Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why Blog? Reasons #9 and #8: Because it's there ... and to inform, or to demonstrate (or establish) expertise

Guy Kawasaki, one of  my favorite
bloggers and overall geek hero.
This is the third post in a new series I'm calling "Why blog?" In each day's post in this series, I will look at one or more of the top 10 reasons people (including me) blog ... and what I have learned as a professional blogger and a corporate liaison to bloggers.

The last post in this series looked at Reason #10: To make a buck or get free stuff. But in answer to the question "Why blog?" today's post examines, David Letterman countdown-style ...

Reason #9: Because it's there.

Okay, I admit this sounds like, and probably is, the silliest reason of all. What I had in mind was sort of that same reason that people climb mountains ... simply because it's a challenge. It's something that may be difficult, and if you succeed at doing it, you can look down at all the little people scurrying around like ants below and feel good about what you've achieved.

You can tell your friends, "I've got a blog. I'm a blogger."

The majority of the blogs in the world may actually fall into this category, I'm not sure. (Hopefully not mine!) And I'm guessing many of them don't blog very consistently. As part of my job, I scan through hundreds of blogs. I frequently run across blogs that haven't had a new post in 2 or 3 years. I think either the blogger died, or didn't have that compelling a reason to start blogging in the first place.

Reason #8: To inform, or to demonstrate (or establish) expertise.

I know, I've lumped a lot into reason #8. Actually, among my favorite bloggers are some news bloggers (like Jonathan Merritt's "On Faith & Culture" blog for Religion News Service) who are very good at providing thought-provoking news and analysis through their blogs. But a lot of people are very good at something very specific, which other people might like to learn how to get good at; and when they are good teachers/communicators, it makes for a winning combination for a blog.

There are a lot of bloggers out there, for instance, who specialize in technology. And people who follow the march of progress in technology, but don't have the time to go to all the conferences or read up on all the latest gizmos, can instead read their favorite tech blogger who can let them in on all their secrets.

Among my favorites in this category include: Guy Kawasaki (who has expanded the scope of his blogging far beyond mere tech); Gizmodo, Huffington Post Tech, Wired, Engadget and TechDirt.

I used to enjoy Robert Scoble but he quit blogging last August, saying "The world has moved on to social media." Hmmm. I think blogging (long form or medium form) is still an important PART of social media! Twitter would be inherently frustrating (at least to me, a writer) if you couldn't use it primarily to point to your medium- or long-form posts.

The blogger may be doing it because they love tech. They may also be doing it to make some money. See #10 above. Others of course may be doing it to establish their name as an expert in a given subject. See reason #7, below. And of course, many of the bloggers, such as the news bloggers, are getting paid for it as a part of their job.

In one more interesting example of a very entertaining blog based on expertise (with a twist of humor) ... you all have probably enjoyed listening to Car Talk on NPR. Did you know they have a blog? It's true. Here it is. I'm not a car guy, per se ... but this is all the more reason to be able to find good info on cars when I need to!

In tomorrow's blog, we'll look at reasons #7, #6 and #5 ... Why blog? To become famous. And to inspire. And sometimes, to gripe.

No comments: