The night before I starting blogging, I found myself in a bar making fun of friends who have blogs. Less than 12 hours later, I started one myself. So naturally, quite a few people wondered why!
Well, that morning, I was up early messing around online.. and came across something quite interesting (see yesterday's post regarding msn search). It was quite relevant to topics we were discussing in one of my courses, so I began to throw together an email on the subject to a few bright classmates. Then I thought.. email is so temporal. I send my message.. maybe one or two courageous people send email replies to the list of recipients they may or may not know.. and it's vanished, never to be read or discussed again.
There are other fundamental problems with using email for generative discussion. What if I wanted to show the conversation to another person or group later? I could potentially forward every email response.. but even then, they couldn't participate in the conversation that had already taken place. Also, how do I know that the people I'm emailing are even slightly interested in what I have to say? Email is a push medium -- you push content out to recipients as opposed to the recipients pulling it from you, the source.
Blogging solves all these problems. It's not perfect by any means. A whole new set of problems arise (getting people to read your blog vs. their email, links breaking over time -- links may be temporal, the blog is not, etc).
I've also made a decision to blog only about a specific subject -- the consumer experience, which may be too broad in and of itself. But I will avoid blogging about my life, my friends, who's sleeping with who, etc. I didn't launch my blog at LiveJournal for a reason. LiveJournal is for people who like to blog about their own lives. It's a community based on person to person relationships. I'd like my blog to eventually gain readership among anybody interested in the subject of my blog -- not a select few interested in my life as a subject.
Even harder will be resisting the temptation to blog about my own political, economic, religious views. I may allow events in my life to briefly surface in my writing.. but they will not become its focus.
Finally, I realize that I'm quite new at this. I consider myself to be a pretty good writer, and a horrible blogger. I hope and think that my blogging skill will improve over time. I've heard it's important to keep the paragraphs short and use proper punctuation & grammar. Hmm...