Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is Blogging Even Good For You Anymore?

So I have a blog. So what. Big deal. Apparently 185.6 million other people do too, give or take. That probably doesn't even include people who write blogs on MySpace or Facebook.

I've been traversing the blogosphere the past couple of days. It is vast, vast, vast. Humblingly so. And whenever I start looking I can't seem to stop! I get lost in there. It can go on for a few weeks like this: following links and hop-scotching around the internets. Of course there is an endless supply of banality and worse, but in truth I am continually astonished at how many folks are churning out funny observations and insightful commentary for friends, acquaintances, perfect strangers, or even just for themselves. There is some really good writing out there, published and distributed for free and available to anyone with a computer and a desire to find it. It actually makes me sad to think of all the interesting self-published work I'm missing, simply because I don't know about it.

When I first started writing online, within two months I was contacted by a movie promoter who forwarded my review to the director of the film she was promoting! That distorted my sense of scale of the web: I thought, "damn I'm good! There ain't nothin' to this blogging! I'm gonna network and meet the right people and I'll be making money off of writing in no time!"

Ha! I have sobered up since then. It turned out that the "movie promoter" was little more than an intern seeking out the online buzz surrounding the small Icelandic film on which she worked. And looking back on it, my "review" actually kind of sucked - it wasn't even a full-on review, more of a writing exercise for the day. I think my film studies professors would have been disappointed.

Fast forward to today. Obviously I've long since come to understand how enormous the world of weblogs is. But more than that, I now appreciate that keeping a blog isn't easy, keeping it fresh and lively is still more difficult, and generating interest and holding an audience, well... You get the idea.

My point in rambling on today is to re-affirm the reason I'm here: to become a better writer, and to read and interact with other writers. That is a far more manageable and enjoyable goal.

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