As far as I can see, there are 3 types of reasons for blogging:
- editorial (leads, sources, speed, multimedia);
- commercial (distribution, SEO); and
- professional (portfolio, personal brand).
Why did you start blogging? Why do you continue to blog? Was it a personal or an organisational move? How has it proved its worth (or not)?
Because I had ideas and thoughts about areas that interested me that I didn't get a chance to write about professionally. And because I had ideas about how to improve the media business and the future of publishing that I wanted to discuss with people, and hopefully inspire people with, either within my company or externally.
I blog to gain exposure my tv show which is only on cable access but I post it to the web and put it out that way. I also have several other blogs which are a means to communicate ideas which are typically ignored in the mainstream…
Intellectual freedom! I started blogging because I was tired of passing all my ideas about journalism through gatekeepers–journalists as editors–who had entirely the same ideas about journalism that ever other gatekeeper had. They never recognized any conflict of interest between holding on to their own pressthink (one interest they had) and editing my work as a writer (another interest.) Nor did I think I could get them to see that conflict. So I started my blog, PressThink.
Well, I happened to write a post on this very question just a few hours ago! I don't fit any of your three reasons. I currently make a nice living in freelance journalism, editing, comms, etc. I'd be doing fine without blogging, but I doubt that will continue into the long term. Blogging (or social media more widely) will be a key skill, and the blogging mindset will be a key personal attribute. The only way to learn it is by having a go. Hence I blog, I Tweet, I use Linked-In, etc.
I started blogging as part of my post grad diploma at Cardiff. It's part of our Online module and helps us to think about the direction journalism is taking as well as helping us to build a portfolio.
For me it's a chance to expand on ideas I've had, sometimes at work, sometimes just browsing the web. It's a great way of feeling as though you're joining in the debate. It also opens doors and helps make connections, both in your area of work and also outside of it.
I have two reasons to continue blogging: 1. I'd like to share what I've been doing about SEO and stuff. I understand that the first step is difficult to take so I think I might be able to help someone to start their small online business without having to burn their time and money too much. (hopefully) 2. I'd like to promote my aStore. (seriously, just wanna be honest)
I do it to share music which I really like, to promote other things I do (only via the about page) and to improve my writing. I think it achieves all three things: 1) One of my friends actually went and bought an album from an artist I recommended 2) When i take pictures via flickr, people see them within the posts, i.e from gigs and such 3) I think my writing is improving Thanks for the little reflection, its good to see why I actually do this thing.
I blog to keep a log of the films I watch and how they impressed me. You may say I could do that with a private diary. But with a blog I feel compelled to write more frequently (as I presume I have readers). Also I fit in Neil's reasons. Blogging is the future, the way to learn and to be updated.
Those sound to me like professional reasons?
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Britannica Blog is tightly censored. Reader comments incompatible with Britannica's commercial or ideological proclivities are excluded. As Carr suggests, "That vast, free-wheeling, and surprisingly intimate forum where individual writers shared their observations, thoughts, and arguments outside the bounds of the traditional media is gone. Almost all of the popular blogs today are commercial ventures with teams of writers, aggressive ad-sales operations, bloated sites, and strategies of self-linking." A perfect description of Briannica Blog itself. Boycott Britannica censorship.
10 years of stand-up comedy + 25 years of photography, and what brought them together was blogging. Was originally personal brand stuff, but has taken on life of its own, and I'd do stand-up to promote blog rather than other way round now. I also wanted to slag off our main daily newspaper. It all fits!
Passion for a subject that I don't feel gets enough attention.
Probably a mixture of all three – I was always a frustrated journalist so it allowed me to spew my thoughts out to a (vaguely) wider audience. But from a business point of view it strikes me as the perfect way for a brand/agency to demonstrate their knowledge of their market
Somewhere between editorial, professional and if a fourth was added… 'recreation'? Originally, I really couldn't see how it would help me as a journalist chasing leads, but with a tighter focus (food for one and media reflections for another) I quite like having a place that I can publish without fitting a specific editorial constraint… e.g things that don't fit exactly into my work blog space. Although I read blogs for a long time, it's only recently I started commenting and blogging myself. It's a bit of an experiment too, and as a result I think I understand the online communities better (the food one works very differently from the media/journalism one, for example). I don't think blogs have to be success stories to be worthwhile: they can be try-out ground and a less formal way of publishing material. The part of blogging I really dislike is the carefully calculated and marketed side of it (however naturally it is attempted). To some degree, you find yourself promoting your blog (by joining networks, linking in, leaving comments), but I like it best when the whole thing evolves naturally: you follow someone you find interesting on Twitter for example, they follow you, and visit your blog. If they don't like they won't come back! One thing is clear: journalists shouldn't be snobby about blogger self-promotion… that's exactly what the by-line is about anyway (I don't buy that it's simply about responsibility – the Economist seems to be doing just fine without them).
You forgot a 4th category and perhaps the most important one: passion. I blog because I'm passionate about what I blog about (social marketing and social media marketing). Social marketing has 40+ years of academic history as the science and process behind influencing change for the increase of social good. Blogger allows be to exercise this passion and share it with others in hopes that they too will discover the world of social marketing and the passion that fuels its practice.
I started to blog recently, for business reasons. I just started my own company, Betta Book Publishing, and thought blogging would help me connect with my clients, authors, readers, etc. My blogs provide information about my company, my clients, my (soon-to-be) authors, writers (as I provide advice and tips), and other information I feel is relevant to share. It's been a great experience so far, and I look forward to expanding my Site and blog in the future!
All of the above really. I find blogging is the most flexible distribution model for the content we create – we create content to educate our potential customer base and champion the use of content-led marketing strategies.
I started Ricochet last year as a personal, professional endeavor. My intent has been to look to non-media industries for ideas for online news — different ways to present it, to think about it, to make money from it. While I haven't been able to write as much or as often as I would like, I hope some of the information I've collected has been useful, and I'm always looking for more things to feature and more people talk with. Feel free to contact me if you have something you think others should know about.
What about 'blogging as performance' or perhaps 'blogging as performance art'? I'd like to say that this was my original idea, but it heard it somewhere else and just loved it. I think that theres more of it about than we realise and really shows the breadth of blogging. Ta, ta…
I started Reportr.net when I started teaching at the University of British Columbia. As a professor of new media, I felt I should practice what I preach, so the blog was a way of establishing a professional presence online. It was also a way to share ideas and thoughts on trends in media, society and technology, engaging with others with similar interests. Perhaps its greatest value professionally has been as a living notebook that is shared online. The blog has turned into a valuable archive for my research, which I can access from anywhere and find anything via search.
All sorts of reasons
1. To focus thinking on particular issues: e.g. a recent post on the Nestle boycott, knowing that you’re putting things in the public domain is a good discipline for researching and writing them properly.
2. Brain dump: I preach almost weekly at my local church, and usually have loads of things I want to say. The blog gives me somewhere to offload all that so I don’t bore the congregation.
4. With work, making the blog a resource for links, reflection, online resources etc. Part of my job is as a facilitator/resource person for other church leaders, so I started a blog to help with this.
5. Vanity. Lets be honest!
6. Agree with Alex, above: I blog about stuff I care about. There needs to be at least a 4th category above of ‘personal’. Add campaigning too, perhaps.
I started blogging seriously in 2006 although I started as managing editor of a blog network in 2005 but that was more of an editing-cum- team building job.
I started blogging as it gave a voice to an autodidact/loner person like myself. It has been a humbling experience and I feel richer for it.
I hope to encourage other people to blog on using Bighow.com, the free all-in-one publishing tool I have been working on for 2 years now.
I blog to share ideas, spark debate, learn, inform and express my thoughts and opinions. http://adamellis1985.wordpress.com/2009/08/
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Here’s why I blog: