Thursday, March 08, 2007

why i blog/why i don't blog - point/counterpoint...

i've been tagged by bridget to post 5 reasons why i blog.
in the spirit of doing more than asked of me, i will extend the post to cover why i don't blog - as a way of explaining my recent blog drought...

why i blog

i think is a set of intertwined reasons...in no real order...

1. i am a dabbler. dabbling can be viewed either as a positive (wow, he's a renaissance man) or a negative (he's not serious, he has a short attention span, it's just a phase). for me, i think i am somewhere in the middle, where i usually appear. two things help - i am a quick study and curious about a wide range of things. i think in a professional context, dabbling has served me well - esp. in my current job as a professor...but also in previous contexts - i am versatile... so while i might not be an "expert" in anything, i am (at the risk of sounding immodest) at least pretty good in a bunch of things... so, there may be experts that know more about databases than me and designers that know more about web design, i am pretty sure that i'm much stronger in web design than most db experts and much stronger in db than most web design experts... in my job now, i teach a wide range of classes - wider than most - for a number of reasons, size of faculty, etc - but in general, my versatility is valuable

so, what does this have to do with blogging...well, blogging is one more of the things i dabble with - and a way to document my other dabblings...and blogging ought be at least dabbled with by professionals in my field

2. i am very shy in real life. it takes me a long time to get to know people. i don't meet new people often. i generally do much better relating to people in formal contexts - i.e. i might be the only person on earth that would have less of a problem giving a presentation to 50 strangers than to make small talk at a party with someone i didn't know well. blogging gives a degree of safety to my communications

3. tell someone a funny joke, and the first thing they'll do is tell it to someone else...if you have a bad day, you want to tell someone about it. it is human nature to want to share/vent. i think of my blog as a way to scratch this itch without boring to tears people around me that may or may not be interested in some specific interest of mine.

4. my blog is a sandbox. a way i have practiced technical skills. i doubt if i would know as much about css without creating/maintaining a blog. in the past, i've used my site to play around with flash, photoshop, and most recently photography and image manipulation. could i have done any/all of these things without blogging - sure - but the having a real audience is valuable - plus the sense of keeping up a block forces the issue sometimes....

5. connecting! face it, for the most part, blogging provides a way to connect with people. for the most part any of the things i described i could do offline, yet, what would be missing is the interaction - i have *met* and gotten to *know* at least on some level so many wonderful people i would not otherwise had a chance to connect with. while i know that it is a different kind of connection - it is still a connection with other people - something everyone needs to some degree or another - something that is sometimes lacking for me...

why i don't blog

ok i just emailed kristin yesterday a bunch of reasons why i haven't been blogging lately - speaking of strange loops - a blog entry about not blogging...

not blogging for me, i think, is a huge negative feedback loop...

a. i'm real busy this semester - essentially working 1.5+ times a full load
b. really have nothing to say
c. really don't feel compelled to blog (having nothing to say never
stopped me before)
d. if anything, feel like communicating via pictures - these seem to
attract little interest..
e. not getting much feedback when i do blog - on the rare ocassion
when i do blog - the blogosphere responds with a giant ho hum.... same
thing with posting pictures to flickr - i am not starving for
attention (well, maybe i am...a bit) but to connect with people is one
of the reasons i do this...
f. typical feb/march SAD
g. garden variety depression...
h. when not depressed - feeling - uh, i don't know - apathetic in
general, resigned, melancholy... and not even in a *bad* way.... just
in a way that is neither cheerful nor loquacious...

all these things have an insidious effect on each other... that i
don't blog often and don' t really have much to say when i do means
less folks are reading and am less likely to get feedback on the rare
ocassions i *do*say something that is worthwhile... which further
decreases motivation, depresses me, makes me less likely to use what
few precious minutes of free time blogging....and the cycle continues
- you can connect all the rest of the dots... to complete the feedback


ok, i tag kristin , and jen and anyone else that still reads and cares to...


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