I understand why blogging, as a concept, can be great. One can connect with a community that is physically far away. This can be your family in Virginia, while you are travelling the world. Great. It could be a political, social, or intellectual community that you are physically isolated from. It could be a community of fine china collectors who are the only ones that can relate to your passion for the exquisite porcelain from St. Petersburg, circa 1875. Great.
I am not organizing a revolution. I do not collect china. If my family wants to know about the adventures of living in rural western Virginia, then they can just call me. And so, what am I getting from blogging? And what I am giving to the blogosphere?
As someone who has only ever written 1 ½ blogs, the following is my uneducated and ill-informed interpretation of what’s wrong with blogging.
(1) People feel ever so very important about themselves. Pathetic. (See similar sentiment expressed by The Reluctant Blogger.)
(2) People become more isolated instead of exposed to new ways of thinking. When we talk with real human beings, we may be confronted by someone who thinks differently from ourselves. And this is good. We talk, we debate, discuss, argue, get angry, learn something, and hopefully end on a cordial note. When we blog, we look for other blogs that share our opinion and become increasingly more insulated from the “other” (gasp!). Example: I looked at a list of blogs from our GEDI course and the only one I read was The Reluctant Blogger. Why did I read this blog? Because the title caught my attention and spoke to my own point of view. I did not want to read the “I love blogging!” blog; I wanted to read other people agreeing with me. And while my unscientific survey of one blogger reading one other blog may not exactly be representative of the whole population, this example makes me think that maybe blogging is used to escape controversy and conflict, and find comfort and isolation in those nooks and crannies where we will be safe. That makes blogging fundamentally bad because it insulates us from other opinions.
(3) Many people write poorly. For an example, see SciPed.
So, if I’m not organizing a revolution and therefore do not have any meaningful content to contribute, and I am not a brilliant author and therefore do not have any entertaining pros to contribute, then why should I blog?