 2007

The meaning of blog

In my now daily quest for what to blog about, the following issues tend to arise.

It's clear that I want to blog about experiences that are in my life; however, I find it hard to count something as a blog-worthy experience if I haven't taken photos of it, for whatever reason. For example, just today, I was at a brilliant brunch at Thor's mom's house; Thor and I went shopping for baby things (where I became the proud owner of my first sling), we made a brilliant dinner...nay, feast, ending with the most beautiful sweet potato pie imaginable. Yet, there are no photos, and without photos, I don't feel that I can make a full post out of any of these things.

Likewise, there is the question of timeliness. Which is to say, that even if there is a topic I want to write about, I feel I can't do so unless it's within a day or two of the original event or inspiration. So, I took several day trips over the spring and summer (with photos, even), but they were a long time ago, and may never see themselves in print, here.

On a more minor level, there's the question of what counts as a valid blog topic. Is the mundane o.k., or the simple? Or do I need to come up with deep thoughts, evidence of writing talent, with each post? Perhaps this is related to my thoughts a few days ago about what it means to be a good writer. The truth as I expressed it then was that writing is a very subjective process, rather than a quest to give every word meaning. Yet, that truth is hard to follow. It's hard to see a mundane event as blog post worthy.

The question then is, what is the function of this blog? I've never really asked myself that question in any clear way. It just was what it was. And it still is that. But maybe it's time to make it clear also what it isn't. It isn't a blog for deep thoughts (I do plan to start a research blog, for which I will have different standards, but that won't be for deep thoughts either, just more focused thoughts). It isn't journalistic reporting of breaking news, though such reporting isn't prohibited either. And it's not a place where only totally finished thoughts are presented. Freewriting is to be encouraged (and generally has been, but it's nice to make it clear).

There, that feels much better. And as no one reads blogs at the weekend, I'm safe from boring too many people with my manifesto. But if you have made it this far, and you have a blog, I would like to know how you feel about your blog. What is it? And what is it not? Is it something you think about?

11 kommentarer:

Devil Mood sagde ...

I'm afraid I won't have what it takes to follow your deep-thoughts blog as some of your "normal" posts leave me very dizzy as it is ;)

I don't think much about my blog either. I don't even why I started it, I hated blogs, such an egotistic selfish activity! I don't even tell people about it so...But I still love it! And I can't stop blogging at the moment.

I get that with the pictures and the recent events too - blogging isn't as free as one would expect. We put a lot of pressure in our posts, I think. That's why I post less and less. We are such crazy individuals...bloggers...

Chloe sagde ...

my blog started as something simple and has now escalated to something high maintenance, as most of my projects do. That's how i feel about it right now and i would like to go back to simpler things and not have to post beautiful photos everyday. However, i am an obsessive-compulsive who won't sleep at night if the photo is not to my liking.
Verdict: I am enslaved by my blog.

Smiler sagde ...

Hi again Kimananda!

I gave you some brief replies on my blog but I thought I would come over and try to answer to your question.

I think we put too much pressure on ourselves with the blogs. There are as many ways to go about blogging as there are individuals, but the main thing is to stay true to yourself. Unless you plan on making it a commercial venture and are trying to attract specific advertisers, there's no reason to worry about your content. What most readers enjoy being able to read all about our little quirks and habits.

When I created the Smiler blog, I already had another blog which was anonymous and a place for me to vent and say things about my personal life I wouldn't necessarily share openly with strangers. So I wanted another blog where I could invite friends and family. From the outset my rule of thumb was: is this something I would talk to my mother about? Lucky for me, she's the one who shocks ME sometimes, so that gave me a lot of leeway.

The other blog has been retired so I do talk about personal matters once in a while on Smiler, but not all that often because I don't want this blog to be only about me me me. However, a blog is precisely the place you can talk only about you if you like.

When I started "From Smiler, With Love" it was purely a place for me to express my creativity, no rules. I didn't worry about it much because I didn't think anyone was reading me, other than my mom, but when I realized there were readers, I became very self conscious. I actually have two early posts that you may be interested in:

The thing about "the blogging thing":
http://fromsmilerwithlove.blogspot.com/
2007/04/thing-about-blogging-thing.html

Won't you come in for a cuppa tea later?
http://fromsmilerwithlove.blogspot.com/

Sorry for the extra long comment, but hope it helps!
2007/05/wont-you-come-in-for-cuppa-tea-
later.html

Smiler sagde ...

Oops, I goofed. Here's the 2nd link:

Won't you come in for a cuppa tea later?
http://fromsmilerwithlove.blogspot.com/
2007/05/wont-you-come-in-for-cuppa-tea-
later.html

kimananda sagde ...

Ms. Mood, hmmm, not sure I want to make people dizzy with my posts! But you are right, that blogging does create some pressure for us, to 'perform' by posting something that others deem worthy. I'm finding though that by posting more, I'm starting to break away from the pressure a bit...quantity trumps quality, to some extent.

Chloe, I can see that your posts have become more elaborate over time. You have been putting up beautiful posts, but they were beautiful posts before, too. I hope you find a happy medium!

Smiler, it's an interesting idea, that if it's just a blog where one can be creative, then it's easy, but if we actually have readers.... But as you also say, it's the spontaneous creative stuff that is the most interesting for the readers.

Etchen sagde ...

I tend to just post whatever is on my mind for the post...yesterday it was giant moas and the tme before it was movies. Everything is random...but mainly I use it as a sounding board--what movies are good to rent, what books do people like, what people do for a particular holiday, etc...

kimananda sagde ...

Etchen, I've started to post just randomly what comes to my mind, and I'm finding it quite liberating. I like the idea of the sounding board as well...but I seem to be doing that less, and just pontificating more.

Smiler sagde ...

I just noticed you're a member of NaBloPoMo too, which is great because I was just going to tell you that your post has inspired to start a discussion on that topic on the forum. Should be interesting to see what people have to say!

kimananda sagde ...

Yep, if you look at my posting history, you'll see that my blog has been long neglected. It's been great fun actually posting something everyday, and has really affected how I view the blog as a whole. Alas, I still don't have as much time to browse other fora, but I have taken a look at your discussion (and the one on should people leave comments, which is a question that I have definitely asked myself before), and will attempt to join in when I have the time.

sangroncito sagde ...

oh, good question...I think my blog is a way for me to focus my thoughts...and to share them with others.

kimananda sagde ...

Thank you! I'm glad you focus your thoughts in this way...it's an enjoyable read.