Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Bloggerverse: What Does It All Really Mean?

Now that I am a few posts deep in this blog, I have been reflecting on the reasons why people blog and how blogs impact those who read them.  I have had a huge love for blogs for several years now and have frequently daydreamed about having my own.  But let's be honest - it could be compared to that feeling of looking out the window at your neighbor's wonderful dog every day and thinking, "man, I want a dog myself" and then one day, you go, adopt one, bring it home, and wake up the next morning only to think, "uh oh, what now?!"  You watched someone else do a great job with their own, you admired them, it brought joy to your life, but now it's time to do it yourself.  This puppy is now yours.

The amount of advice about how to handle it is endless, and you know there are definitely things to avoid.  But where do you start with this brand new space?

I believe the reasons why people can be blogged can be categorized into two distinct buckets:
1. As an outlet for compiling their ideas/thoughts/life in written format.
2. To be heard.

For the first one, I think of the example of moms who blog about their daily life with a baby, so that once they reach a point where they are no longer sleep deprived (ha!) they can remember those precious moments.  Also, so that grandparents who live far away can sneak a daily peak at the grandkids.   This category also includes brainstormers, creatives, and innovators who want to gather all of their thoughts on a specific topic in one location, which becomes their blog.

The second category includes those who want to have a platform where others can read their thoughts.  The purpose may be to viewed as an expert in a particular field, or to have a platform where the blogger can share his wisdom and thoughts, then gather feedback in the form of comments.  Blogs also provide credibility for the writer, as it adds to their digital footprint in their realm of expertise.

Blogs impact people by providing a community that is centered around a specific topic of interest, where the blogger provides content, but the readers add life to the posts by commenting and interacting.  They provide ideas, evoke thoughts, and can create both personally and professionally.

Here are links to a couple of blogs that I follow regularly & highly recommend:
Joy: Defined - by Joy Phenix
This blog is written by my pastor's wife, who works at a professional full-time job here in Atlanta.  She is truly a role model to me, and writes on a wide variety of topics, from family to faith to reviews of local restaurants.  Definitely a great read, particularly for women!

Musings - by Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff is a motivational writer and speaker who encourages readers to chase their dreams.  His posts  combine humor with the hard truth that we need to hear in our lives about being complacent.  This is a great blog for anyone looking to further their career by developing their passions.

I am still defining the goal of my blog.  Since this is an interest I have had for years, I want to maintain this blog long after the class is over, so I need to have direction and a focus.  This will likely involve moving to a new format where I can categorize posts into a small handful of different categories, similar to Joy's that I linked above.  My reason for blogging fits into the first category above, as I would like to have a place where I can record life and ideas as it happens, then be able to look back later to reflect.  Stay tuned.  I want to move from the "new puppy owner" to the "owner whose dog has clearly been to obedience school"!

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