Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blogging or Slogging

Richard Jalichandra, chief executive of Technorati, reports in the New York Times that at any given time there are 7 million to 10 million active blogs on the Internet, but “it’s probably between 50,000 and 100,000 blogs that are generating most of the page views.” He added, “There’s a joke within the blogging community that most blogs have an audience of one.”

After nearly three years of active blogging, my best estimate is that my audience is such as to cause even my closest friends to wonder why I bother to pursue this activity. I do have at least one faithful reader, Stan of Palo Alto, an old friend and golfing buddy. I can always count on Stan to disagree with me on every single issue and position I take; sort of a point and counterpoint kind of thing. Other than Stan, there are several others who read out of kindness or shared beliefs and philosophies about some of the problems in the world or our lives, such as the problems caused by the various insensitivities of the George Bush regime.

But the real question is why I bother to continue slogging (Hey, I just invented a new, more realistic term for bloggers who suffer from the malady of small audiences). To be utterly candid, I ask that same question myself from time to time. I must mention that my original motivations were and are both different and several compared with the vast majority of bloggers who envisions attracting millions of avid readers and making the big bucks from this exciting new means of communicating with others. There has been a serious letdown from the hype that greeted blogs when they first became popular. Initially the thinking and hope was that no longer would writers toil in anonymity or suffer the indignities of the publishing industry, we were told. Finally the world of ideas would be democratized! This was the motivation that drove us. Some, of not most, early bloggers thought blogging was a fast path to financial independence, but have found themselves discouraged by the bitter reality that most others could care less about reading the writings of less than famous writers.

Others simply tire of telling their stories. So far, I haven't reached that point because, as I stated above, my motives for making this continued efforts are twofold; first, I view this activity as a means of communicating directly, either presently or at some point in the future, with my grandchildren. I want them to know about me, because, simply put, I know next to nothing about my grandparents. I have done things in my lifetime that I want them to know about so that they can learn from my experiences, so that they can understand that to really live life, perfection is not required and that one can benefit from the bad things that happen as well as the good. Life is one step at a time and sometimes these steps are taken backward, but there are always avenues to move forward. The other reason for continuing this blog is that I am writing my second novel. For eight years I have been working on the damn thing, and I find that my motivation wanders from time to time. This writer's block thing is real and the blogging effort has been helpful in getting me on a path of regular writing activity. I have turned the corner and am now actively engaged in the process off finishing the work.

When I write something I consider particularly clever or noteworthy, I notify or send a copy to a group of friends via e-mail. When I write something like this present blog, I do not do this, nor will I with this particular one. It will just be quietly placed
on the blog site (I might send it to Stan so he knows how much I appreciate having him as a friend).

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