This blog has been online since October 2004. At times I had even forgotten I had a website, and my blog has almost become an endangered species of the web, slowly going into virtual oblivion as Internet dust piles on it due to myself being too lazy or too busy to update it. Why should I even have a blog when I sporadically update it? The answer: Why not and who cares? Seriously though, I did ask myself that question: Why do I keep a personal blog? Yes, I know that nowadays everyone, their mother and their pet lizard has one, but do I really need one? Before I started blogging, the majority of personal blogs I usually came across (of people I personally know or don’t know) were just the digital manifestation of ye ol’ pen and paper diary, except now you think that everyone is suddenly interested in what you had for lunch today and how your dog is having a sudden bout of separation anxiety. And there is really nothing wrong with that, because it is what it is, just an online personal diary. There are the personal blogs with “debatable” content of universal interest on things like politics, religion and current affairs, with their authors getting into flame wars easly ignitable by these kinds of issues. Again, its just personal opinion, and you know the famous saying on personal opinion, don’t you? However, the advantage an online personal publishing medium gives those authors is clear: It gives them time to think, research and strike back. In a real life discussion/debate you often don’t have the time or the means to effectively organize your thoughts and come back with a strong counter argument. Not so with blogging; you post something that someone doesn’t like, s/he counters with a strong argument, you go grab a cup of coffee and spend a couple of hours researching before you reply with all kinds of links to “trusted” internet sources that flattens the peremisis on which s/he built his argument. Or so you would like to think.
Back on the topic of my personal blog. I do keep a “traditional” diary in one of these. Its a travel journal, but not strictly confined to that. I have started journaling in 2002, when I started traveling semi-frequently. When I started traveling with more regularity being a student recruiter and avid summer backpacker, my journal entries increased in number. When you travel, there is plenty to write about. In fact, it would be difficult to not find something to write about or note. An interesting person, an amazing place, an awesome event, a memorable moment, etc. Not everything can be recorded with a camera. I am often a lone traveler, and that’s fine by me, but sometimes there is the “this is so great I need to let everyone know!” moment. You snap self-portrait of your mug with raging bulls running after crazy Spaniards in Pampalona in the background, and an hour later your friends back home are reading your blog kicking themselves for not getting off their fat behinds and joining you on a one month trip to Europe because you told them that you were going to be “roughing it” in dingy hostels so that you can travel for four weeks instead of spending all your money on a 5-day package trip and ending up a miserable lonely bastard in Paris (this story needs a whole separate post). You can’t do that with a paper notebook. Well, you can, but its gonna take paper, ink, glue, a printer, an envelope, a stamp, and at least a week before your friends can see it. And what a hassle that’ll be do send it to all your friends. And thus the convenience of a blog.
What about you? Why do you blog? Don’t give me the obvious, overused, cliched reasons like “journalism for the masses” and all that. Dig deep, why do you really blog? Are you really an aspiring journalist? Is it just your online diary? Or are you just practicing your speed typing skills?