Sunday, September 6, 2009

what YOU said (in comments) about why YOU blog . . .



Well, I was blown away by the breadth and depth of your reasons for blogging, as articulated in your comments left on my last post.  Anyone who thinks blogging is a frivolous endeavour just has to read the following list of reasons why you, dear followers, blog - to discover that is not the case.  Your list demonstrates that we are a varied, diverse, multi-dimensional, intelligent, creative group of people.  So there!

Here are the reasons that you say you blog, that I culled from the paragraphs and paragraphs of comments:

  • to reach out

  • to communicate, share ideas

  • to learn, expand, know what others are thinking about

  • to challenge ourselves by encountering new ideas

  • to have our old ways of thinking challenged

  • for the camraderie

  • for the pleasure of writing down our thoughts

  • for the therapeutic value

  • to stretch our thinking

  • for the stories, poems, photographs, art, music, books, movies, reviews, ideas

  • for the good laughs we enjoy

  • to be able to compare our lives with others

  • for travel information

  • for historical information

  • to share and discover new recipes

  • for information on health and wellness

  • to store and receive family photos and updates

  • to help and be helped to attain goals

  • for mutual encouragement

  • to share expertise and talent, and benefit from expertise and talent of others

  • to be generous because while blogging we are not competing for resources

  • to express without being overpowered or interrupted

  • as a platform to share our creative ideas, artwork, crafts, photography, etc. etc.

  • to connect and converse

  • to explore our life's journey and progress

  • to compensate for lack of expression in our home environment

  • to feel included and not alone

  • to challenge our talents and improve our creative abilities

  • to honor the "invisible threads" that connect us all

  • to record our special moments

  • as a letter to home or about home to as yet unknown readers

  • as a journal that can be handed down to our children and grandchildren

  • as a means of better absorbing and understanding the moments of our lives

  • for the human connections

  • for the comfort of strangers

  • for the buzz that comes from interacting with like-minded people

  • to dance to the pulse and beat of life on the internet

  • to enjoy a sense of control over what, how, when, why we express ourselves

  • for company

  • as a safe way to interact because it is low risk and somewhat anonymous

  • as a way to network with other people in the same field of endeavor

  • as a way of sharing skills and knowledge

  • as a showcase where one can feature themself

  • to compensate for a narrowing of life for whatever reason

  • as a place to exercise empathy and understanding

  • to feel appreciated

  • as a way to be of service to others

  • as a way to express generosity of spirit

  • to dispel isolation

  • to have control over the connections we make

  • as a place to gather more knowledge

  • as a place where we can learn, help, share - at our convenience

  • as a place to test and validate our talents

  • as a way to not miss out on what is happening currently in the culture around us

  • to find an audience

  • to find love and affection

  • for the pure fun of it

  • for the possibility that blog-chums could become real world friends

  • to compensate for loss of community and connection in this busy world

  • to enrich our lives

  • to enjoy an interaction that is more honest than television

  • to take advantage of free, on-line learning opportunities

  • to "get out" without having to leave home

  • to meet fabulous, creative people

  • to get free group therapy

  • to be provoked into becoming more self-aware

  • to contribute to a world-wide pool of kitchen table wisdom

  • to be able to engage as much or as little as I choose

  • for the experience

  • to find and accept the gifts it has to offer

  • to keep a journal of, even "by" our pets

  • to stay in touch with actual communities of which we are a part

  • to keep the writing pump primed

  • for the sheer joy of laughter

  • to make sense of our situation - its virtues and imperfections

  • as an outlet to explore both inner and outer worlds

  • to record travel adventures and memories

  • to record life memoir gradually in posts on blog

  • to share different culture of our youth with our grandchildren

  • for virtual (even global) appreciation, encouragement, cudos, affection

  • as way to meet people from around the world, we may not otherwise meet

  • as a more comprehensive way to journal, with photos, drawings, etc.

  • as a forum to showcase people, artists, artisans we love and admire 

  • to offer a specific service e.g. using Blogger or photo-editing             
What a list!  If you think I have missed anything, just mention it in your comments and I will add it to the 80+ reasons already listed.

So if you ever find yourself wondering, "why on earth am I doing this", it could prove useful to review this list and see if you can find out what resonates for you and if it is still enough to keep you blogging.

Thank you so much for your candid participation.  This was rich!

27 comments:

  1. Fabulous posts! I blog for many reasons, one of which is that it seems much more real to me than the "news" delivered by talking heads. I believe we are healthier, stronger and much more engaged than the news sources would have us believe by their focus on only the negative events going on in the world. I also blog because I love to learn from my fellow human beings. Blogging is a fabulous, free on line class in so many topics I enjoy!

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  2. this is a fabulous post and I am so thrilled to have wandered over to tessa's today and thus, over here to you! YAY for blogging!! need I say more...?

    I blog for so many of these reasons you have listed but probably, at least right now, the main reason is because I am isolated due to illness and this "gets me out once in awhile" without having to leave home! But probably on top of that would be the fabulous, talented, inspiring, fun, funny, creative and on and on, bloggers I have met! I don't know where and what I would be doing without it AND them!

    blessings...

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  3. I'm with Leslie Avon Miller on this, Bonnie. I think this is group therapy on steroids. Shutz should be busting his buttons now....

    EFH

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  4. Hi Bonnie

    You have done an admurable job firstly in prompting the lively discussion and then in collating all of the suggestions. This why do we blog seems to be aperennial question that I have noticed circling in the blog wolrd. As new people come to use and love this medium many are asking the same questions of themselves. So perhaps that is another addition for your list: to be provokined into questioning my motivations...or becoming more self aware...


    Oh I've just thought of another one that runs parralel with your 'to be of service' and that is 'to contribute' to a world wide pool of kitchen table wisdom...

    Thanks Bonnie

    Happy days

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  5. Woops a typo flashed past me just then

    admirable

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  6. I just read your response to Nancy's Life in the Second Half blog and I just wanted to check out your blog! Your insights to Nancy's questions were so thoughtful and thought provoking! I was very intrigued by your responses...I'm just someone who shares similar beliefs and has similar curiosities so it was fun to read your thoughts! Thanks for sharing,
    meg

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  7. That is some list Bonnie!! and all powerful and valid reasons for blogging. You must have spent all day going through the comments to put this together. Dedication...incredible!!

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  8. phew! i need to take a deep breath here!
    this is my first real time to read and comment this week, so i am way behind in blogland ... oh dear ... that would be one of my quandaries about blogging ... can i, should i keep doing it if it is causing stress because i can't seem to 'keep up'? nah.

    so i have been asking myself questions about blogging this past week ... why? what for? how come? are you doing it for yourself or someone else? and here you are with this amazing list!

    i have found blogging an avenue for expression ... expression and sharing and giving, i suppose ... just an extension of living ... just a different mode ... a different means ... and we can take it or leave it or immerse ourselves at will ...

    there is one blog that i follow that does not allow comments, and you know i really kinda like it ... to be left with my own thoughts ...

    i believe there is a gift in everything if we are open to it ...
    i am here for now and grateful for all the insights and inspiration and simply the experience ...
    thanks bonnie for being the fuel for the flame!
    prairiegirl xo

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  9. What an amazing community! I count myself lucky to be a part of it.

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  10. Thanks so much for your generious cataloging of our reasons for blogging. It certainly dispels the generic claims that bloggers just discuss trival topics or mundane daily tasks. :-)

    It came up at a dinner I attended a few weeks ago, and someone asked me what I found interesting about blogging? She said she couldn't be bothered, and was way too busy. It would bore her. I almost laughed out loud, but of course, used my manners and merely smiled.

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  11. What a list Bonnie! So, now we know we're not a crazy lot after all. We are healthy, mostly well adjusted people who seek to learn and grow and connect through sharing ourselves and our worlds. Beautiful.

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  12. That is a fascinating list Bonnie, I think it might provide grist for an article in a professional journal, if you were so inclined.

    I blog for many of the reasons already given here. I enjoy writing and wanted to share some humourous stories, many of them about my unusual dog Lindsay.

    Discovering I had cancer changed the focus of the blog considerable, although I continued a commitment toward the original intent of the blog by dedicating Wednesdays to Lindsay stories.

    By the time it was discovered I had cancer, I was already used to sharing (to being healthily Transparent as Sidney Jourard would say) and when one of my doctors recommended keeping a journal, blogger seemed ready made for the purpose.

    The support and feedback I received from readers has been enormously helpful.

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  13. Hi, Bonnie--

    All the above apply to me. I'd add that the primary reason I blog is to stay in touch with my actual communities. My Kindergarten blog is written for the parents in my classroom, like the toner-on-paper classroom newsletter I used to write, but blogging permits better pictures and video content.

    My Mindful Heart blog is for the Sangha that meets in my house on Tuesday nights. So I meet a lot of my readers face-to-face frequently. That said, I REALLY value several of the purely (for now at least) online frienships I've made on my blogs. A few may become actual friendships and that thought thrills me.

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  14. One thing I get from reading blogs is the joy of laughter... as in "I had to remove the image I'd posted because Buddha was practicing Kama Sutra." I love the dialogue with people, the little thrill of excitement from seeing someone has a new post -- what are they thinking? What's new in their world? I blog to keep the writing pump primed so the words will always flow.

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  15. Thank you ALL, I have added your reasons to the list.

    Meri:

    I love the posts that make me laugh too. I have removed my description of what happened with the image I originally had on this post - to keep the post on subject. However it was so funny, I thought I would share it here.

    I went on Flickr to find an image about blogging. I found one in black and white of a desk, computer, and a little buddha statue beside the monitor. It was in a poster format with a description below that read "Kosmic Blogging - blogging with passion and compassion in "hyper" link." Something like that. Looked and sounded good to me. I have buddhas around my office so I liked the image.

    The image was up overnight - and when scrolling down to check comments, I stopped short . . . "Did I just see what I think I saw?" I squint up close to the screen and sure enough I discover that I have been duped! The buddha in the image is in a kamasutra pose with a woman so melded into his lap that she is barely (excuse the pun) visible! "Oh, surely not. I must be seeing things . . . no it is buddha doing kamasutra. A little buddha hoax on me."

    Did any of you, dear readers, notice it and just not say anything because you are too polite or you thought I might have wanted to add a little spice to my post? I have nothing against kamasutra, in fact one of my favorite CDs is "Various Positions" by Leonard Cohen! :) but never intended to use this blog as a kamasutra instructional tool. So, sorry folks, I removed it.

    But it did make me laugh!!

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  16. Bonnie, now that is some list of whys.

    Love Renee xoxo

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  17. Wow...that is truly varied. I laughed out loud at the group therapy but in reality, it kind of is group therapy..just not all sitting in a room. Almost every one I read I was shaking my head yes to...we just sometimes don't see things that way but that IS one of the joys of blogging...to open ones mind to other thought provoking ideas.

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  18. So, this is where it all began. I loved both your post about blogging from a theoretical point of view and the one with people's responses.

    Like Tessa, I am an expat and to me blogging is a way of making sense of my adopted city, its virtues and imperfections. It is also a way of exercising my restless creative mind, an outlet to explore both my inner and the outer world.

    I am so pleased to have wandered over to your cyber-house from Tessa's blog. Your space is fantastic, the images are amazing and the atmosphere makes one feel comfortable and at home. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  19. To embrace another from afar
    To be one's distant star
    Gifts of Self now known
    In word and image be shown.

    APOGEE Poet
    A dedicated blog...

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  20. I read your past few posts but did not comment. Now would like to add why I blog as I did not really see the reasons I blog in your list. My eldest daughter started a blog a couple of years ago as a way of sharing her life and pictures with us, but rarely received any comment. One cousin of my husband kept asking me to write my memoirs for my grandchildren so that my past would not be lost. I was thinking about writing a few pages of recollections but then my daughter told me to write them gradually as posts in a blog. She showed me how to start the blog. I came from France and my parents have passed on. My two grandchildren are babies but the culture on their father’s side is from India, they live in this country and not close to me. I am blogging now so that somehow when they grow up they can read my posts and understand the culture I came from. I started talking about my mother’s youth, in the future I’ll talk about my father’s youth which was not in Europe (but in Turkey and Egypt), then my youth which was very different than the youth my grand kids will have. I also have the travel bug and traveled to many countries so I like to talk about that, but I always try to give background information because to stay true to the blog, this should be meaningful information for the grandkids, not just tourism. I never thought that people would enjoy reading my blog. Since my daughter never received comments I was totally flabbergasted to get comments on my posts. I find now that I enjoy reading the comments and visiting other blogs because I have hardly any friends around me, so it is nice to have friends in the blog world. But my primary aim is to share my culture, my foreign background to my grandchildren (now 1 and 2 ½ years old) and to show them parts of the world they may not visit. Sorry this may be too long.

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  21. The list is very impressive. You did a lot of work compiling all the responses. Very interesting post!

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  22. Bonnie, you have done a wonderful job of compiling all the answers and succinctly listing them. I find many reasons listed akin to "why I blog". These were two great posts and I love the use of Schultz... he really was a great therapist!

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  23. Wow, that's an incredible list of reasons. Thank you for taking the time to put this together, Bonnie. Very interesting, and I believe many of those reasons are the same for me.

    My blogging is about making a commitment to myself to do ONE creative thing for at least a year, because I have trouble sticking with projects I've started. It's an attempt to "stick with a decision long enough to reap the benefits," as a wise friend says. I've been having some fits and starts, but I'm three quarters of the way through my year. When the year is over, I'll reevaluate.

    Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. I have not been consistent with my visiting, and I appreciate you coming over. xoxo

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  24. How enlightening! We just did this over at Maggie's (http://okayfinedammit.com/). She called her post Evolution of a blogger as what she has experienced is that the reasons we start and the reasons we continue may evolve.

    I think that is a solid bit of advice to revisit the reason you blog from time to time, because the blogosphere ebbs and flows and it doesn't always yield the results we anticipate or desire.

    Great bit of research! Nicely done :) Hope you are healing and well.

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  25. I just read the last post, and figured the best place to comment would be here. I blog because I can't not do it anymore. It's become a habit I can't break - nor do I want to. If I spend too much time not blogging I feel out of sorts. It's exercise for my mind. I find that I notice things much more now, everything is blog fodder so being mindful becomes important. Besides, I've always been a scribbler, I've been writing my journal since I was 12 and I'm 48 now. It's another way to write.

    Blogging started out as a lark, I had just discovered blogs and figured, hey, I can do that! So I tried it. And liked it. And acquired a few readers along the way, and read blogs and just got sucked in. And met some wonderful people along the way.

    Recently I hit a wall, I had nothing to write, nothing to say, and despite the fact that I've made it a rule to not blog about not having anything to blog about, I wrote about it because I knew that if I didn't just WRITE something, anything, I'd stop completely out of sheer apathy. I was overwhelmed by the encouragement and suggestions I received. And it jumpstarted my blogging again.

    I have met several fellow bloggers and people from forums. There have always been people to tell me "Watch out, you can be anyone you want online". Funny enough all the people I've met are exactly what I'd have figured them to be. I think, somehow, the anonymity of blogging, rather than encouraging people to be what they're not, has the opposite effect. People are way more authentic than if you met them, for instance, in a bar or other social setting where, whether you want to or not, you tailor your "personality" to the environment you are in. I've never had a bad "meet up" experience.

    And now I'll just shush and go chop the veggies for Mr. Jazz's pizza.

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  26. wow, that's a lotta reasons to blog! i just invited four bloggers to my home, three of them had to fly from another country to get here and one took the train from her other country. it was an absolutely fantastic experience and i will definitely be doing it again.

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  27. I feel amazed with your gateway into the noosphere and touched to my core x x x x x Mjs

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