I’ve been asking myself this question, have come up with a couple of good answers, I think, and would like to hear your answers, too. If you don’t have your own weblog, you can answer the related question, “Why do you read other people’s blogs?”
I like to talk to people. When I was a kid, my idea of a party was to have a handful of friends over to sit in front of the fireplace and eat pizza and talk. In this regard, I haven’t changed at all. I like to discuss interesting things, things that people are excited about or passionate about, things that we see differently. I like to toss my ideas out there and bounce them off of other people to see how the ideas hold up. But I am a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer and I don’t get out much. I see my family every day. And other people occasionally. And other people that I can sit down and talk to about interesting things for hours at a time … maybe a couple of times a year.
For me, this weblog is my pizza party, sans pizza. (Sorry about that.) I’m always interested in writing, so that’s a constant topic. But it isn’t just a writing blog. I’m interested in and frequently worried by politics, so that goes in there. Some bits of my life — homeschooling, for example — occasionally go into the mix, as well as occasional shocking revelations like the fact that I’m actually middle-aged. (If you haven’t hit this one yet, believe me — it’s shocking when you get there.)
But as much as I like to talk and discuss, I don’t like to fight. I don’t enjoy reading flames, I don’t enjoy being furious, and I don’t like trolls. So I’ve set things up here so that those are things I don’t have to deal with. I’m here to have fun, to think, to toss out things that make other people think, to talk.
I know some people talk to people all day in unpleasant situations, and come home in a foul mood, and really want to blow off tensions they accumulated at work — and flaming people on the internet is a great way to do that. I know some people who simply like to fight. And some who enjoy causing trouble. They’re using the internet with different goals than mine, and while clearly they’re welcome to use it as they wish, when they’re in my space we’re not going to work out. And since it is my space, and since I know what I want to have here, I have no compunctions about kicking them out. After all, the internet is huge, and people who are looking for trouble can find what they’re looking for elsewhere. Whereas the only place that I can create the interesting ongoing all-subjects conversation I’m looking for is right here.
The interactivity of the weblog is its key feature for me. I blog because I like to talk to people, and at this point in my life, you’re the folks I’m talking to. If you imagine yourself in a long, low-ceilinged converted porch with a fireplace at one end, with the air a bit chilly and snow on the ground outside and the fire roaring, with very good pizza flowing in a constant stream, and with a lot of other interesting people sitting around talking to each other, you’ll have the atmosphere.
That’s what I’m looking for, and why I blog. How about you?