"95% of bloggers don't have anything to say" - a friend of mine who doesn't know about this blog.
Is that true? Really? I think it's more like this: 95% of bloggers aren't saying anything my friend is interested in. There are millions of blogs on all manner of topics. I am not interested in most of them. And I'd say that over 95% of the people who read blogs are not interested in mine, either because of the topic or because of my opinions.
Several times a month someone comes to this old post via a google search on "women in Boy Scouts." I bet most of them click back out within a few seconds once they know my opinion on the topic. Never to return. That's the way it goes.
"Blogging is egotistical" - paraphrase of something I read on someone's blog, so long ago I've forgotten whose.
I didn't agree with that at first. Or maybe I did but thought "so what?" I guess any writing is egotistical: we are assuming someone wants to read it. Maybe it annoyed me because I don't want to think of myself as egotistical.
Then I read this:
"Writing is an act of ego, and you might as well admit it. Use its energy to keep yourself going."
Oh. OK then.
That's William Zinsser, in his wonderful book On Writing Well. He knows a little bit about writing, though he wasn't talking about blogging.
While I was writing this I came across Sarah's musings about friends and followers. Timely. She asks:
"Do you ever wonder how Facebook and blogging can affect our self-esteems, both positively and negatively?"
I wonder if it bothers people whose blogs I read and comment on if I don't follow them. I mostly stopped following blogs a while ago, just because I was tired of Google trying to link me up with everyone else on the planet. I use a reader to keep up with the blogs I like. It's huge! There are so many blogs in there.
Why do we want to have followers and why do we want others to see our followers? The other day I came across a blog that displayed the followers very prominently. Not in a sidebar, but across the content area of the blog. I couldn't read the post I was looking for (I'd come from a carnival or meme) till I got through the photos of all the followers. I have to admit I didn't scroll down. Just clicked back out. Which is kind of silly and childish, I suppose. I should have seen what the blogger had to say. I guess I just didn't want her ego shoved in my face.
I didn't notice if that blog was a money-making enterprise. That complicates blogging a little, I think. If we want to earn money, we need more readers to come and click links and buy things. I understand that and as you can see I dabble in it myself. I wouldn't rule out doing more. The lines between personal and commercial sites are becoming blurry. Is that good or bad? I think it's great to see moms making a little money. But I don't want to feel like nothing more than a potential customer at someone's blog. I wouldn't want anyone to feel that way here.
Blogging is fun for me. I want to write more and improve my photography skills and this is my venue right now. And like Sarah, I love the connections I form with other people through it. I agree that just by typing up these words and hitting publish I'm engaging in an act of ego. Of course I want people to come and read and comment and spend time in my company.
But I know everyone isn't going to enjoy it. People will click in and out. I'd love for you to stay. But I understand why you might not.