Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Why do you blog?

Picture from Flickr/ciro@tokyo

I was prompted to start blogging in the first place by my attempts to help my mother record some of her memories. As she became more frail and unable to get about as much as she would have liked, I thought it would be a good way to keep her still very active mind occupied. She used to write her thoughts out longhand in an old exercise book, and I would type up her "stories" and print them out for her.

As time went on it became obvious there were all sorts of things she could tell us that weren't part of the collective family memory. I was recording some of these things but far from all. My blog was going to be a place for me to set down my own thoughts and memories - it seemed like a good idea at the time. I became diverted very rapidly when I started to translate Papillon's blog and became increasingly involved in the issues it raised. More and more people came to my blog to follow her story, and then I found what I liked best: meeting people, especially like-minded people, exchanging thoughts on subjects I found interesting, and hearing differing points of view.

I realise there are several other reasons people take up blogging:

To generate income though advertising.
To sell something - a book, art work, crafts.
To keep an online diary.
To keep in touch with friends and family.
To explain and interpret a subject whether an interest or a hobby.

The income generation/selling blogs will naturally want to attract the largest numbers of readers, but there are those at the other end of the scale who create the blog purely for their own entertainment but don't mind if anyone else reads it. In between are people who talk to a closed circle of friends.

I think I can understand all those motivations, and of course several can exist together at times. I am aware that there are some bloggers who neither reply to comments nor visit others' blogs, but I believe the majority welcome the interaction between people. For me the magic is that I can communicate as easily with people half way across the world as I can talk to my next door neighbour. I can learn about other countries, customs and cultures in a way that I never could as a tourist.

How did you start? And what keeps you going? I would guess that most of us blog to connect with other people in some way, or wouldn't you agree?


  1. I started because I wanted to feel good, on a daily basis. That's why I keep going, too. my blog is sort of "homebrew CBT" for me.

    I do feel good to know that I've brightened someone else's day, but by it's very nature, my blog is all about me and my life, which I realise could be hard for someone to "break into". Primarily I blog for myself. That's selfish, in a way, but I wouldn't be having nearly as much fun without my blog as I do with it.

  2. I started My Thai Friend as a travel diary. I didn't understand anything about blogging in those days, it was just a collection of my thoughts on places I visited.

    When people started to read it (after about one year) I realised I enjoyed the community that commenting and reading other peoples blogs generates.

    Now blogging is almost a way of life and I get withdrawal symptoms if I have to take a break!

  3. Haven't taken the plunge to do my own yet - don't think it would be of any interest to anyone, but I read them for the same reason I devour literature - curiosity - little peeks into someone else's life - and just occasionally to stick my oar in. I like the sense of community - of knowing someone you've never met - it's like having penfriends without the hassle of queuing at La Poste.

  4. @Solomon, your blog is excellent CBT for visitors too. I've never found it difficult to "break in" as you're friendly and welcoming. Though I know what you mean - some places have the feeling of being something of a clique.

    @Mike, that sounds very like the way I started and continued, though I'm quite looking forward to my upcoming holiday!

    @j, I've always been quite surprised you haven't a blog. It would be of interest, of that I'm sure. Yes, it's the sense of community that does it for me, ultimately. That's a good analogy - penfriends without the hassle. Yes, I like that. :)

  5. I just wanted to shout out my opinions, humble though they are, and in doing so have come across many good folks, usually of very differing opinions and lifestyles, who I just kind of like. Some I just enjoy coming back to, and this blog is one of those.

    It is strange to have comments from the USA, Singapore and Thailand, usually rude, on one post. However it does broaden the outlook, take you into others lives, and in general meet folk you would ignore in the street! Mind you, with one or two I still would! :)

  6. I began blogging because I love to write. It's a passion and I love visiting other blogs as well. I receive much inspiration and learn quite a bit by visiting other writers.

  7. I want to meet more people and make more friends from all over the world!

    Blogging has brought me friends and to many places and opens doors. :)

  8. @Adullamite, on the bad days I find the good folks make it all worthwhile. I love going around to see what other people are up to. And thank you for your visits. :)

    @PS, I'm not first and foremost a writer but I can see if you love writing, blogging gives boundless opportunities.

    @ECL, I think you've taken blogging to a new level, the world of celebrity!

  9. I think it's a combination of things for me- perhaps not all sorted out yet. I thought that my friends who are scattered across the country would be interested, but not one of them will pay enough attention to a computer to look at it, so I've made new friends.

  10. I started with the thought that I might work out some personal anxieties, but really couldn't reveal all of my thoughts and feeling regarding myself. Since the first blogs I started reading were political, because of a friend and research for a college class; much of what I read began to engage or either anger me, so my blog became more political.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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