Blogger - Who are you? and What do you seek?
This question has bothered me for quite a while.
Some of my friends tell me that I ought to be considered an anomaly of a blogger for someone with a penchant for writing arbitrary stuff. I started blogging only in November 2005 much after most of the online world had taken to blogging. I guess I was too busy between taking courses in the PhD program and driving to detroit twice a month.
I always wonder why I had not started blogging early. I am what you might call an early adopted of internet technology. I was one of those guys who would be lurking on all Internet news sites looking out for cool new tools to play with in the late nineties. I was probably one of the earliest Google users - though it took me quite a while to get convinced that it was better than Webferret and other such desktop based search applications. On a different note, it is an irony that Google is trying to get its search tools onto the desktop directly. I also have one of the oldest established email account among my friends and had logged countless hours of browsing the Internet before any of my peers knew what the Internet was. You will have to remember that as undergrads in India we had little access to the Internet.
Coming back to the point, I guess I did not start blogging as I felt it was useless. It did not seem any different to me than maintaining a personal website. I did not feel like sharing my personal thoughts with anyone on the Internet. It was not a diary for me. I did not want strangers to know that I liked Jimi Hendrix, could read and write Sanskrit, and play chess horribly, among other inconsequential things. Aha! There's the catch. Was blogging all about making a monumental spectacle about the little inconsequential things in everyone's life. (God - I sound like Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City). Surely, hundreds of bloggers will beg to differ with me on that. Blogging is power, they say. It is the voice of the people, a collective conscience that can make a difference in world opinion.
However, I have to confess that I do not have grandiose expectations about blogging being a powerful tool that influences opinions. Maybe there are a few bloggers who disseminate knowledge through their blogging - knowledge developed through their experiences and their own emotions, agendas and beliefs. They will surely differ with my expectations about blogging. However, I am free to express it here on my own blog as none of those individuals are here to read my thoughts :) Blogging is a sheer waste of time and I am guilty of blogging as you can see from my posts :).
For me it is the blogger and not the blogging that is important. Who are these folks? Why are they saying these things? What do they ultimately seek? They seem to come from all walks of life. They seem to be very opinionated. They mostly say nonsensical stuff, although some are beginning to make more sense now. They often seek reputation and seldom make money through their blogging. Is that all? Do we have a picture of the quintessential blogger?
Professional journalists have taken to blogging now. Firms are beginning to loom at blogging as a marketing tool. Blogging might not remain a tool to voice one's opinion on a number of things, some of no consequence to anyone. Blogging might be taken over by firms that are interested in influencing the opinions of its potential customers through word-of-mouth. There are more people interested in making money off blogging than those who are interested in its greater good and impact on society in general. I am guilty too - I have an adsense account :).
Guess, it is time to finish this post. Musings on bloggers and blogging. That is what my blog is about. Musings!
If you left wondering what was the post about - read the title again - read my post again and you have the answer to my question.