In the age of Web 2.0 everyone and anyone is trying to get noticed for their 15 minutes in the spotlight. Is blogging in a saturated environment worth it? Are we really affecting change and being a guiding voice? If not, you should probably stop blogging.Hmm. It touches on why I've never successfully managed to blog for very long so far, and is making me consider once again why I should take the time or make the effort to blog now (aside from that it's a class assignment). After all, the world is full of blogs. Who needs another blog?
One reason, and the main reason my husband blogs sometimes, is to find connections. Somewhat counterintutively, it sometimes helps to broadcast your interests and ideas if your ideas are a little strange and need to find a narrow audience - harnessing Karim Lakhani's "broadcast search" idea, which I referred to in my crowdsourcing project. If you can send out a call not only in a public space, but that is persistent over time, you have a much wider reach and a better chance of your message getting to exactly the person who's interested in what you're saying, whom you'd be interested to talk with too. I certainly think that's a valid reason. I'm not sure that what I have to say is very unusual, but I like the idea of having a better chance of making contact with someone who'll like it or find it useful.
Another reason is to gain a sense of my time longitudinally, an idea that's motivated pretty much all journaling forever. It's so easy to lose track of what I thought a week ago, a month ago, last year, or even yesterday sometimes. Life moves ahead quickly, and faster all the time, and it becomes more and more expedient to surf the now and navigate the stream of information and experience as it goes past, ever in the present. There are definite benefits to this, if you can really manage it, but I think I lose things as well, a certain level of perspective and self-knowledge. Perhaps keeping better track of my path will restore some of that longer view.
Both of these ideas largely benefit me (although I'd hope the first one could benefit someone else if what I'm saying is useful to them), but I think there's a larger reason, and that is to take active part in the dialogue of the world. We have unprecedented tools to see the scope of humanity in the modern world, but they're of no use unless a diverse population steps up and takes hold of them. Every person who adds a bit to our story makes it richer, shows reality more accurately, doesn't leave the record in the hands of the powerful and their created vision. Is my life and my viewpoint Terribly Important in a traditional sense? Perhaps not, but that doesn't mean my voice, even in the aggregate, is useless. My life exists. Speaking about it is respecting my deeply held democratic viewpoint that everyone is worth hearing, every view is unique and impossible to duplicate, every story adds a dimension to history and to the fabric of human experience. Perhaps someone will find individual value in examining my particular thread, but either way, my thread holds the warp together in this little spot, and that's something.