I recently read somewhere that there are now more than 70 million blogs. I can’t confirm this, because my own efforts at a hand count have stalled at around 37. But let’s say it’s true. And let’s say that I am correct in assuming that about 98.8 percent of these blogs consist of mindless blather, narcissistic ruminations and erroneous conclusions — which is to say, they are a lot like this one. That means there are roughly 69,160,000 blogs out there that really, really suck. Even if nobody reads them, that’s still a lot of productivity down the toilet. Somebody should do a study.
When they do, I’ll blog about it. In the meantime, some more mindless blather: Why do so many people take it upon themselves to write a blog? I’m glad you asked.
1. Because they can. Lore Sjöberg of Wired put it best (much as I’d like to take credit for the line myself): “Creating your own blog is about as easy as creating your own urine.” So true. Look, if it wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t be doing it. Unlike the desktop publishing phenomenon 20 years ago, blogs require no equipment beyond a Wal-Mart computer and free wi-fi. Nor do they require any design sensibility, as you can verify by clicking the “next blog” button. Or, for that matter, remaining right here. All you need is some time on your hands and at least one acquaintance with an e-mail account so you can send them the link. Unless you’re satisfied, as I am, just to have the blog all to yourself.
2. For the money. Everyone knows the riches that can accrue through Google’s AdSense program, which promises “a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.” Uh, yeah, content. But let’s get right to the monetizing. I’m no math major, but if I were to fully AdSense this site, based on the flood of traffic I’m getting right now, I calculate I could afford a seven-year-old Honda Civic in about 4,000 years. That’s some righteous monetizing, friends.
3. For the lasting relationships. Nothing warms my heart more than the close personal connections I’ve formed over these past two months of blogging. Recently I received a comment from Cyndi, who in just that short a time felt she knew me well enough to make her hot and nasty sex videos available to me at a discounted price.
Comments are the coin of the realm in the blogosphere; nobody (except Cyndi) gives you one unless you first leave one, preferably expressing solidarity with their views. Even when people don’t comment, you can still get to know them through Sitemeter, which lets you see the location of the ISP from which a visitor reaches your blog. Thus I have become fond of Duluth, Minn., who drops in periodically and stays an average of 2 seconds. Hail, Duluth! Let’s have coffee sometime.
4. It beats watching TV. Seriously, have you tried sitting through “John From Cincinnati”? If I’m going to sit around watching crap, I prefer it to be crap I can massage and polish … oops, bad metaphor. What I mean is, I get more pleasure out of tweaking my excellent blog and resizing its stolen jpegs than I’d get in a whole season of “America’s Got Talent.” But that’s just me.
I can’t help smiling at this post. Most bloggers have been through this phase of whispering into the void.
If you have good and original content, delivered with a touch of humour – as you have – you will eventually build up an audience, if you want one.
Keep plugging away as you are and you’ll get there. Although you may then wonder where “there” is.
Dave K. says
“Whispering into the void” is a good way to put it. Thanks. I doubt this blog will last the year, but who knows?
Uriah Robinson says
Dave you must keep going, your humour cheers me up and I can steal phrases like “narcissitic ruminations” to use on my blog.
Uriah Robinson says
Well I could steal them if I could spell them. narcissistic!
Thanks for the laugh Mr Knadler. At the risk of seeking solidarity in what is obviously about to become a very fleeting online relationship, may I indulge for a moment?
1. I’ve been blogging because I can for, er, two years now. Not bad for a start without a plan…
2. I’ve made no money from it. (And feel that ads are like vandalism spread across a blog, so I’m not about to tread that path.)
3. Luckily, I’ve escaped Cyndi’s attention. But I have been offered viagra and something to entend my penis more than once. The latter being an odd offer, when made to a female…
4. I still can’t get to grips with sizing my jpegs when I post my pics.
On the plus side – and there are some:
1. I was thrilled to develop a readership of sorts, for something I consider relaxing.
2. I’ve had some free books out of this.
3. I’ve made new friends through blogging (shared interests and all that), some of whom I’m yet to meet in person. Fellow bloggers tend to be friendly and supportive. (And see, I broke the ice with a comment here before you visited mine…)
4. TV in the UK is not particularly good anymore. I get to read a lot and enthuse about the good things I read, sharing the info.
When that touch of cynicism kicks in, as it does to us all I believe, it’s good to remember the positives. (Some time ago) I arrived here through Peter R at DBB and even he once started a post with something along the lines of “Back when this blog had readers…”
A belated welcome from me to the blogosphere, Mr K. May yours be a sustainable presence. I look forward to reading more and having more laughs!
PS – I had to delete “trackback” functionality to stop getting links to porn sites. (Not that I understand how the things work to start with – deletion was easiest.)
After a literary festival weekend away earlier this year, I returned to a surfeit of comments – innocuous on the surface – but linked to porn sites and fake medical supplies sites, so I had to enable comment moderation.
The trials and tribulations of being a blogger…
But in just over two years, that ain’t too bad!
Dave K. says
Two years! Congratulations. And thanks so much for the encouraging comment; it’s by far the best I’ve received.
I’m not really so cynical about the blogosphere — just realistic. (But that’s what cynics always say, isn’t it?)
God, I love you now…
Nice post, Dave. Pretty spot-on.
Jessie Knadler says
This is Ed Flanders from Random House, and we were so impressed by your recent blog entry about why people blog, we’d like you to write a novel about it. How does a $74,000 advance sound? Perhaps this amount will make the purchase of that 7-year-old Honda civic a little quicker.