I just got all caught up on HBO’s Newsroom. Mind. Blown. Love that show – passion, power and general awesomeness. You see, 20 years ago I saw the movie Broadcast News and decided that would one day be me. I was going to tell stories.
As the media landscape changes at breakneck speed, I’ve seen op eds decrying the death of news and broadcast media. Steve Tobak of CBS recently tackled the question “Is ‘Do What You Love’ Good Career Advice?”
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert (I only have two degrees in communication studies), but isn’t that what we bloggers do? Storytelling. Granted, this blog isn’t what I do for a living, but the concept sure is close.
There have been a few claims that personal blogging is dead. Well – spoiler alert – I’m not dead. And neither are any of the other bloggers who packed the seminars at BlogHer 12 a week ago.
My favorite comment was an offhand quip mocking society’s fear and panic over every new development. Imagine people 10 years after the advent of the printing press, people wandering around saying, “The pencil is doomed!”
Tricia trivia: I still use an organizer with pulped paper. With a pencil.
Books aren’t dead. Twitter hasn’t killed blogs. Social media is still a fledgling community – we are communicating. That evolves. No matter the technique.
However, a good point was raised about the divisions and camps rising up over monetization, which brings the career perspective into play. However, I don’t believe blogging is a money/no money proposition. No blog is better than another simply because a writer derives income or has sponsors.
@Faiqa shared a great metaphor at the conference. There are people who run every day. They may even be great at it. But they aren’t thinking, “I should be in the Olympics!”
Comments can be blogger currency. But can also be a portfolio for people to see your work before hiring you. You may merely be looking to connect and interact, or you may be trying to make a living from your platform.
This blog began as an accident. Well kind of. It still comes as somewhat of a shock to find that people are reading my words. People I don’t know! (<Hint> Comments are blogger crack. </Hint>)
And by that same token, sick babies aren’t very marketable while there’s a distinct possibility that parenting humor is. (Although I will be doing my damndest to market a sick baby book – including the humor of the tiny-people parenting situation. Just saying.) Well hell, now I’m feeling pressure to be funny.
Sometimes it’s easier to write words than speak them. Therapeutic in a sense. Walking that fine line between an open forum to find my community and a publicly posted diary. It’s validating that we’re not alone.
“If you lose yourself, blogging can provide a map for your way back.” – BlogHer ’12.
At some point, my story may end. As my boys grow up, this blog has grown up alongside them. What began as a chronicle of prematurity has become simply the story of life. Celebrating each tiny breath that leads to hijinks and hilarity.
“The truth about stories is that’s all we are.” – BlogHer ‘12
The analytics measured on my blog do not define me as a writer. (Don’t tell Google.) Whether it is 1, 1,000 or 1 million reading my words, I have a voice.
When this journey started, I was only one. Looking for similar stories. Looking for my community – that site for the sorority of prematurity I had no interest in pledging. Sharing stories makes me feel real. And yes, I’m well aware that no matter what opinion I have, someone will dislike me for it.
My blog. My opinions.
Society evolved from oral traditions. Stories are history. So we communicate to the future. For those of you reading my words now, know that your stories matter. Whether to 1, 1,000 or 1 million.
I guess I did take something from those conference seminars after all. Who knew.
11 Responses to Blogging for the Love of It
Comments are our drug of choice (well that and Whiskey for me…that’s not really a drug right?). And, yes, readers count whether 1 or 1 million…we love them. To extend the theme from your opening picture, which btw is a movie I as a guy love even if it is a battle of chick-flick vs. guy-flick (worlds collide), I think this quote sums it up for me:
Jane Aubrey: Do you lose very much?
Billy Chapel: I lose. I’ve lost 134 times.
Jane Aubrey: You count them?
Billy Chapel: We count everything.
Then I raise a glass of whiskey with a comment to you. 🙂 And as the statistics are to Billy Chapel, so to, are Google Analytics to me. But ultimately, (for love of music) I’ll quote the song.
“Sometimes you’ve gotta cry a little
For the love of the game
Maybe even gotta die a little
For the love of the game
I made a sacrifice I never thought I’d have to make”
Very true! As technology moves along, there is always fear. Fear that the new technology will completely replace the old. I love Twitter, but there’s no way that I can always sum up my life/experience/stories in 140 characters or less.
In journalism, bloggers were feared because they produced content for free, and they didn’t necessarily adhere to the same stringent rules as those employed by journalism institutions: e.g. it takes more than one (good) source to confirm a piece of information; stories should be balanced; sources should be protected; anonymity is usually not encouraged, etc. As a journalist myself, I understand the fear, but I really don’t think one supplants the other. The news is the news. Bloggers, while story-tellers, are bringing readers an entirely different perspective: a personal one. And I think there’s tremendous value in that, too (hence why I am a blogger myself).
Love, love, love this post. I am new at this blogger world. Didn’t really even read them until two months ago when I started mine. It is awesome to hear why others start and why they do it. It has really made me grow so much. I also love connecting with people.
Happy you brought something home. This is my 2nd BLogHer, and I am smarter this time around.
I went the first year expecting something else: reality woke me up, and now I went this year knowing I just wanted a take home.
I got it: I celebrate the community I found and a place for my writing to develop. I celebrate how each post brings me back to myself and more clearly defines me, what I believe, and my place in this world.
i love my blog, and I’ll never stop, unless something happens in my life where I can no longer dedicate the time.
But for now: I love to write, and read, and connect, and see myself no longer a nebulous nonpresence in the world.
Hi. I loved your post. It was spot on. Wish we could have met at BlogHer. Blessings, Ananda
It’s a date for Chicago 2013 🙂
Well. You quoted me! I was quoted! I feel like maybe I should quit blogging — leave it a high note. 🙂 I loved the “pencil is dead” comment, too. We have to expand our minds and realize that connectivity isn’t just technical jargon, but a description of how the universe operates. One thing is not always made to replace another, but perhaps to compliment — or to offer someone else a better platform. I loved the other statement by Palinode that indicated that maybe it isn’t that Twitter killed the blog, but that some people are just Twitterers and not Bloggers.
Thanks for the shout out.
Fantastic perspective. And so true. The one thing I will say differently, however, is that comments (while definitely being crack-ish) can also stifle or give pause to people sometimes. Blogging is not like a private journal, it’s out there. There are plenty of things I don’t write about because it would hurt people I know and even love. And there are topics I don’t write about because I don’t want to expose them to some of the insanity I’ve seen elsewhere. Others are more open, and that’s cool for them.
That’s kind of what you are getting at regarding the marketability of content, I guess. Or maybe I’m utterly out in left field. Anyway, I loved this post. So positive and rational. So, thanks.
For me, the comments are crack because they give a face to the readers. I feel like the community exists – rather than my words filling an empty void.
Very cool to think about. I maintain that I blog for me. Not people, not family and friends, not commenters (although comments are great). I’ve always done it for me. It rarely occurs to me to check my stats! Im lazy.