There is a discussion floating around on several blogs, that seems very interesting to me. The talk is all about the stress of producing quality and quantity blog posts, receiving regular and more and more comments, being responded to from the edubloggersphere gurus, who is IN and who is OUT ?, who is being listened to and who is being ignored? and on an on and on…
I believe that this is a valid conversation and discussion. Those are thoughts that most bloggers have or will be confronted with and one point or another. I don’t think that there is a right or wrong answer to those questions that are being posed. It seems to depend on your personality, the purpose of your blog and the intended audience. When Scott McLeod says in his blog post Reclaiming my Blog that
The interesting thing to me is that I’ve missed it, that I actually have felt sad that I haven’t been posting more
He is reclaiming his blog and his writing for himself, not for his readers or for his Technorati ranking. He misses writing. I think that is the point.
If you start out with writing… because you want to be recognized by others…you want to be heard… you want to be on the inside…the only satisfaction you receive from writing is seeing the impact you make for others through their comments… looks like a lot of stress…since you have no control over the rest of the blogosphere wave… You never know where it is going to wash ashore… one week it is your blog post… another week it will be someone else’s…
So, ask yourself: WHO do YOU write for?
- I write for myself, because I enjoy writing.
- I want to practice writing in order to get better at doing it.
- I blog because I want to have a record of my thoughts, my learning process, and resources that I find.
All of this I do for me, not for an audience. There are reasons I write and post for others though:
- to share resources
- bounce ideas of other educators who are thinking and reflecting about the same kind of things as I am
- make connections and communicate with others around the world, in order to remember multiple points of view and perspectives
Once you have regular readers, it seems inevitable that your audience places a certain expectation on the quality and frequency of your post. It also seems inevitable that some readers will expect you to answer their comments immediately and will get upset when you do not have an answer or time to respond to them. Each one of us has to negotiate with themselves how much you are going to allow “your readers” dictate who you are, how much time you will dedicate to blogging, and how much emphasis you are going to allow to be placed on ranking, numbers of comments and posts.
You have to make a conscious decision of remembering who you are and why you started blogging in the first place. Vicki Davis so eloquently says it in a repost to a comment left on Dangerously Irrelevant Blog
I for one, cannot live with the stress of feeling I’m in a perpetual horse race, I’m just going to live and let blog.”
I wrote this post to put my thoughts down, to help me remember why I blog, and maybe to help a new blogger start thinking, reading and reflecting about some of these issues before their start getting frustrated and feeling left out…
Follow the conversation:
- Coolcatteacher: Is the Edublogoshphere a closed Cocktail Party? and Live and Let Blog
- Dangerously Irrelevant: Dear Jon. a.k.a The World does not care about you
- Classroom 2.0 Ning Forum Edublogger Cocktail Party
I write, simply because I can. It makes a difference to me in my life, it helps to sort out, formulate and reflect on things going on in my professional life (I try to keep my personal side out of it most of the time). If by some fortunate chance it given information, makes someone think or helps another that is an added bonus. – Harold
Hi Silvia, there is a lot of wisdom here. I blog for all the reasons you mentioned. I never expected any of the other stuff, the being recognised and all that. But it is nice as well. One of the reasons I like the edublogosphere so much is that ppl are so welcoming and encouraging, unlike so many other experiences we have where so much is expected of us and the only time we hear any reaction is when we have let someone down. I believe it is a re.al learning community and the ppl that are recognised because of their blogging have a responsibility in turn to recognise and encourage new bloggers
I’ve been following these conversations, as well. I’m slowly reading through my reader and came across your reflection today. I echo what Jo said in that I blog for many of the reasons you included in your post.
I do not blog just for my own reflection. I hope that others will find my work and something I write will help them out.
I keep track of visits with a ClustrMap and Feedjit for my own personal enjoyment. I look at Technorati from time to time. I keep Statcounter results and look at them almost every day. It fascinates me how people find my blog. A lot of hits come from Google searches.
When I started teaching K-8 computers, many ideas came from static web pages produced by teachers. I didn’t really find edublogs in my search results back in 2001. If I was starting out today, your blog and those of other edubloggers would have been a great resource.
I think you find what you expect in many ways. I have found a very open, sharing community. I am amazed at the variety of people who share their ideas with me. I hope as time goes on, I can be a welcoming presence to others, as well.
I like the way you have written about this. I have been following comments and posts about this issue around the web all day. Its helped me think about my own purposes for blogging – as I wrote in my post http://educatingerin.edublogs.org/2008/04/28/it-cant-be-that-boring/
I started my blog for a uni assignment, but I had always been interested in the potential for reflection and learning in a blog
P.S. sorry about the long url – I’m not sure how to put a hyperlink in a comment!
OK I’m doing making lots of comments tonight!! When I posted my comment, another comment came up as a quote from my blog. Did I do that by linking to the post on my blog? It was a bit surprising!
Comment number 5 is a Pingback. It keeps track of posts that link to this one.
Ahhh…great post. I think the day I took off my counter from the side bar my writing improved instantly. I no longer wrote to raise the number, just wrote for myself.