What seems like a long, long time ago (although it really wasn’t), one of JW and my closest friends was deployed to Iraq for a 15 month tour of duty. He knew that I had made some websites and he thought it would be a great idea to have his own website where he could write about his experiences and post some pictures so his friends and family could see what he was doing and know that he was ok.
“Oh, cooooool, you want a blog!” I said.
“A blog? What the heck’s a blog?” He raised an eyebrow.
Though I didn’t have one at the time, nor did anyone else I know, I explained what a blog was, but he wasn’t convinced. He thought the word “blog” sounded like I had made it up (I wish!) and thought the word was “kinda lame”. He wanted his website to be called an online journal.
“Call it what you want,” I said, “it’s a blog”. He didn’t believe me.
Obviously, he couldn’t talk about specific details and it started out quite simply, just little notes posted to his children, wife and close friends and a picture here and there. Within weeks, though, it had snowballed. The friends and families of those deployed with him were visiting and commenting on the site. There were thousands of hits a day.
There was nothing military related on the site other than the fact it was being authored by a soldier. It was just posts about how much he missed his family and friends and at the same time was filled with pride about being able to serve his country.
Within months, the blog/online journal had grown in such popularity that the U.S. Army gave us the option of password protecting the site, limiting access to only people we knew or take it down. (Talk about a marker of success, right! I know they would have preferred the latter, but up it stayed, anyway.)
When he came back, we took the “blog” (cough, cough) down, but it got me thinking about starting my own blog. I didn’t think, at the time, that I had anything interesting to talk about. Of course, that wasn't true. Everyone has something interesting to talk about. I just had to find my niche and hone in my own style of expression.
I’ve been reading some articles about the art of blogging lately. It started when my friend Malcolm posted his thoughts on comment moderation on blogs.
Personally, I don’t moderate comments and I really can’t see any reason to do so. People aren’t going to agree with you all the time and people expressing their opinions (no matter how crudely) is still what I love most about blogging. Why would anyone want to take that away?
The other underlying theme in a variety of articles I’ve read (mostly through my friend Damien’s blog) is the attempt to discover what I think is the bottom line of blogging. Why does anyone blog? Why put your ideas, opinions, dreams and life stories out there for anyone and everyone to see?
I’ve been thinking about this and my answer, truly, is I don’t know. I don’t think my posts speak to any audience in particular and I don’t believe for one second that anyone could take away any life changing advice from any of my blog entries.
I guess if I do anything with blogging, it’s to try to make people feel something. Whether they laugh, chuckle, cry, become angry-whatever- I do try evoke some kind of emotion with every post. For what purpose? Who knows? It appears one step less kooky than talking to myself, I guess.
Am I a successful blogger? I guess it depends who you ask. If you ask me, I say yes. If you ask the evil Technorati monster, I think you would get a “no” response. A while ago, one of my very first bloggy buddies, Shelly, tried to help me achieve A-List blogging status. I was within 23 (or something like that) links of earning that A-List graphic and being able to ride in limousines with Bon Jovi and Paris Hilton, but the blogging “approval” system is full of enough holes that you could drain spaghetti noodles with it.
You must gain all of these approval nods in a 6 month period of time or else you drop through the holes and back down the drain so far that you wish the big plunger would just come and put your out of your misery. Popularity is so fleeting. No wonder it’s so hard to maintain a show biz career.
Bottom line, if you’re happy with your blog and it’s serving some purpose to you, then you are a successful blogger. Like real life friends, it’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. (This goes for posting, too! Just my opinion!)
I found this quiz on Sassy Mama Bear’s site and when I took it, I think it’s totally me! I may use other people’s song titles as my post titles, but I definitely write my own lyrics. That’s what’s great about blogging, we all have a song to sing.
You Are a Pundit Blogger!
Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
You're up on the latest news, and you have an interesting spin on things.
Of all the blogging types, you put the most thought and effort into your blog.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few
What do you think? Is that me? Is that you? What kind of blogger are you? I'm totally curious!!!