Friday, January 8, 2010

what i learned from surfing the blogosphere

so today . . . i've spent quite a bit of time reading new blogs. and i've decided my blog can stand up to most of what is out there--even though only ten of you read it regularly :)

it all started when i clicked on a blog link in a list of the tweets of a blogger i follow. i read a few entries of the new blog, and decided to become a follower. (the advantage for me to being a follower is that when a blogger i follow posts a new blog, i get a notification. this saves me the time of checking blogs several times every day, only to be disappointed when nothing new has posted--which is why i try to write something every day--i don't want you to be disappointed!) then a link on the new blog caught my eye, i clicked, and there i was on another new blog. i read a few entries, and before you know it--lather, rinse, repeat--an hour had gone by and i had visited several blogs . . .

i got a little bit inspired by the different looks of the new blogs and decided to check into revising the look of MY blog by myself. i was going to pay someone to make it all cool-looking, but then i missed five weeks of work! so i thought maybe i could do a little revamping on my own. i clicked on a site, which led to more blogs, and--lather, rinse, repeat--another hour was lost forever. and i STILL can't figure out how to redo my site.

but in the process, i found a company that will print my blog into a book--for a fee, of course. so i did the math to see approximately what it would cost to print last year's blogs, and found it was going to cost about $125! for one book!! so that won't be happening anytime soon. but for a much smaller fee, they will convert my blog to a pdf file. i think this might be a good thing, except i am not really sure what that is. i mean, i know what a pdf file is (kind of,) but i don't know exactly what it would do to my blog.

even though i spent my evening clicking from one site to another, i think it was time well spent. i am never going to make any money from my blog--not enough people read it to make it profitable--but i still want it to be good. and i learned a few things as i was navigating the blogosphere:

1--blogging is becoming an industry. it is amazing to me how many businesses have popped up that are connected with blogging. there are communities you can join to gain more exposure for your blog--complete with a yearly convention! there are advertisers who will pay a small fee if you allow them to post their ads on your blog. there are people with real computer skills who will custom design the look of your blog. and then there is that site that will print your blogs into a book. if you are clever enough to figure out how to do it, there is money to be made.
2--most of the people who read blogs, also write them. i find this interesting. it is kind of like if bakers only baked treats for other bakers. i guess if you are a blogger, your perspective on blogs is somewhat different than if you are not--you understand what it takes to get a blog idea from your head onto the internet, so you can appreciate the efforts of others in a unique way. but it is also kind of like "preaching to the choir." while i am glad when anyone gives up a few minutes of their day to read what i have written, i kind of like that most of you don't blog. you just come to my blog to be entertained--not because i commented on your blog so you have to comment on mine. that makes it unique, and i like that!
3--most bloggers have a purpose to their writing. maybe they are marketing their business, or maybe they have a message they want people to hear, or maybe they want to connect with other people who have similar interests or life experiences. it is kind of fun to read 5 or 6 posts on a new blog and then see if you can figure out their purpose. my purpose is to tell a funny story that will make you laugh. i think i accomplish that most days--except for the days like yesterday when nice julie goes missing and cranky julie commandeers the computer.
4--most bloggers do not post every day. or even nearly every day. it takes a lot of time to blog. i don't just sit down, throw some words onto the computer screen, and press enter. it usually takes me at least two hours to write, read, edit, reread, edit, think of a title, post, read, edit, look for photos, add photos, reread, edit, get a snack, read and edit yet again, decide on labels, post, read, and maybe edit one or two more times before the final post. that is a chunk of time to invest every day, and everyone can't do it. actually, everyone doesn't do it. some people just write off the top of their heads. and that is ok--it just isn't how i do it. so if you check my blog for a new post, and there isn't one, i probably just had a busy evening and ran out of time.
5--there are a lot of people writing blogs. A LOT! mine is probably not the best, but it is certainly not the worst either.

after reading lots and lots of new blogs tonight, i am kind of proud of what i have accomplished. i've never thought of myself as a writer. i don't remember particularly enjoying writing when i was in school. but i can tell a story that will make people laugh. and apparently i can also do it in writing.

this makes me happy.


mom said...

Yours is the only blog I read!!

Rollie said...

I think your blog is the very best one!!!