Thursday, October 19, 2006

Why Do We Blog?

I'm giving a presentation in about nine hours to a group of professional communicators here in Fargo. The topic of the presentation is blogging. I thought I was ready, but I was awakened in the middle of the night with this question in my head: Why Do I Blog?

I know I'll be able to create an open dialogue with the group - I'll tell them what I know about blogging (which, as I do a little more research here, I find I still have a LOT to learn) and will welcome their questions and we'll learn a lot together.

But there is so much more out there I don't know. What are the advantages of using Blogger? What are the advantages of using TypePad (or any of the other blogging services)? When I met Vint Cerf (see a previous post about that), he wanted to know what I wanted Blogger to do for me (I didn't know until then that Google owned Blogger). I didn't even really know how to answer that question because there are so many things I don't even know I don't know. Help me understand more about Technorati tags and De.lic.i.ous and RSS feeds and all those other cool tools that exist to help bloggers make a bigger impact.

Can my little Blogger.com-hosted blog make a dent in the blogosphere without all the fancy bells and whistles?

I'd love to hear from others out there. Let's see how far we can reach. The sky doesn't have to be the limit. Forward these questions to others in your circle and let's start a huge dialogue.

1) Why do you blog?
2) How has blogging affected you personally?
3) How has it affected your business?
4) What service do you use for your blog and why?

9 Comments:

At 4:21 AM, Blogger Frank said...

Why do I blog?
I blog because of two reasons. Firstly, writing down my thoughts helps me think more clearly and it forces me to structure my thoughts. Secondly, blogging allows me to share my thoughts to a wide audience and get feedback on it, without any effort of asking anyone.

How does blogging affect me personally?
It makes me happy. I used to contribute on discussion forums (related to work) quite a lot which took a lot of my private time. Since I blog (and read RSS feeds), it's less time but more quality time.

How has it affected my business?
I don't blog for business, although I do blog about my profession (but also my private interests). I do not actively promote my blog - have a look and read it, will you?

Hopefully, my blog has a positive impact on my reputation - being a software development consultant I depend on my reputation - but I haven't seen any evidence that it does. Nor have I any evidence that it hurts my reputation.

What service do I use, and why?
I use blogger.com because that's the first one I encountered as free blogging service. I stick to it because that's where people know to find my blog.
But, I do miss a number of features that (I think) other blog providers do offer, such as:
- categories
- keyword tagging
- tag cloud

I have tried Technorati tags, but I takes me too much effort and I fail to understand what added value it gives. Blogger beta offers labels (similar to the labeling at gmail) but I haven't switched yet.

For feed reading I use bloglines (www.bloglines.com). The advantage is that I can access it on any computer with internet access - as a consultant I work at different places. That's also how I read your blog, which I like a lot!

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Heather Mundell said...

I blog because I have little snippets to say and not enough discipline or interest to write a regular ezine. I do love to write. Before I started blogging I was curious about what was happening in the blogosphere and curious about what kind of sense of community I would or would not experience if I joined in.

I love the flexibility and spontaneity of blogging. Big thoughts, small thoughts, every day or every two weeks - I just blog when I feel like it.

I blog to serve my clients and prospective clients. In the process bloggin also serves me.

Blogging has been a great connection tool for me. I've gotten to know people because of my blog and because of their blog. I've formed partnerships with people that I met in the blogosphere. Blogging has been good for business.

I use TypePad because it was recommended and their basic package (about $5 a month) seemed nicer than Blogger's. I've been very happy with TypePad.

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger Jodee said...

Frank & Heather:

Thank you so much for your comments! I, too, have met SO MANY people because of my blog. I'll look forward to reading each of your blogs and adding you to my list of blogging friends!

Jodee

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger starbucker said...

Great questions Jodee - here's my take: I blog because I love the connections and conversations that have come of it, and because I've found out I just like to write. Blogging has expanded my world and my friendships, and that's a wonderful thing. I have distinctly separated my blogging with my work, and that works for me. I use Blogger for now (because a friend was using it at the time I started) but all my new friends are telling me I need to change to TypeKey or WordPress - although I'd be interested in how this "new" Blogger works. All the best Jodee, and stay tuned for my review of your book this week!

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Lisa F said...

Jodee:

Having listened to and participated in (isn't that the best: when the line between "you" and "me" is blurred/shared/reversed?)your presentation on blogs/blogging, I never would have guessed that you had been up at 3:00 am the night before, obsessing. Ya done good, girl!

And, speaking as a non-blogger, I now have to admit to a greater understanding, and an even greater mis-understanding of the medium and it's power.

Thanks for sharing, and creating more questions to ponder!

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger Jodee said...

Starbucker and Lisa: Thank you so much for your comments here! I can't wait to see the review, Starbucker - and thanks for adding to the wisdom here. Lisa - I look forward to working with you in our own community on future projects! You are pure inspiration!!

Jodee

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Simonne said...

1. I blog because I enjoy it. I like to share amazing things that I discovered and I'm glad when others benefit from my discoveries.
2. It gives me a better focus.
3. It determined me to start a new business as blogging consultant
4. I use Wordpress because this was the first platphorm I heard about and I'm happy with it. It's easy to use, it has a lot of great plugins and themes available and it benefits from good support.

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Dr. Delaney Kirk said...

I started blogging because I thought that my 26 years of teaching at the college level gave me some tips I could share with other professors. However, I've found that the process of researching what to write about has (1) given me new ideas and tools for my own teaching, (2) introduced me to some really interesting people I would never have met otherwise, and (3) led to book sales and additional workshops. Plus, I think I'm addicted now to writing and reading other's blogs on a regular basis.

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger Jodee said...

Simonne & Dr. Kirk:

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here. I'm very interested in what we're all able to learn from each other in this wonderful blogosphere and it's especially encouraging to hear that you're able to learn things from others that give you more to teach to your students, Dr. Kirk, and to consider a new business in blogging consulting, Simonne. I'm excited to hear more from each of you regarding your insights and observations thanks to your (and others') blogs!

Jodee

 

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