(I am in the process of updating some static pages. This text goes with Why I Blog.)
First off, I want to say that blogging is stupid. Most bloggers, such as myself, have no journalism training. We are not professionals, are prone to errors, tempted to propagate rumor, and are busily creating a permanent record of non-retractable statements. We paint targets on ourselves and encourage friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers to make comments which, depending on our mood, may hurt our feelings or cause us to make a flippant remark in jest or anger that changes our relationship with those commenters. It is dangerous waters.
Employers or prospective employers can use your blog as a reason to fire or not hire you. I know if I was considering an person for a job the first thing I would do is search for them on the Internet. Of course, if it was me, I’d give more weight to bloggers than to people who only gave me a resume and some scripted references. I encourage my employers and clients to read further.
A blog is a chance for people to get to know you better [than your shrink]. I was raised to “not air my dirty laundry.” I took it to extremes and, until college, I was a very closed person; now I hide far less than I should. A blog creates an opportunity for your views on controversial issues to slip out. While this sounds like truth, you may not want certain people in your life such as your parents, church patrons, employers, children, or those social climbers for whom you put on a facade, to know the whole truth.
What we do not practice, we lose. Blogging provides a creative outlet for writing, research, technology, presentation, marketing, and social networking. Regular publishing improves vocabulary and grammar. With each entry I publish, I find myself making multiple visits to dictionary.com which in turn has improved my spelling and assured the correct usage of words.
Blogging provides history. As with all journaling, records are kept of good and bad allowing those thoughts to leave our head and be enjoyed or relived at our leisure rather than burdening our minds. Children’s remarkable words and fantastic pictures can be shared and kept for prosperity. Precious moments with loved ones can be memorialized.
A blog is simply a regularly updated website with dated content. For better search engine placement and browser compatibility, a blog should have compliant and valid code adhering to current standards such as valid CSS. Professional websites are often developed under high pressure deadlines and tight budgets which do not allow for experimentation outside the programmer’s known skill set. A personal blog allows for trial and error with lessor used html tags, css designs, and web technologies, growing the programmer’s tool set and professionalism.
Mentorship is important to me. I enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge. Blogging provides an opportunity to give to others.
Community develops around a blog. Blogs are often interactive soliciting commentary from readers. As strangers peer into the lives of a blogger, a connection develops. The reader gets to know the presenter perhaps even better than persons known in real life. As readers comment on posts, dialog forms creating a tighter bond between reader and publisher. Friendships develop between people that may never see each other. Business relationships can form. Support networks can form. Blogging can even be therapeutic!
I caution people never to believe anything read on the Internet; at least, not without checking several sources. Blogs can be totally fictitious. For me, blogging is truth. To a degree, blogging is exhibitionism with a sprinkle of ego boosting. I love to talk and love to share stories, but working independently, and as time goes on, I find myself exposed to fewer people outside of my immediate family. Blogging has become an outlet for me to share my adventures!