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?