What’s the big deal about blogging?

It’s a funny thing, this blogging business. I have some thoughts about it that have been swirling around lately, and I wanted to finally share some.

It used to be that people kept journals or wrote letters to chronicle their existence. Now, we plaster it across the Internet through a multitude of social media. We use Instagram to record every meal, Twitter to announce our most recent location, and Facebook to…. well… share everything a second time. We use Pinterest to build future dream houses with closets full of designer clothes and plan the perfect wedding even after our own is over. We create blogs to have perpetual soapboxes.

And obviously, since I am writing this on my own blog, I am a lover of social media. I don’t pretend otherwise nor do I advocating living under a rock and missing out on all the fun ways to connect that are out there. Except Twitter. I just don’t get that one. It’s like a stressfully crafted Facebook status without any of the gratification of likes or comments. What’s the point? If you follow me, I will lead you nowhere.

But lately I have been thinking more about the point in blogging. And where better to find some things on this subject than on some blogs. Rebekah wrote a good post about “crafting” rather than “spewing” and Fran wrote one that was good in so many ways that I don’t even know where to start. In it she reminded people who blog to remember why they do it.

I’ve been thinking about that lately. Though it isn’t a huge commitment, it does take time to write posts, curate and upload images, and respond to comments. Why am I taking time away from other stuff to do that?

I know what I am not doing it and that is to make money.  This is a little blog, with a small readership, in a tiny corner of the Internet. I like it here. I realize there are people who become professional bloggers and I even read some of their blogs. But someday, I would like to have kids, and I don’t think I would be comfortable with making money off of other people looking at pictures of my family’s most private moments. I don’t want to ever have to share certain things, or not share other things, because I am somehow getting money from this hobby.

But as to this blog’s purpose, the simple answer is that I like doing it. There is something soothing about sorting through the thoughts, moments, tastes, and impressions of everyday life and then sharing those ones that others might appreciate as well. Life happens quickly, and currently my everyday life is lived very far from a lot of people that I love.  Here, I get to catch some of the best parts of everyday and hold on to them, sharing them through this little space.

So yes, blogging is trivial, like all the rest of social media. But that doesn’t necessarily make it pointless. My dad, an Old Testament scholar who loves all things pertaining to building monuments to remember things, described our impulse to document so well: “Photographs, souvenirs, journals and, yes, blogs, are not just trivia floating on the sea of social media; they are small but powerful sacramental moves against the tide of darkness and loss of life.”  We share everything an attempt to lose nothing.

Of course, if we are too busy commemorating life to live it fully and be fully present, that is maybe even worse than forgetting it. I know that I can be tempted to fall in to this trap, to want to share something too personal, or to be so distracted taking pictures of something to enjoy it. Luckily for me I married James, who is all too happy to remind me to stop documenting life and focus on living it. If we ever get to the point where I can’t do both, then I’ll quit blogging.

I also blog because I like reading other blogs. I’ve mentioned some of my favorites before and linked to them in the side bar, but here are a couple that I have to give a special note to because they do such a good job of living and sharing life.

  • Amanda’s blog is one of the few “mommy blogs” that I enjoy. Now before my friends with babies get all upset – if I know you, then yes, I do enjoy seeing pictures of your baby and hearing about what they can do now. But I don’t tend to read stats about babies to whom I have no actual tie. However, even if you don’t know Amanda, she writes with such candor and grace that it’s worth reading.
  • Sharon’s blog always makes me laugh, and by that I mean the snorting sort of laugh where whatever you were drinking comes out your nose. I’m pretty sure we were supposed to be friends when we had one overlapping year at college and I don’t know how I missed it.
  • Jess’s blog always offers hysterical Bachelor chats, so even though I usually stick to blogs of people I know in person, I like heading over there each week for some girl talk.
  • Nancy’s blog because it is funny in the way that passes the milk test as well. The milk test, as referenced above by Sharon’s blog, is of course the one where if you were drinking milk while reading, would you randomly do the aggressive snort laugh where milk comes out your nose. Gross, but true.

So that’s all I have to say now on blogging. It sounds silly, but I really do appreciate the time that you all take to read and comment, and I try to respond to all of the latter. Over the past couple months there have been a couple changes around her, updating the “About” page (which still had wedding planning happening… thank goodness that is over) and adding a “Sample” page of posts that are a good place to start so you don’t waste time reading a blog you don’t like. Thanks for sticking around.

Any thoughts on blogging from y’all, especially those who blog themselves?

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22 Responses to What’s the big deal about blogging?

  1. Mark Hays says:

    In industry, blogging is being used to publish research that is not sufficiently novel to be patented or otherwise published in an online journal like developerWorks. To this end, the social media aspect is useful because it creates transparency in the peer review process. In some respects, blogging is even better than traditional peer review because the comment section stays open indefinitely, so people can later re-evaluate the original work. I suppose authors could keep personal journals online for similar reasons.

    • Hannah says:

      “research that is not sufficiently novel to be patented or otherwise published in an online journal” love that…. so true about so many blogs!

      But I do agree that blogs/ all social media are awesome for businesses, especially small ones, in regards to helping them establish themselves in the word.

    • This is my primary reason for blogging. It is in part common place book (to do away with the anxiety of forgetting something read) &, perhaps more importantly, a way to test thoughts first in the process of writing, then in response. Posts are dynamic — they can be tweaked, even removed — so one is more likely to be brave with one’s words.

  2. Rebekah says:

    Those thoughts from Fran were great. I especially liked the “anticipation” point– it’s much better to have a few good posts than a lot of “oh gosh, I better write something on my blog!” posts.

    • Hannah says:

      I know — she is pretty much exactly on it and awesome all the time.

      I understand the anticipation, though I also get disappointed when a blog never updates, or goes a month between posts, since I like reading shorter ones then ones that are wayyyyyy too long.

      I personally like to update every couple days because my goal was regular connection with people. That being said, this frequency could lead to posts that sound like they are there just to be there, though I hope that isn’t the case!

  3. joan says:

    My reason is also… that I like doing it. My daughter who lives very far away (3000 miles), said to me not to ever take it down. It’s a connection.

  4. Liz says:

    I like the idea of blogging as a shared scrapbook of sorts. Maybe that will motivate me. I am a miserable blogger.

  5. tina says:

    I think blogs are today’s version of a cultural artifact. Defined as: an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest. Some day people from another time will read a blog and have a unique understanding of that time period. While a blog is not tangible in is certainly an authentic slice of culture and provides a historical timeline. A piece of pottery can give us a clue into aspects of a civilization but a blog can truly tell a story,your personal story as well as the time and people group in which you interact. I think blogs, should they continue, will in 30-40 years provide our children and grandchildren with a better connection to their familial past as well as the world at that time and place. Blogs are: personal, cultural, historical, connecting, valuable artifacts. (I know your dad might disagree that a blog has more cultural value than a piece of pottery, so I’ll defer to his expertise when it comes to pottery artifacts! :) )

  6. Nancy says:

    Hey, thanks for the shout out!! I’ve been thinking about doing a post where I talk about my favorite blogs and obvi, yours will be on there :-)

  7. Sharon says:

    Omgaaaah fame! Fame! It feels just like I imagined.

  8. Jess says:

    You are so stinkin’ sweet to include my in this post! Thank you!

  9. E. Henry says:

    Very well stated, Hannah. I love your dad’s quote! You present the perfect balance between enjoying and sharing life experiences with others. <3

  10. angie stone says:

    I am soooooo glad that you blog because I can learn your thoughts and activities while at the same time be incredibly proud of the talented writer and philosopher you have become. That being said, yes, I do think that your generation spends too much time reading internet things and less time on employment.

  11. I feel the exact same way! This is excellent. Sometimes I wonder what the point of all of this is, but I love writing and sharing my stories and keeping track of memories that I would probably forget otherwise. It’s taught me so much about my style and the things I think are important, and it’s also helped me craft my own writing voice. Thank you for sharing.

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