Cynthia Ware’s article should convince even the most hard-nosed that having a blog for yourself, your business, your product, or just for fun is vitally important in today’s world.
I had a blog in 2005 that was attracting 100+ hits per day. By google standards that’s not a lot. Whist I wasn’t writing anything overly interesting, I recognized the impact blogs had on the world in that short time.
In early 2004 Australians were fully flung into the deep end of blogging. A few computer magazines advertising blogger.com – and within months online-written-content exploded 25-fold across Australia. The WWW began hearing new voices from down under who had been waiting purge and to tell the world about their lives.
Cynthia‘s list includes a few great reasons to write.
Whether you are inspired by her religion or not is of little consequence: It matters how you interpret the ideas to fit your situation.
To share your faith : Faith does not need to about religion. It could be a product used that has been beneficial to your health. Or a person you have met who inspired you to do something new with your life.
To express yourself : This is the most important reason to keep a blog. So many of us are quiet and shy in public, but open up around close friends and family. Blogging gives you the chance to either remain anonymous and just reveal your thoughts – or be open about yourself and tell the world via a medium where nobody yells at you UNLESS THEY TYPE IN ALL UPPERCASE. Ok, so they might dispute and argue your point, but that will help to overcome shyness. Discussion is the mother of extroverts.
To make new friends : Meeting and making friends online is one of the easiest processes. Because everyone wants a new friend. The only downside is that the photograph you receive may be the complete opposite of the person. Too often the well-groomed tall beautiful human is a pizza-filled gut and but-scratching troglodyte. It’s a risk we all have to take.
To connect with others either like or unlike you : Yes, the internet will allow you to meet and greet the most amazing people. From copygodd through to bellangel, its amazing the type of people you can meet (read:see) online.
To stimulate a diminishing vocabulary : Ha! So true. If at first you cannot find the words to express how you want to feel/think/argue a point with someone, there are millions of websites that will help you find the right word/anagram/acronym/simile. If all else fails, write what you are thinking, put it in MS Word – then use Grammar-Checker to see what is available. (I do this regularly!)
To increase your typing speed (until we VoIP) : As much as I’d like to have voice-activation software, typing is one of the most amazing skills you are ever likely to have. Having the ability to type at 60wpm means I can put my thoughts straight to MS Notepad. When you manage this speed, you will value the skill. Blogging is the best way to improve – because you will want to have your say before someone else beats you. (It has enabled me to type, review and spell-check this entire post in less than an hour! Of course that still leaves incorrect grammar…)
To explore a relatively new online technology : Oh yeah, this is the greatest reason to blog. By reviewing products we use, we reveal our knowledge. When you can teach someone else how to use a program, you know how much you have learnt.
To write “in the sandbox” : An integral feature of most blogs these days is the “comment” system. This enables all of us, whether we have a blog or not, to leave a message in the ‘sandbox’, telling others what we think or agree (or not) upon.
To be published (do it yourself – quick, easy & free) : I would say that most people believe this is the only reason to blog. The fact is that very few get so good that their writing is good enough to be published. If you want to be published, you will need to be a good writer before you even think of publishing it online.
To develop your voice : Strange, but true. Whilst stimulating your vocabulary, you are improving your voice. For all the words you learn, the more you will use them in your everyday speaking with friends and family. Maybe even at work.
To share information : Well, that is what the world-wide-web is all about. Whether you have a blog or not. A blog allows you to update and add to the information periodically.
To build an informational resource for others : Yes, the more resources available on the internet, the more we have informed opinion about a thing. Remember this. Don’t listen to the first voice you hear/read: Get a myriad of opinions before you make up your own mind.
To serve a group : To serve is to enter into servitude. Do you want this? Probably not. So look at it this way: Being an important part of a group of people will give you respect, will earn you trust, and win a lot of brownie points. In the scheme of life, each of these will help your survive the bad times.
To be found by old friends : Oh yeah. Google your name. You’ll be shocked how high your rank. I am startled every time!
To use time constructively : That is openly debatable. Just ask my wife. But should you find a way to make money out of your time online, then it will be most constructive!
To create an online work of art : Whether it be pottery, poetry, or pet rocks, you will most definitely find a wide range of art-products on display.
To find support in an area of need : Many thousands of people can be found on forums requesting information to improve their area of expertise or hobby. Take a moment to check out forums around the net: You’ll find whatever you’re looking for!
To battle fear (doing something new, taking risks, etc.) : Fear is an important characteristic. It allows you to pause before you commit to anything. But allowing fear to run your life will only stop you in one place from which you cannot escape. Blogging allows you step outside those boundaries, to write about your boundaries, to tell the world how you suffer, suffered, and survived. Go on, trust me, this will give you courage you never knew you had.
To entertain others or be entertained : If nothing else happens online, you will be entertained. Many blogs are pure humour, even the most seriously written. I’d give an example – but I know you’ll find something quickly enough. You might even find this amusing!
To share content (photos, journals, videos, music, etc.) : One URL: flickr.com. Just go look. You’ll never leave.
To research something specific : It would appear that most parents think the internet is pure research. I know of a parent who was so scared of what her child found online that when he needed to research something — she went looking and saved the entire website to her computer so her son would not be exposed to anything else. Now that is more scary. Do your own research. Don’t take anything at face value – and always check three or more websites to confirm the information.
To develop an expertise in a particular area : Through forums, much discussion, research, reading and a lot of listening. Which is what bloggers are all about. Sharing information to develop into better people and workers.
To build an online community : Exactly.
To amplify a vocational calling – journalist, researcher, writer, poet, etc. : Stands to reason.
To create an online business card/resume/archive of work : You’ll find many blogs derive from small websites who have made their sites more dynamic with a blog. But behind it are the details that made them the person they have become today. Always looks for an “about” page for this information.
To advertise your business or church : Key reason for small businesses to integrate a blog into their website. Static web pages are not so common these days.
To improve your spelling : Becaus speling misteaks are what stop peeple from reterning from you’re websight. Tooo meny websights have erors that make me shuder with discust. SMS writing also makes me phuke. If sumthing is gr8, spell it rite. Pleeese.
To risk being vulnerable and known and To erode your pride : Erode? I think this is a religious issue. But I agree: Writing your thoughs online will certainly bring you back-to-earth, so to speak. We all need a bit of humility.
To stretch out of your comfort zones : Most definitely. But remember that you need to have a lot of comfort zones. Don’t leave an impression in your lounge suite or desk-chair, only in the people who read your words.
To practice the discipline of writing : Throughout life we need to write. Reports, reviews, procedures, minutes, cash-ledgers, HTML, CSS, and blog-content. Learning to write in paragraphs and with concise, to-the-point sentences for a blog will help you improve this skill.
To reach, teach, train those you mentor : Many schools and universities now allow their tutors and professors to run a blog: Thus they can communicate with all their staff quickly and efficiently. Does your school? Ask. If they don’t know how, open the window for them!
To access new mentors in your life : Unlike the real world, the internet allows you to read small snippets of information quickly and easily. Consequently, those issues that matter most to you are much more accessible and easy to read because they are divided up into smaller chunks. Blogging is the ideal medium to create these ‘chunks’ of information.