Last night I attended our system’s annual meeting, and I’m waiting for some information so I can write a post about it. In the meantime…
This post and its ripple effect (here and here) has given me pause to think. In the original post, Julie lamented the fact that she did not have enough exposure in the land of library “superstars” and wanted more attention. Despite some of the negativity that ensued in the comments, I thought this was an incredibly bold and honest statement to make–I want to be noticed.
In the two follow-up posts, advice was offered on how to do just that–get noticed–and more specifically, get invited to speak because that was one of Julie’s desires and part of the reason that she blogs, I think. I don’t want to put words into her mouth, though. But much of the discussion that followed centered around well-known library bloggers with huge readerships who are also often keynote or other speakers at conferences (many of whom happen to be male, also, but I’m not going there).
The point I’m trying to get to is that Julie’s post made me think about why bloggers blog. For me, it is most certainly not to generate invitations to speak, although I’m not averse to public speaking. But that is not my goal here. It’s also not to solicit job invitations from around the country since my roots are firmly planted, and I’m not relocating anywhere.
Is it to get attention? I don’t know…I don’t put myself out there on Twitter or Facebook the way some other bloggers do. I’m on Twitter and Facebook, but I use Twitter mostly just to post the link to my blog posts and to follow others (including my kids, who are hilarious), and I use Facebook for personal rather than professional reasons, although I do post library stuff there, too, sometimes. I make no attempt to attract more followers/friends on either.
Is it because I think I know stuff that other people would want to know? Umm….sometimes, but not often. Usually it’s because I have an opinion about something or want to offer my perspective or insight. Is it because I think I know more or better than anybody else? Heck no! I often admit to the opposite.
So why do I do it? I’m not reaching that many people according to my view statistics. I don’t promote myself or this blog outside of Twitter and Facebook (and LinkedIn)–there’s no link to my blog with my email signature. I don’t write about particularly practical topics most of the time. I like to ask questions, challenge traditional library culture, and make people think. None of that will help anyone’s circulation statistics or program attendance.
I guess I do it simply because I like to write. I like to construct sentences and use words in a way that doesn’t necessarily impress but does leave an impression. Like everyone, I have opinions and thoughts and a perspective that are uniquely mine, and my hope is to write something, sometime, that is meaningful to someone for some reason. For now, this is the best venue in which to do that.
I guess I do it for myself.
I don’t know if that’s the best reason to blog. I know it’s not the only reason. Or maybe it is.
Why do you do it? And if you don’t do it, how do you view those of us who do?