This is a story about blogging. Please pardon while I work out my blogging neuroses by blogging about it.
Hello. It’s been a bit. If my calculations are correct, I have not posted on here in a little over 2 weeks. You see, it all started with Ohio. I went home for a week, and was so busy running around with family and friends that I didn’t want to waste precious time wonking around on the world wide web.
But then I returned to DC. And thought I’d get back into the blogging swing of things. I’m on “vacation,” though, meaning I’m really just temporarily unemployed (soon to be re-employed, fyi, just in case you were fearing for my well-being, “you” of course being the ubiquitous imaginary blog “you”), and I found that since I had no reason to be sitting in front of a computer screen for any length of time, I felt absolutely no desire to do so. I did not write any blog posts. I did not read anybody else’s blog posts. I marked my whole RSS feed “read” and breathed a sigh of relief. I read 2 books. I started going to yoga classes. Etc. I did not do any of the fabled “real writing” I think I will do if only I’m not preoccupied with blogging, but …
Well, see, that’s actually where this story starts. I was beginning to think that maybe this incessant focus on reading and writing blogs was quite bad for me, as an, ahem, writer. Granted, I only blogged while at work, since I was an intern and had little else to do during the day. But still – I felt like I could be using that time better. But this isn’t quite where the story actually begins, either. I suppose the story actually begins in, oh, December? That is when Raee and I decided to start blogging here at yellow is the color (named such because we’re bad at names and raee really had a thing for the yellow line metro back then).
Before this, I had a Livejournal, but nobody takes Livejournal-ers seriously. And I talked to Raee about trying to make a “real blog,” and we were in grad school and high on intellectualism and low on actual responsibilities, and we decided to go for it. It was slow at first, but eventually we started getting some readers. And by this summer we were up to a couple hundred hits a day, which is still very very small, of course, but it at least felt like we were getting somewhere. People commented. People came back. And this, of course, is where the stress began.
The whole point of blogging, if you’re a hobby blogger, not a paid blogger or an advocate blogger, is to amuse yourself, really, or to get out your thoughts. I’m a writer – this I suppose I can say with confidence, although what kind of writing is a little harder to pin down; I’ve been a playwright and a journalist; a compulsive diary keeper; a “blogger” of sorts; even a psuedo-poet and a dabbler in fiction – the point being that I feel compelled to write, something, in some form, in order to keep balanced and sane and whatnot. I enjoy writing, on my own terms. I was reading lots of other blogs all the time and wanted to join in the commentary. It looked like fun. It is fun, sometimes. But then it got stressful. I don’t know why; probably because I’m neurotic. But once you start to get people visiting and reading, you feel compelled to post every day or every other day, even when you don’t have anything to say. And then you feel bad for being a hack. And then you feel like this whole blogging experiment is a big waste of your time (“you” being me, of course, no longer the ubiquitous imaginary blog “you”).
So I think this blog as an experiment has failed, alas. We started off as a group blog, with four bloggers. Two of them never wrote, and it was just me and Raee. We added youngjoe, and he never wrote. Oldmancoyote graciously joined, and he writes all the time, but then Raee decided to quit. So now it’s just me and oldmancoyote. And the problem is, we have no brand. Or I have no brand, at least.
See, once upon a time, operating under the I-am-blogging-solely-for-my-own-amusement assumption, I thought it was fine to have a blog where I wrote about feminist stuff, and libertarian stuff, and Ohio, and framing, and facebook, and copyright, and whatever the hell else I felt like writing about. But I don’t think this works, building-a-blog-wise. There are tech bloggers. There are feminist bloggers. There are PR bloggers. Everyone operates in their own little circles of the blogosphere, and seldom the twain shall meet, if you will. So I began to feel like it was a little silly to try and build a blog writing about whatever the hell I wanted to. It doesn’t really help you break in to any particular community. And I thought about just writing about feminist issues, but then the thing is that everything I want to write about is covered by the big feminist blogs already, so what’s the point? That’s the other thing (how many things is this, so far?) – the whole blog world seems so pointlessly circular sometimes. Some event happens, or some major news outlet publishes something, or some court case is decided, and then the big bloggers write about it and analyze it or snark-i-tize it, and then all the smaller bloggers link to those other bloggers and add their own analysis or snark or whatever … and it all just feeds off each other, around and around, and seems quite silly when you think about it, doesn’t it? And sometimes you’re on top of your game and write about something days before everyone else does, but it doesn’t matter, because nobody reads you anyway; and sometimes you write a really long and thoughtful or particularly snarky post, and you’re kind of proud of it, but nobody reads it anyway …
I’m not saying there’s no point to bloggers. There are tons of fabulous reasons to be a blogger. It makes sense for journalists to also blog, for advocates, for entrepreneurs, or for people who are just doing it to feel part of a community. There are plenty of reasons. I just don’t have any. At the moment, at least.
And yes. I am writing in circles and circles and circles again now, aren’t I? (No one has ever accused me of being succinct).
I do find it fun and thought-provoking and interesting to participate in the blog community sometimes. But, like I said, I have no “brand” right now. As a good little PR student this year, I know the importance of branding, and this is just not cutting it. So maybe I will reincarnate myself elsewhere in the blogosphere. Pick a brand. Etc. Maybe not. I think oldmancoyote will go back to The Burning Couch from whence he came. Anyway, don’t un-RSS-feed us yet! Oldmancoyote will tell you where he’ll be and I will, if I decide to reincarnate, tell you my future digital whereabouts. I mean, I say all this longwinded anti-blogging jibber jabber now, but soon I will be back at a desk job, and god knows you (you meaning me, again, of course, but also possibly the proverbial you) need something to make the hours at work pass, no?