the nature of blogging

We had a discussion last night on why people have weblogs, and what one is. The general consensus was that a weblog (blog) is different for everyone who has one; this is true, but perhaps needs some clarificaton. A number of people (those without blogs) said "If I wanted to tell you something, I’d tell you".

With all the technology around, I now have a lot of different options for communicating with people whose contact details I have:

  • phone call
  • SMS
  • individual email
  • group email
  • letter writing
  • face-to-face chat
  • christmas card letter
  • weblog

Some of these forms of communication are immediate, some are delayed (a geek would call it asynchronous, but let’s leave out the confusing terms for now). Other details vary: if I send an SMS, or even an email, I have no way of knowing if they’ve received the message, let alone if they’ve understood what I meant.

The method of communication I choose has an impact on the message itself. If I’m telling you not to forget to bring dessert when you visit, an SMS might suffice: if I’m asking you how you’re going at grieving for a friend, perhaps I should put some more effort into personalising the communication, even going to the trouble of arranging some face-to-face time.

There’s also something to be said about the frequency of communication: there are some parts of life that are ever-changing, and others that stay the same for weeks, months, or even years. When you try to cram a whole year worth of happenings into a small space, a lot of detail is left out. When you’re trying to fill in an hour worth of catching up with the day or week’s happening, a lot more detail is included.

Where does weblogging fit in? it depends on what you’re hoping to achieve with the weblog. After over five years of blogging most days, I’ve moved from just pointing to links that are funny, with the occasional burst of self-disclosure to more frequent, longer posts.

For me, this site helps other people I know to find out what I’ve been up to – some people who I see regularly, others who I’m separated from by distance or mutually busy schedules, others who haven’t made contact for some reason or other.

I’m also hoping that it gives some insights into what it’s like to make decisions from a Christian world-view, and to encourage people to ask me questions about my life and my faith.

What are you trying to achieve with your site (comments about online poker sites will most likely be deleted in the comment-approval phase of the site).

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  1. Why blog anyway?

    Cafedave asks about what I’m trying to achieve with this site – what is the point of blogging? For me I think it’s mostly about sharing the every day minutiae with friends around the world.

  2. What am I trying to achieve with my site?

    For me, it’s an alternative method of expression. I say things and talk about things on my blog that I don’t in person.

    On the odd occasion when a blog-topic comes up in a face-to-face converstaion, I usually find it uncomfortable, regardless of the actual topic – it’s just something about the cross-medium pollenation that sits uneasily with me.

    I like keeping the online/offline worlds seperate…which is strange considering that most of my online posts are about very tangible offline experiences.

    Now I think I’ve just confused myself… I’m not trying to achieve anything with my site – or at least, anything sensical (that makes sense).

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