Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why do I blog v/s Why should I blog

Interesting... I smiled as I typed the title to the post. But then what would you feel when someone tells you passionately - you must blog more often - and you wonder why are you not doing that.

A recently became colleague of mine made that comment - "You should blog" and I said I used to. He was unmoved - so why don't you aymore?

My first reaction was - "because its not my profession."  and I was honest. I took this up as a hobby and then may be for a year I got too involved and then a question from one my favourite profs at the IIM echoed - "what business are you in?".

On a calmer note I would respond - "Well I do (blog) - but its not like you can be my follower and expect a post every other day".

But on a more thoughtful note (which I think I am in now) :) - I wish to respond with some observations. There are types of everything in this world and so it is with bloggers (dare I say authors/writers/columnists) here is my list
1. Ranting Bloggers : Use the channel to release accumulated energy of any and all kinds - frustrations, joy, victory, sex, wierdism, egotism, self obsession, boredom, lonliness, curiosity, adventure, what have you.......
2. Sharing Bloggers : They come across so much and they come across all that because they have this insatiable urge to share everything that they come across. Their blogs are full of small little posts with links and a para thrown in here or there
3. Professional Bloggers : Not necessarily those who are making money from their blogs but those who manage to attract a fan following on their blog and then are busy catering to their ever increasing fan following post after post. It becomes a debt trap. you owe it to your fans that you provide them with fodder in exchange for their regular visits and comments that makes you feel wanted, persued and hence an important part of the universe. The insecurity that they will once again be a "noone" keeps them going.
4. Authors : For them blogging is an excellent thinking tool that allows them to interact with their readers while they think aloud (for want of a better word). It also helps them adjust their thinking to their market (for meaning of this word - read type three).
5. Users : There are people who blog using the blog as  a tool in pursuit of something that they are into. Eg. I tried using it as  a tool as a part of a course that I offered at my B-school for interacting with my students. There are sites where it is used as help tool. etc
6. Diary Writers : Probably the most used type is this. Blogs replacing the good old diaries that one used to write to arrange and collect memoirs, experiences personal notes and so on... Now you can peek into so many hearts and minds.
7. Analysts/Experts : Self proclaimed, nominated or professional authorities on a field/subject expressing their opinions and analysis for the lesser mortals (no pun intended).
8. Commenters : People who use blogs to comment on what they think they have an opinion on for what they are worth - or what difference they think their posts can make to this world.
Now you are wondering (if you actually reached this part of this post) why am I writing all these stuff. Recall the title of this post. When my adorable colleague (what else would you call someone who comes to you and says you are good, why don't you share it with the world out there? I guess I even blushed.) passionately argues his case - You seem to know so much - you are reaching to few people. Your reach should be allowed to multiply. Then he recounts his own experiences of how people connect to your thoughts, how he received perspectives on his opinions which he might have not even considered. How blogging helped him turn into an author and it also played a role in him writing a book.......uff thats heavy stuff man.

I smiled to myself. Its amusing to see someone resembling the you, a few years ago. I used to ask everyone worth his salt to blog their ideas on the net and then in a few years time - the blog like 90% of innovations on the net became stale. Netizens seemed to have moved on - twitter, facebook, orkut et al.....

So I should blog because out there in the world might be many who might feel endowed, enlightened. or there might be people who looking at my shallow ignorance might have some comments to enlighten me. Looks too much to me. Then I thought - why at all do I blog?

I read the caption of my blog that I wrote years ago when I created my blog - and I reproduce it here
This is my way of contributing to some issues that I think about and carry opinions on. I wish to keep this blog for the sincere lot who wants to discuss. I am not a jounalist (not even a free lancer)- I just wish to express. Ofcourse, I would love to know what others feel about the issues I wrote about
Like a true MBA from the IIMs I said to myself - focus - thats the essence. So focus on your mission. The mission of this blog is "what you think and have an opinion on." Not what others, however much adorable and flattering, think you should do with this blog. If enlightenment happens mine or for the reader - thats only incidental not the core. So sorry buddy, I might only write when something moves me or something motivates me. You however did move me.

However, more then anything I blog to construct my thoughts into a more pulpable and clearly expressed form to which I can return to, tell myself that this is what I think/thought (or used to think). So what type do you think I am?