I have been having a look at various blogs over the past few days, while I was having a ‘rest’ from posting items. These included the blogs of those who had been kind enough to follow mine, or send ‘likes’ of some of my posts. I also looked, at random, at some others, including the most popular WordPress efforts.
As usual, I have made a few snap decisions, and arrived at a few conclusions, in addition to those well-known ‘sweeping generalisations’.
A lot of blogs are trying to sell stuff. Courses, books, lifestyle products, recipes, health supplements, Religions; all of these, and more, have their stalls set out, by numerous bloggers. I don’t mean the spammers, these are mainstream blogs. They often approach the subject with subtlety, masquerading as a thoughtful, inspirational blog, one that may bring you comfort, or give advice. Read on, and you will soon discover that they are flogging their latest book, or trying to get you to sign up for something. I have found this to be disappointing. I must have been very naive, considering that bloggers had things to say, and ideas to share. Most do of course, that goes without saying, though the number who are blogging for profit, seem to be on an equal footing with those who are not.
Many blogs have a simply massive following, with likes and follows numbered in many thousands. Others have daily views well in excess of what seems feasible. Some bloggers follow dozens, if not hundreds, of other blogs. This must involve almost full-time blog attendance, trying to keep up with all the extra comments, follow-ups, and new posts. Indeed, many bloggers spend a lot of time ‘re-blogging’ the posts of others, without hardly ever adding a new post themselves. Other blogs are little more than photo diaries, not a bad thing, but they contain little content, save a description of the place photographed, and some ideas about where to travel to next.
Some use the blogs as testing grounds, for novels, works of non-fiction, or as a marketplace to be discovered in. They put out a few trial chapters, a synopsis perhaps, and open themselves up for world-wide criticism, or praise. This is very brave, and is to be admired. However, few of us have the time to read 2-3,000 words of a new book idea, so I am left to presume that they are hoping that publishers will be scanning these pages.
Blogging spans all social classes, races, ages, and countries. That is the best thing about it. From a 16 year-old girl in the USA, to an elderly man in Indonesia, all can have their say, and all are equal on the blogs. This is an equality not enjoyed in other aspects of life. Simple access to a computer, connected to the Internet, enables people who may be unable to travel for various reasons, to share their lives, and experiences, with anyone on the planet. It’s fantastic stuff, if you pause to think about it for a while.
So, non-blogger, my advice is obvious Start a blog. It doesn’t matter if hardly anyone ever reads it, it will be your electronic testament, and there for anyone to see. It will be cathartic, and fulfilling, in ways that you could never have imagined before. For those already blogging, you know what I am going to say. Stop selling stuff, it isn’t Ebay! Otherwise, well done all of you. You have taken a step that you will never regret.