blogging for personal interest


Hugh of gapingvoid talks about "Blogging and self-interest". The basic question most bloggers ask themselves at one point or another: "What's in ot for me?" or "Blogging works, why not for me?"

Weeeell... You might have guessed it, that's exactly one of the questions that I'm pondering right now.

I have been doing this for quite some time, and I do seem to have some kind of 'following'. I mean, there's always been a number of people subscribed to my ramblings, and quite a few aggregator hits each hour etc.

So the question remains: what is/was in it for me? Looking back I see two things:

What has made blogging a frustration in the past?

Chiefly the - percieved - lack of response or feedback. When I do something, I love to get feedback, positive if possible, but any kind of feedback is ok. In my experience direct feedback is scarce in blogging (comments don't count for me, but that's another topic). I think this is a very natural thing in blogging. I take my own reading habits as an example: very often do I read something that moves me, inspires me. But do I always give feedback? No, naturally not. Only in very special cases do I even blog about it. Simply linking and quoting something doesn't really count as 'conversation' does it? And I don't like 'me-too's anyway, so I seldom quote and link. Assuming that people who read my stuff think and act similar to me, it's no wonder there's little visible feedback. It's like in advertising: does one know if customer A bought product C because of ad B? Would it have been bought w/o the ad? We don not know. We cannot measure influence - at least not directly. I'm sure some of the technorati-addicts will disagree. But these link-tracking things never worked for me somehow. My sphere of influence seems not to show in links and seems also to be below a certain critical mass...

But suprisingly I found out on several occasions that my blogging has had influence and impact. People did know me and knew what I was about I never heard of before...

So, to get back to the topic (title) of this post: How does/did my blogging further my personal interests?

Only problem: It's workings have not been visible at a lot of times. Keeping up doing something w/o direct feedback can be frustrating, but also rewarding in the long run.


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Martin Spernau
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