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Why do you blog? What do you get from it and what value do you think you provide?

(39 Posts)
DillyTante Wed 14-Nov-12 20:22:21

So I was trawling through the comments on the daily mail website in response to the Liz Jones article, I know, I know. It was completely soul sapping. A lot of bile against bloggers, and against mothers and children bizarrely, given that everyone was a child once and they all had mothers.

Anyway, I started to feel quite defensive and despondent. Bloggers have had quite a negative reaction on here too, and it's made me start questioning it.

I want to know what you think:
Why do you blog?
What do you get from it?
Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?
Why should people be interested in what you write?
Do you care if they are not?
If you blog just for you why do it publically?
What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?
Do you feel defensive about blogging?

Sorry, that's a lot of questions, I just wonder if you are proud of blogging, or if its your dirty little secret, a bit like Mumsnet. I felt so buoyed up by BlogFest but now feel a bit flat. Urgh, I think I just need to have a shower after being too long on the Daily Hate website.

DillyTante Wed 21-Nov-12 21:30:41

Blog Hop, sorry, link went wrong!

Trills Wed 21-Nov-12 21:31:19

Am I supposed to provide value?

What, to other people?

Er...

Trills Wed 21-Nov-12 21:32:07

I blog under my real name, and try to keep it separate from my MN name, so it's definitely less of a "little secret" than MNing!

Trills Wed 21-Nov-12 21:33:37

Actually it's not that separate, I tell MN people about my Twitter but I dont tell RL people about y MN life, if that makes sense

DillyTante Wed 21-Nov-12 21:34:11

"Am I supposed to provide value?"

Well if you want to get hits you do and most blog advisers assume that is your aim, even if it isn't.

FlipFantasia Wed 21-Nov-12 22:23:14

Dilly I didn't know you could do linkytools with wordpress! So I've entered my link, to see if it worked, and it did - you magic blogging lady you! Anyway, I've blogged the link and will tweet it too. I'll look forward to reading more bloggers writing about it smile

Alreethinny Wed 21-Nov-12 23:00:15

What a really interesting post, I've loved reading everyones replies and links.

So here goes with mine.

Why do you blog?
Probably the predictable answer of that I love to write. I write stories, I have words constantly buzzing around inside my head but I don't feel comfortable with sharing my words. So I set myself a challenge to keep a blog, although made a point of not telling any friends or family, outside of my offspring or husband.

What do you get from it?
Enjoyment. I love the writing process, pure and simple, the community aspect of blogging and I love to read other people's blogs. 2 of my offspring also regularly read my blog and at first this felt weird, but now I enjoy their feedback. If I drop down dead tomorrow, they will have my blog as a different perspective on their loving mother. A strange, disjointed, mundane perspective perhaps.

Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?
I would say my blog is totally trivial really. When I started the blog I put in categories to blog about, one of those being Aspergers. I intended to blog about the difficulties encountered by my Dd who has Aspergers. I've got drafts, I've got completed posts, about self harm issues, teenage depression, bullying, attempted suicide, self esteem issues, a whole host of jolly topics, but I don't feel comfortable putting them on my blog yet. I have to deal with those issues as part of our family life. Its a door I'm going to walk through one day, as the information might be helpful to someone else coping in those situations, but I can't quite face it yet. Its not because I want to keep the blog all light and cheery, one of my earliest posts was part of the Mn We believe you campaign, so I don't have a problem discussing serious issues. And yes its perfectly ok to be trivial.

Why should people be interested in what you write?
Without wanting to sound uncaring, I'm actually not bothered if people aren't interested in my blog, I write it selfishly for me. It's quite an eclectic mix, it would be a totally different type of blog, if I was writing it to interest other people. Its lovely though when people are interested and I've learnt so much from reading other people's blogs, that I hope I'm able to return the favour, even if it is only suggestions for hen snacks or the scenic excursions of playmobil figures.

Do you care if they are not?
In all honesty I don't care, that sounds terrible when I write it down, but if they aren't interested in what they are reading, don't click on the blog, life is too short.

If you blog just for you why do it publicly?
I blog publicly because that was part of my challenge to myself, it takes me out of my comfort zone. I try to blog anonymously, but I'm not that naive to assume I am totally anonymous and always ask my offsprings approval, before I blog anything about them and they can veto any images used.

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?
Probably none!
I would like to think I am contributing greatly to the world's understanding of our American/Geordie parenting experiment and increasing the knowledge of visitor attractions in N.E, to aid the local economy. Plus all my chuntering about hens, must be some use to someone.

Do you feel defensive about blogging?
Yes, because it takes time from other things. I felt very defensive about it when a friend informed me she'd found it (stalking) and that it was very 'random'. I felt narked for about a week, then wondered why she was surprised it was random, its me who writes it and she knows me quite well. Now whenever she mentions my blog, I just call her my stalker.

ThatDudeSanta Mon 03-Dec-12 14:18:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I am pleased i found this thread. I don't tend to get upset about anything Liz Jones says, because she will hate on absolutey everything and anything. But her hypocricy on this occasion took a big chunk out of my tolerence. After all, she is paid b y the DM to, well, blog!

Why do you blog?
I blog for myself. As someone who suffers from mental illness i use it as a theraputic form of self management. It gives me a sort of clarity once it's written and i can always go back and read it. I also blog so that friends and family can keep up to date and gain a better understanding. My blog is open to anyone who wants to read it. I am not ashamed pf my illness.

What do you get from it?
Therapy. It eases my very troubled mind to get it all out in the open. I also don't have to tell anyone directy about it, something which i could really struggle with.

Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?
Trivial things to normal people are generally experienced as 1000x worse for me. Althugh it is something i am working on.

Why should people be interested in what you write?
Realistically, they have the choice of whether or not they read what i write. But from a political point of view it is time we all faced up to mental illness and break the taboo.

Do you care if they are not?
Yes and no. Thats a tough one. As it's generally quite a dark blog, there are some things my friends and family may find upsetting to read. But if it's a case of total strangers then i am neither here nor there.

If you blog just for you why do it publically?
Because it might inspire someone to change the way they look at mental health. It could also inspire someone who thinks they might be mentally ill to face up to it and get the help they need.

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?
I am adding nothing of value to the world. What i am adding value to is a wealth of knowledge for those close to me or those who choose to read.

Do you feel defensive about blogging?
Again, i am usually neither here nor there. But with my mental illness comes a change in opinion, more often than not. Today i am indifferent, tomorrow i could come back and contradict every answer i have given.

If anyone would like to, you can view my blog here. Although you don't have to.

http://manicmollymorrison.blogspot.co.uk/

lolilolilou Mon 03-Dec-12 23:59:07

Hi
I'm faily new to the blogging thing but they are excellent questions

Why do you blog?
Because when i don't write i get restless so i guess it's therapeutic

What do you get from it?
I love writing and i the feedback i get is brilliant even when its not positive

Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?
Sometimes - the world would be a very dull, serious place without trivial

Why should people be interested in what you write?
I write about whatever is bugging me that day, or what i've been chatting with my friends about. If we find it interesting someone else might too

Do you care if they are not?
No - they don't need to read it

If you blog just for you why do it publically?
Because i tried writing a journal and couldn't do it, putting in online just makes it more tangible so i can read what i've written and feel a sense of achievement

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?
I'm not sure, i just like to get my ten penneth worth in and if people do get value from it then im thrilled

Do you feel defensive about blogging?
Not at all, if people don't like blogs/my blog they don't have to read it!

socialistfeministscientistsoapbox.wordpress.com/

lolilolilou Tue 04-Dec-12 00:03:57

mollydoublybarrely i really enjoyed reading your blog

EleanorGiftbasket Tue 04-Dec-12 08:30:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Tue 04-Dec-12 14:37:12

What a great post, I've really enjoyed reading the replies.

Why do you blog?

Because I enjoy writing, and also the community that comes with blogging, I've met some great people through it who have become genuine friends.

What do you get from it?

On a practical level, money. I do it for a living. On a personal level, it does give me a sense of achievement, and I enjoy the writing and editing process. I also enjoy all the backroom stuff - tweaking the theme, fiddling with code etc.

Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?

Yes, sometimes it is, and that's okay. Not everything that appears on the internet has to be of earth shattering importance. There's a place for the fun and mundane stuff too.

Why should people be interested in what you write?
Do you care if they are not?

I don't think they should, but I hope some people are. I don't really care if people aren't interested in what I write, a lot of it is quite obscure and random, so it would be surprising if I appealed to the majority of people. And as far as I know, no one has ever been forced to read my ramblings.

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?

Not sure ... I suppose I could say that a lot of my posts are practical guides, so I have helped people find answers to problems they had. Of course, many of those people are bloggers, so it's a kind of self-perpetuating thing.

Do you feel defensive about blogging?

No, not all. I'm very proud of it. I've been blogging since about 2001, I feel a sense of accomplishment for sticking at it for so long. I do feel protective of it though, especially when I see figures in the mainstream media criticising or belittling bloggers.

On last week's QT Charlotte Church commented that bloggers are the modern day equivalent of people who used the early printing presses to publish pamphlets - I think that is true. And not all those people used the new technology to publish worthy thoughts about politics and religion. Some people published recipes, or household manuals, or poetry ... and historically those publications are very valuable, they tell us a lot about life at the time.

Saying all that, I don't feel any animosity towards LJ - she would make an excellent blogger, she's very think skinned and writes brilliant comment bait.

Just started up a new blog would appreciate any advice you've got on what I could do to improve: heavenlyveganbaking.wordpress.com

So to answer your questions:
Why do you blog?
I've just become a vegan (within the last few months) and I'm finding it challenging adapting my diet. Also I can never find vegan food in cafes/restaurants (especially desserts, which I love), and so have taken up baking to make myself feel better about this. Also I like baking. I wanted the recipes to be public because then other vegans/vegetarians can also use them as there aren't many options out there for us vegans when it comes to eating out.

What do you get from it?
It's fun, my friends and family now know where to go to make me a birthday cake and I love looking at statistics too.

Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?
For a lot of people it'll be irrelevant for them because they're not vegan (or lactose intolerant), but some people are also vegan and like me, make a lot of their own desserts and things, so they seem to like it.

Why should people be interested in what you write?
People get into fixed habits with their food, I want to challenge myself to make something new, and hopefully do the same for others. Also it's a nice way to work through the issues of turning vegan with other people who are experiencing the same thing. I don't actually know that many vegans so it's sort of like finding an online mentor/community.

Do you care if they are not?
Yes and no, but it is really nice when people who I have never met before go to my blog, find a recipe they like, make it and enjoy it. I've had comments from people who have made some of my recipes and have really liked the results, so that's incredibly satisfying. But obviously, vegan baking is not for everyone...

If you blog just for you why do it publically?
Hopefully I've already covered that? smile

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?
Not much, but it's the simple things like getting a positive response from someone who has tried one of my recipes that really make me happy.

Do you feel defensive about blogging?
A little, because I love reading other people's blogs, hearing their thoughts and ideas, picking up a few recipes to try etc. It's a lot more personal than going to somewhere like BBC good food, it feels like someone is actually recommending something to you specifically.

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