I made this attempt to explain my weblogging on my main weblog, Girl in Black, a few weeks ago. But I’m only marginally okay with it.
I would trace my weblogging progression like so:
Girl in Black (main weblog) & 47901 (journalblog): 2000-2002
The Path of Wrong (semi-anonymous/private weblog): 2002-2004
Girl in Black (main weblog, repurposed as a photoblog/poetryblog): 2004-2007
@girlinblack on Twitter (microblog): 2006-present
Girl in Black (main weblog, resurrected): 2013-?
Running in parallel with that is my LiveJournal usage, all friends-only journals, since 2003. I am still semi-actively posting/reading on the second LJ I created, a permanent account, even though most of the people I know from LJ have moved on to other social networks. Those accounts have names which cannot be tied back to me whatsoever. I made sure of that. Very sure.
Why do I blog? First, it’s easy. Especially Twitter: sending off a text is so quick. When I spent my days and night in offices, firing up a Blogger post window was trivial. Once I figured out how to send photos from my smartphone in 2004, weblogging became fun for me again, and only when I started revving up the graduate school folly did that slow down.
Second: it’s fun to have an audience. I still have people reading me regularly who I met online in 2000. That blows my mind sometimes. The downside: I have an audience, and sometimes what I post sets them off (and not in a good way).
Third: it’s a way to keep the writing instrument fresh. Tweet composition really helped me hone my poetic line. I’m grateful for that. Ripping apart articles from my college newspaper also employed critical analysis for the lulz.
Fourth: it helps me to meet people! One guy stopped on a cross country trip from Minnesota to … somewhere, I forget, and hung out with me for a few days. That makes me smile thinking about it. I met lots of people from Purdue and Virginia Tech elsewhere thanks to my weblog and my Twitter feed. It’s like a digital calling card.
Fifth, and maybe final: I need an outlet for expression. Weblogging is one of my outlets. Sure, writing poetry is what I’m academically trained to do, but weblogging is something I trained myself to do while kicking around in academia. I can look back at my weblog/Twitter archives and remember things about my life when I was writing that I would not be able to remember otherwise. And sometimes I just need to nail down a moment in text and look at it later, with unbiased-by-time eyes.