Do you remember when you first met your blog? Was it love at first sight? Or did it take some time for you to get know and understand and fully appreciate your blog? Are you still in the courting stages? Or do you now just take your blog for granted? Even worse, is your blog beginning to annoy you, become a burden to you, or just isn't the same blog you fell in love with in the beginning?
I'm still happily married to my blog (note to my wife-- please don't be jealous, my blog could never take the place in my life that you occupy) and I'm trying to keep my writer-blog relationship healthy. But maintaining that relationship is ongoing work and takes a great deal of time and patience. A blog is an investment of talents, emotions, and time.
As I continue reading other blogs, I continue to find others posing the same questions and pondering the same thoughts that I have been looking at over my past several Blog Boggled Mondays (if you have not been following, you can search back through my archived articles for other articles about blogging). There are several good posts that others have done, one of my favorites being a series of excellent posts by JODY HEDLUND, who has several really fine posts on the subject. Today KATIE GANSHERT is supposed to be posting her take on some blogging issues -- you may wish to check out what she has to say. There are many others who have discussed this same issue and if you are one of those please give the link to yours in the comments to this post or direct us to other sites on the same topic.
Blog Science is how I've been thinking of it. That is a study of how blogging works and how it relates to the human mind. In addition to science it is also art. There is the literary aspect of the written blog and the visual artistic aspect of the photo blogs and the other visual art blogs. There are culinary blogs and craft blogs, mommy and daddy blogs and grandparent blogs, cat blogs and dog blogs, and now here I'm talking about blog blogs. There is no end -- you name it and somebody will blog it. The real question that many of us want answered is who will read these blogs and what will keep them coming back.
Like when meeting someone for the first time, blog first impressions have a big impact. Something either catches your eye to attract you, repels you to make you look elsewhere, or makes you feel so indifferent that it makes little impact. And it's different for different people. Initially most of us are drawn in by some sort of visual stimulation -- pictures, colors, fancy borders and wallpaper, movement, sparkle, and so on-- but once you get past that does the blog really have anything to offer.
Personally, yes I'm captivated at first by glitz and gimmickry, but once the novelty has worn off I want there to be something there to keep me interested. If I'm looking for information, that's what I want. If I want something to read, then give me something to read. When I pick up a book to read, I don't expect fancy borders on the pages or pictures everywhere unless that's part of the purpose of the book. I'm not condemning anyone's blog because I am amazed by some of the things I see on some of these sites. Granted I'm easily impressed when it comes to technology and I don't know how to do a lot of this stuff I see, but I haven't found anything I'll sit and look at for hours because I am looking for content to feed my intellectual curiosity. If you grab me, then you need to hold on to me.
I will continue to explore this in future posts perhaps, but I really want some opinions. What grabs you when go to a new blog and what keeps you coming back? How does a blog win you over? Do you still like your blog? How has your blog changed from when you first started it until now? What kinds of changes would you like to make to your blog in the future? What kinds of changes do you think I should make to TOSSING IT OUT? Say whatever you like. I want some real honest information, so get tough!
Update: Robyn Campbell also asks why we blog on her post for today.