Blast from the past: The founding stimulus for this blog
I note, every now and then, that the course page for my spring semester 2010 writing class is still up, and occasionally I can’t help but be reminded of the little founding post that I “justified” this thing with. Of course, I archived it in case it was wiped, but still. Remember that this dates back to February 2010, and probably plays out a little different than my latest posts. As part of the assignment, my classmates commented to some degree on it, but for privacy reasons, you won’t see that unless they decide to repost their thoughts.
So I ended up creating a blog. How meta.
(Link to this very blog removed for obvious reasons)
I’ll be honest – this is one of the more spontaneous things I’ve done. Generally, I take a relatively long time to think these things out, but there really wasn’t anything to prevent me from doing it, except a lack of interest. But the idea of a blog is relatively basic, to the point that major social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook incorporate basic forms of it into their software (although, most likely, with less functionality than a dedicated blogging service), and that so many people decide to write about whatever interests them. Suffice it to say society is long past the point where it’s merely “cool” or “trendy” to be on the internet in such a form – it’s just the norm for an ever increasing section of the population. There are blogs on EVERYTHING – cooking, computing, cartoons, coprophilia – something for every interest, I’m sure. And if you can’t find your interests in a blog, you can make your own.
So as you can see from my URL, I ended up using WordPress as my blogging service. Prior to creating the blog I did some research on the services – WordPress is supposed to be one of the best overall – in addition to providing a lot of features, most of them are available for free. Besides the basic text-editing functions and such, there are many administrative options available through the “Dashboard” – One can view any post, tag, comment, image on the blog from a tab through it, and perform various actions on them (like deleting several images from your own posts, moderating comments, etc). You can drastically change the appearance of the blog, including preset themes, “Widgets” to add functionality to the page (such as the ability to search within the blog), , and for the professional, the ability to edit the underlying HTML and CSS (internet programming languages) of the blog.
Of course, all this power and functionality would be useless without content. In my case, I created the blog so I could share my opinions on entertainment – essentially the music I listen to, the games I play, the books I read. In addition, I can use the blog to promote my own interests, projects, and so forth, which is a fairly typical use of a blog, is it not? All this really adds up to a form of personal expression aided by internet technology. While it IS possible for author-viewer collaboration to go on through the comment feature, a blog is essentially a tool for one person to express themselves. Collaborative blogs do exist (obviously, because this is being posted on one), but they’re harder to set up, rarer, and there’s a limit to how many people can work on one blog at the same time before it all devolves into chaos.
As it is, if I want to keep a blog, it will require a good deal of effort on my part. I’d have to write content fairly often, make sure that spam doesn’t overwhelm it (Akismet has done an excellent job of preventing spam. In recent days, surprising amounts of bots have made rather pathetic attempts to add their own links, and it’s saddening. It’s also stupid.), and so forth – and there’s no guarantee that I will benefit in any way from it. Every blogger has to ask themselves why they’re blogging in the first place. Sometimes, they don’t know, and then, suddenly, your favorite webcomic operated through a blog stops updating…
Has anyone here ever mantained a blog, or considered doing so? What became of it? Did it change your perspective on the activity?
Incidentally, the idea of a wikiblog sounds quite interesting to me, although there’s not really any reason I can think of for one to exist…
Hope you derived something interesting from this.