Nov 2, 2008

Why blog?

In the post on the 'Demography of Bloggers', someone had asked why people open out their minds to total strangers. It is a very interesting question, and it gave me a chance to open up to you all a little more about what I think about blogging. There are hundreds of articles that have talked about the advantages of blogging; here, I am writing about my personal view and what I have learnt from my fellow blogger friends.

First, plz read a recent article on how blogging is good for one's health. :)

I usually get a lot of thoughts and opinion about the things that have interested me, but couldnt always find the right friends with whom to share them all. After coming to US, the interaction with fellow like-minded Indians reduced even more drastically. Within less than a year of landing here, I came across blogging, and it immediately appealed to me, since it provided my own platform to pen my views, and have a discussion going. Also, from my childhood, I have always liked to write (and talk) a lot too.. ;)

When someone starts blogging, he/she knows few or hardly any friends who also blog. By commenting in others' blogs, and also receiving comments in one's posts, people slowly open up their mind on various topics. As I mentioned in the earlier post, some prefer to be anonymous, simply because they dont know what to expect in this new and unclear world; there is no way to judge a person purely from his/her posts; and so on. Still, most open out their minds to the strangers, because with some, they find better connectivity than with fellow bloggers than with their spouses/siblings/parents/friends. Also, when one can't share some issues with the people surrounding them, they tend to look out for doing so with somebody; through blogs, they find some people with whom they can share, and that makes them feel better.

I have heard some comparisons between blogging and online chatting in chat rooms. Though the commonality between them is in the introduction to strangers in the cyberspace, blogging is far more reliable, for, it helps understand the stranger in a better way, from his/her postings and responses to comments, and also from the comments in others' blogs. As I wrote in the previous post, reading someone's posts for a considerable time (which would vary, depending on if and how that person is circumventing from his/her original personality in the posts and comments) would help map the personality of someone to a considerable extent.

This bring to the important question of whether bloggers reveal their true traits, or hide it to deceive others. This arises due to the presence of such characters in the internet chat rooms, where even the gender of the person can be doubted unless a verbal communication is setup. So far, I havent felt such a deception in the blogworld. Well, everyone has secrets, and a considerable chunk of the population has another side that is hardly known even to the spouse; so, in that same scale, certain characteristics of the bloggers, due to self-imposed constraints or whatever, may not be known.

Thus, having deciphered the personality map of some bloggers, people decide about how much of their mind to share with a particular blogger. I have written some stories on "Blogger Love", which, I felt, and still feel, would be more meaningful and sensible than 'Chatroom love'. I am not suggesting or recommending anything, but such is the power of the blogging that I have felt so far, which has made me to remark so. Blogs are almost like mirrors, reflecting one's personality. It is because I believe that 'one can fool someone for sometime, but not all the time'. Add one more famous saying 'Man is a social animal', and it will become clear that, when a new vista of social interaction arrives, it is embraced quite cheerfully, thus helping further shrink the world.


i,me,my music said...

Hi Raju, Lovely writeup on blogging.. You have written whatever I felt. I guess your post wud surely convince the the person who asked u abt blogging..
One more thing, it is so much of GK.. I prefer blogs for latest updates to boring(for me) news websites.

vm said...

i do think some bloggers personalities don't reflect in their writing. suppose his close ones know about his blog, then obviously he will write harmless posts (unless he's a narcissist). in this case, it doesn't mean he's a harmless person rite. similarly, someone who seems to be harmless infront of his friends and kins who's an anonymous blogger might write the otherwise.

mitr_bayarea said...


wonderful reasoning on the need to blog...great analysis, very thorough.

Anonymous said...

"On my blog, my readers and I experienced 9/11 together, in real time. I can look back and see not just how I responded to the event, but how I responded to it at 3:47 that afternoon. And at 9:46 that night. There is a vividness to this immediacy that cannot be rivaled by print. The same goes for the 2000 recount, the Iraq War, the revelations of Abu Ghraib, the death of John Paul II, or any of the other history-making events of the past decade. There is simply no way to write about them in real time without revealing a huge amount about yourself. And the intimate bond this creates with readers is unlike the bond that the The Times, say, develops with its readers through the same events. "

Raju said...

Ramya, thanks.. :) The person who asked me being an anon, unless he/she comments, we will have no way of knowing about the convincing part.

About GK, yeah.. apart from the normal news which one gets to know from usual sources, some unique ones are also discussed in blogs..
VM, yaaraiyo manasule vachu solramadhiri irukku? ;) Yeah, there is definitely some self-censorship when close ones read the blogs; but still the temptation to write on the issues peripheral to those issues will make one to win over.. (yours truly an example).
Also, there is a general restriction on writing about some issues, which, I am sure, will also be reflected in his/her oral discussion with others.
I agree about the dual personality of some people.. but your second example actually converges with my point, about the true traits of someone being revealed.

Raju said...

Mitr, thanks.. :) Glad u liked it..
Anon, hmmm... I can understand what you meant. I also feel that each blog post, and every comment that it receives becomes like a timestamp in one's life. Suppose I want to revisit any time in the past 3 1/2 years, I would simply visit the post written around that time, and my memory comes back to many things about me and my life at that time. In that sense, 9/11 is a very sad event to revisit, but I share your views that, discussions in blogs are like prolonged round-table conferences where everyone puts in their views; only, the views dont fade away as vibrations in the air, but they live forever.. I truly appreciate you sharing this with us here.. I totally agree with you about the last sentence.. Though almost all newspapers have their articles written in the form of blogs (with comments enabled), that interaction is uncomparable with the personal blogs.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I realized after I started blogging under my real name, that my blogs would become part of my resume.I wonder now if this is why I didn't get the job.

This is something I will have to factor in as I approach my next employer.

Anu said...

Good one.. for me Blogging is a way of getting my ideas across, without being personal . But to compare it to chartoom, is like comparing water and oil. Blogging actually reveals the true ideas of the person, however disguised they may be, but in chat rooms, I dont think we can have the same degree of honesty wrt thougts

Raju said...

Anon, ohh... I have heard that the employers check the facebook/myspace profiles of the candidates, and, sometimes decide against hiring them just based on what they see there.. And I have seen/heard occasional cases of bloggers having been fired from work for revealing the company secrets.. but its effect during the interview? I never thot of it.. Yeah, good luck with the next one.. I dont think I will ever put my blog in my resume.. ;)
Anu, hmmm.. I get it. I just compared to chatroom bcos of both being online.

Anonymous said...

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