Why do I blog? I mostly dislike social media, so you’d think I wouldn’t. I was briefly on Facebook, but they kept imposing deal-breakers until I quit. I adopted G+ early and rather liked it – asocial networking, perhaps. I even became micro-famous there, attracting around 100,000 (mostly bot?) followers, about 100 who would +1 some of my screenshots of rocket launches, and maybe a few dozen who would +1 my photos of (mostly) sporophytes. We would sometimes engage in multi-blurb post-inspired conversations. This was all I needed: a few +1s and a bit of blather.
Unfortunately, Google Plus kind of wished it was Facebook, and kept damaging the user experience, simultaneously committing fewer resources and hoping for a miracle. Finally, by leaving some security holes open and awaiting exploits, they attracted the attack they had been hoping for, giving them pseudo-reasons to shut down the public side of the service (this paranoid just-so story is pure speculation). Since then, I haven’t really participated in social media for the purpose of being social. I’ve maintained my LinkedIn existence, wondering if I will ever figure out what to do there. I do read some blogs, but don’t comment any more. When I did comment, I found it not worth the time and emotional energy to engage in the inevitable dispute, what with needing to utilize factual information and logical reasoning rather than simply responding in-kind to emotional reactions. If I am going to opine responsibly, I will do it on my own terms and in my own context. A point in favor of, or anti-against, me blogging.
If my desultory internet research is worth anything, blogs are on the decline, so blogging may be somewhat self-defeating. Nevertheless, I do have an agenda, and I do feel the need to express myself and receive feedback for that expression. Additionally, writing is a way to “find out what I really think”. Feedback or not, capable self-expression seems to require that the expressor have an audience in mind while they are expressing. For me, this means you. Other than a few friends whom I know have read at least some of my posts, my audience is unknown to me, thus I call you my “’imaginary real” audience. I do love seeing the occasional comment, but my analytics plug-in supplies about half of what I socially “need” to feel that I am participating, in the sense that I am at least motivated to complete a page a week of honed prose (with occasional poem). So, at worst, blogging is simply a tool, and you, my imaginary real audience, mere “prop(s) to occupy my time” (that really would be the worst, so I hope it doesn’t come to that! Objectifying persons is abhorrent!). Another point, definitely in favor of, me blogging.
If I keep it up for a year, I will have 52 pages of material, much of it containing sub-topics that could themselves be expanded into posts. At first, I was planning to blog once a month, thinking “I don’t really have the time”, but that seems insufficient, so I began posting my four-months’-worth of drafts weekly. I find that as I hone a post, I get ideas for new ones and sometimes quickly save just a title plus a sentence or two. Almost every day I refine existing drafts and/or create new ones. I try to keep 3 or 4 drafts scheduled in advance, and am trying to push that number upwards while adding to the draft pool. I’m thinking of going bi-weekly, not by just doubling my output but somehow incorporating additional cyberstuff. This blogging thing sort of feeds on itself. If I can keep my time investment low – daily practice makes me feel more efficient – I’ll be doing a lot of satisfying writing, a third point in favor of switching to a new phase in my life: me blogging.