Thursday 9 August 2007

Blogging- Why Do I Do It?

None of us needs to justify why we do it, really.
I just thought after last night's post you might wonder why I started blogging.
Apart from, why not?

I'll be honest, this time last year, I didn't know what a blog was.
The only e mails I received were work related.
I knew of chatrooms. Me and a mate used to go in them as students, with names like Ho Chi Minh, and wind up Americans by going on about Vietnam.
It happened rarely, mainly when we couldn't find any more Tabatha Cash sites.

Profuse apologies to all Americans- we were nineteen with a bizarre sense of humour.

I discovered the medium by chance.

I am a betting man.
Not a compulsive gambler, there is a huge difference.

I never bet on horses, dogs, cricket, rugby, or anything I know nothing about.

I DO bet on football and elections.
For General Elections, I do my assessment months in advance, constituency by constituency.
If you travel a lot and are a chatty person, you pick up a lot of useful local information.
But I was also finding the internet pretty useful for finding out things I needed to know.
In fact, I was researching my prediction for the Scottish Elections, when Google led me to a couple of blogs.

The information on there was helpful, so I checked the blogroll.
Maybe some of these blogs would give me further gems.

On one of these blogs, was a post I had an opinion on.
A strong opinion.
And one of the commentors felt strongly another way.
Not being one to be quiet, I accused him of being an apologist for racism (which he was).

I could have left it.
Anyway, I returned the following day to find myself assailed.
It took two days and about ten long comments from me, but I like to think I fought the corner against closet racism.
And when this debate was over, I felt different.

The medium had caught me.

So I visited other blogs looking for fresh debates.
One of them necessitated me getting a Blogger ID.
Unfortunately, I didn't realise you could have a Blogger ID, without a blog, so I ended up having a blog.
I wrote short posts to myself thinking, hell, if someone DOES click through they might read it.
This happened sooner than I thought.

But something very important happened before it did.

I happened to be at a party where a girl told me a truly horrifying story.
Basically, her stefather raped her pretty much nightly from age twelve upwards, whilst the mother was on night shifts. It's not the first time I've heard such stories from the people it's happened to, but there was something so sweet about her, it did actually make me want to cry.
It affected me for days.

In a sense, it was the last straw for me.
It was the final proof for me that we live in a completely sick society where nobody really gives a damn.

I realised I believed passionately that we could do so much better as a species, than we are doing.
For years the intensity of my convictions were something that only emerged during the long political discussions myself and The Baker had at weekends after heavy clubbing sessions.
Or at parties.
I saw a medium where I could literally, say what I wanted.
With the arguments being judged on their own merits.

And they would be a matter of public record.
And yet, they would be distanced from me.
I could carry on as normal.

I embraced the medium properly in March of this year.
And here we are.

I wouldn't mind betting many of you have similar stories to tell.
On the whole, I think it is rewarding.

Found this over at Kizzie's.

60%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Austin Singles from Mingle2

My flatmate would disagree.

By the way, CityUnslicker has done a very thoughtful response to my post on interest.
It's worth going over and having a look at his take on the subject, before you make your minds up.

So blogging.
Time consuming, yes.
Waste of time?
Would I do it if it was?

Love the lot of you! xx


Anonymous said...

Love you too, cbi!

Anonymous said...

I only started bloggin for the tits and to meet girlzzz. Its been quite useless..

Anonymous said...

I scored 65% addicted to blogging.

I think its interesting to know why and how people got started blogging and why they blog. What makes a blogger tick!

Anonymous said...

I started blogging because I couldn't find anyone at the time to discuss things political or philisophical with... and some things needed to come out at the time.

More of a message to myself than to anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Mutley, But how else would you have met Ms. Smack!
Blogging does become oddly compulsive especially for the criminally insane. Why do I blog? For much the same reasons as David Anthony has identified. The Dead Tree media bores my ass off. I am looking for a subversive alternative. In all seriousness, I am consistently impressed by a lot of the blogging that I see.

Anonymous said...

A little too negative for me CbI.

You must be much more positive!

Anonymous said...

Why indeed.

By accident rather than by design as I suspect is the case for many. I initially just wanted to have a pretty picture and have a persona to use on the odd occasions when I wanted to leave comments on others people’s posts. And its kind of grown from there but to be honest it’s a very steep learning curve and is extremely time consuming. There are a lot of people out there with a greater understanding and eloquence around the issues of the day that sometimes leaves one struggling to keep up. But I guess the joy of the whole thing is to feel a part of a greater world and to play on a bigger than stage than one has in the normal work a day world. To find that there are many who hold similar opinions to you and many that don’t but in the main to find that the vast majority are willing to engage in an open debate on a wide variety of topics in an open and constructive manner. To be able to read about the views and experience of people who you would never have a chance to meet in the ‘real’ world and better, to be able to interact with them

I post, I comment (occasionally) but most importantly I learn.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, Tabatha Cash, eh? You have just risen in my esteem.
I'm praying noone's going to use the line "I blog, therefore, I am"....that would piss me off.

Anonymous said...

It is REALLY time-consuming. That's the only drawback. I don't get around to other blogs nearly enough.

I'm glad you find it rewarding and useful, though. It is.

Anonymous said...

*smile* I'm glad you decided to blog :-D

Anonymous said...

We blog because there's only so much we can carry around in our heads. In the long run, it does help us become better communicators.

Anonymous said...

I did that test a while ago. I was 75% addicted to blogging. Hence, I have no social/sex/other life.

The reasons that I blog - I don't really know for sure. But thats a blog post all of its own.

Anonymous said...

I hate blogs.

Anonymous said...

CBI, I post because it allows me to vent my thoughts and get some feedback. Sometimes I can be unreasonable in my ideas.

I'm glad you blog though because although we don't agree on many things your posts actually make me think about the way of the world and you certainly have a, to me, strange outlook on life.

I'm 40% addicted to blogging.

Anonymous said...

Well, whatever your reasons were to start blogging, I’m glad that you found em – the blogging world would definitely been deprived from one of its most provoking & interesting bloggers.

Anonymous said...

CBI is certainly "provoking"!

58% here.

Anonymous said...

Have been mulling over this medium as well, I've yet to indulge in a post, though.

I started blogging a year ago in October because of the death of someone with whom I had always enjoyed lengthy and factual conversations. It's not totally the same, but it has helped the grieving nevertheless. I just miss having another couch in this world that I can relax and put my feet on.

Anonymous said...

Liz- You are sweet!
Hope you are feeling better!

Jenny- Don't tell the firm!
The great thing about the bloggosphere now is just how diverse the community is.

Mutley- Might I suggest the pub? I know it's a little old fashioned, but I tend to find it works...

David- I have quite long discussions with my mate The Baker, they often go on for eight hours or so. A lot of my more political posts are condensed versions of a number of these discussions. He feels much the same way about the world around him, but doesn't share all my opnions on the reasons why.

This is also helpful, because it means that I'm already prepared for the obvious objections to my opinions.

Istanbul T- I would agree with much of that.
Intellectual discussion can actually give me an adrenalin rush- I am a bit of an adrenalin junkie in some ways, and this medium exceeded my expectations. It continues to surprise.

Jeremy- I think I am a positive person, certainly I rarely get depressed.

Grendel- Much how I see it in many ways. I do leave comments often, but then, I'm a fairly direct person.
You're right in the sense that in the real world, most of my working day is spent on discussing the most mindnumbing of things, (No one of their own free will discusses Standard Industry Classifications), whereas my pub conversations are enjoyable, but mainly on three themes; Football, Music and Women.

There are other things i like to talk about.

Istanbul T- I had a very large poster of her back then, which was above my stereo.
I had Liz Hurley, in THAT dress above my pillow.
Oddly, it was Liz my girlfriend was most jealous of.

Ruthie- I have become a lot more systemised, but the system still needs improving. I do forget people too much. I might start taking a note.

Eve- The feeling is mutual! I have come across some truly wonderful people, you being one.

Anonymous said...

Alexys- I have thought that it can be seen in evolutionary terms.
I disagree that human evolution hasn't occurred since Cro-Magnon times, it's just not been morphological.
People who mastered literacy tended to surive and leave more children. Remember, Darwin got the idea of Evolution from Malthus work on population.
In a sense, human culture speeded up the very mechanisms which we KNOW propel evolution by increasing the capacity of those at the top of the pyramid to reproduce dramatically.

Communication ultimately is an advantage because it makes collective intelligence possible, which is where I see evolution leading us.
And we should see technology as part of the evolution process.

Phish- I really must show my flatmate this. She thinks I spend too much time on this.
And yet, only 60%...

Ed- Hmmm. Pork Pie, anyone?

Bag- Well, I think my outlook may well be a minority one.
Strange as in unusual, or strange as in screwed up?
Or strange is in, unfamiliar?

I've had a strange life, Bag. It would make a great autobiography. I might publish it posthumously.

Crashie- :) That was a really lovely compliment. Coming from a blogger of your discernment, that means a lot.

Ed- Someone recently said to me, they were surprised I never get into fights.
But do you know, not been in one since I was a teenager.
Ah, you beat me on the addiction free stakes, as did Bag.

Helen- It's interesting, because you are the one of the people, I'd wondered how you started.
There are quite a few blogers, who you can tell, are not the sort of people you'd really associate with sitting in front of a computer screen for fun, but make excellent bloggers.
So you wonder how they discovered the medium.
Thanks for answering my mental question.
I mean, I don't really use the PC for much else. The only other sites I visit are in my useful links section.

Anonymous said...

CBI, Strange as in interesting. You make me think about things.

Before you go selling the rights to your memoirs I would wait and see what happens over the next 20 years. See how you are then. Will you still be talking dirty to ubermouth? Will she make an honest man of you? Or will Jenny finally make a decision and reel you in.

Many things could happen.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting to hear how you came to blogging, Crushed. I'm so glad you did! I'll say again that I believe you are doing something really worthwhile here. [Love the cartoon, btw.]

Anonymous said...

It does feel nice to express oneself freely without the consequences of doing so with people you know, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

"I didn't realise you could have a Blogger ID, without a blog, so I ended up having a blog."

That's how I ended up on MySpace, Facebook, Blogger...

I think I blog and comment because I just like arguing.