Monday, June 25, 2007

Why We Blog

Darren Naish pricked us with the latest self-replicating blogger bug: Why blog? So I'll start our reply (a brief one in my case) and let Reid and Steve follow up.

First, this question is worthy of a real essay. Mary's was wonderful from a few months back, though I couldn't find it to link (Mary?). So are others I've read around the blogroll. Many have given this some good thought.

My own reasons are obvious and unflattering and best kept short.

I blog to make comment in a public space, albeit one generally tolerant of my views.

I blog to be in company with two very smart guys I admire.

I blog to clear my head and my arguments, using the imagined reaction of you readers to help trim the fat.

I blog for the elusive feeling of having said what I meant to say, at least once in the course of my day.

The larger value of blogging to me is the community of interesting, often brilliant and surprising people who come to share our orbit. Knowing that with a click or two I can get as much of the culture, biology, politics, instruction, humor, paranoia and poetry I'm likely to need on my coffee break is a great comfort. And a great extender of coffee breaks.



John Carlson said...

Hi Matt,
One of my favorite responses to this question is from Pohanginapete
on March 21, 2007 - "When Xuanzang said, "Who would wish to enjoy it alone?" he spoke of human knowledge [1]. But the desire to share extends far beyond knowledge; it includes, particularly, the emotions, and arises, I think, largely from the deep urge to be understood. Even the enjoyment of solitude can be enhanced by the knowledge that later you'll be able to share what you felt with others. With friends, including family; with people who understand, even if you've never met in person. Is this why I write and photograph? To share, and therefore be understood? Perhaps partly, but I like to believe my motivation's also less selfcentred; that some of the people who read what I've written and see what I do in some of my photos will feel that they, too, are understood. They'll understand that here's someone just as human as they are, asking similar questions, doubting similar things, and they'll feel a little less alone."

Matt Mullenix said...

Hi John,

I agree the need to be understood is basic and a big part of this medium.

And there's probably more, for those who see themselves as writers: not just to be understood, but to put one's stamp on the idea.

If this second motivation doesn't squash the first outright, it sometimes snaps on like a Tupperware lid with a satisying "pop."

A good blog does that like no other medium.

mdmnm said...

Great post! Perfect and perfectly succinct.

Anonymous said...

Thanks md-!