Why I Blog
Later this year will mark the tenth anniversary of this site in its current form, as a WordPress driven, regularly updated blog. I was blogging at fernandogros.com, on an off, for a couple of years before that and first started blogging in 2001. In those years, my reasons for blogging have changed and evolved and, […]
Later this year will mark the tenth anniversary of this site in its current form, as a WordPress driven, regularly updated blog. I was blogging at fernandogros.com, on an off, for a couple of years before that and first started blogging in 2001. In those years, my reasons for blogging have changed and evolved and, as I mentioned last week, I’ve been rethinking my motivations (as have many I’ve spoken to in recent months).
I started blogging because I saw others in the academic world doing the same. It was a way to share research, work in progress, updates from conferences and the like. Having moved from Sydney to London, it also seemed like a good way to share news with people “back home.”
When I rebooted my blogging in 2004, things had matured and options like WordPress showed the potential of blogging as a self-publishing platform. I was in a period of transition, career-wise and blogging was a way to make sense of that, to “think publicly” and connect with others in a similar situation.
Other People’s Reasons
All the while, up until today, the idea of blogging as a way to share what I’m doing and, hopefully inspire others along the way has been a prime motivation. Of course, not everyone blogs for exactly the same reasons.
Some, bloggers, especially expat bloggers, write as a way to share their “lifestyle,” where they shop eat and their daily experiences. Although I’ve shared plenty of personal experiences, blogging that way never appealed to me. I’m actually, despite appearances, a very private and rather shy person. And, as a parent, I’ve been loathe to write too many things which could, one day, define my child’s own digital identity.
Along this line, some bloggers, especially in recent years, see the medium as a way to “live the brand,” which makes blogging just a form of self-marketing. As an artist (of sorts) I get the idea of using your online presence to sell your work. But, people are, for many reasons not like brands. Brands have a tightly controlled identity, a narrow focus and their origins are often nothing more than a work of fiction. People, by contrast are complex, historically rooted and the best of them, riddled with contradictions.
Not Just A Blog
More than this, I’ve never really seen the purpose of this site, of owning my own personal .com as being about just blogging. I had “home pages” full of original writing and masses of links long before I started blogging.
The blog is a part of this site, but it’s not the sole reason for this site. Moreover, this blog is part of my process of communicating and sharing online, but it is not the whole of it.
As I said back in 2012, personal blogging is making a comeback. OK, I’ll admit it’s a slow comeback. But, the changes Google has implemented in recent months, from the development of Author Rank to changes aimed at reducing the search cut-through of spammy guest blogs and content marketing strategies are good news for all of us writing and publishing our own work on blogs.
I believe it’s a good time for all of us with blogs to take a fresh look at our motivations and what inspires us. I don’t just mean change a them or tweak a strategy. I mean a cold hard look at what we really get and more importantly, what we give, through this medium.
I blog because I believe “a rising tide floats all boats,” because I choose to bet on people’s willingness to grow, learn and improve, because I believe in speaking truthfully about our experiences and because, time and again, I’ve gained inspiration and encouragement from interacting with other bloggers who believe the same sorts of things.
I blog because it’s a small thing I can do to make this world a more creative place, because, although you and I might never meet in person, though these occasional words and images we might make some sort of connection and walk together, if only for a moment.