Why Do People Write Blogs? What is a Blog? Should I Start My Own Blog?
What is Blogging?
Blogging has been around for about 20 years. The word evolved from the term "web log", which described many of the first online diaries, journals and personal websites.
By contrast, writing, which is what blogging is, only in electronic form, has been in existence for thousands of years. Ancient people around the world who had something to say, often recorded their stories, advice, criticisms and warnings firstly on cave walls, flat stones and clay tablets, then on vellum and parchment etc., until paper was invented in China around the time of the supposed birth of Jesus Christ.
Socrates, pictured below, considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of all time, lived in Greece about 400 years before Jesus' birth. You might argue that, had "computers and the Internet" been around in Socrates' time, he would also have been "the world's greatest blogger". Now there's a fantasy for you!
In the picture, The Death of Socrates painted in 1787 by Jacques-Louis David, Socrates, condemned to die by self-poisoning after being convicted of corrupting young people in Athens with his "immoral" teachings, makes his final speech surrounded by some of his pupils.
My own personal interpretation of this fanciful depiction is that Socrates is holding forth with one of his typically radical observations on life and existence to a number of his friends and acquaintances. Some are entralled, and hang on his every word, but many others seem to be hiding away in despair almost as though the are saying, "Oh No! What's he going on about now!"
Just goes to show; whoever you are, whatever your views and opinions, there will always be those who totally disagree with you.
Why Do I Blog?
Two main reasons, (a) I enjoy writing and (b) I feel I have something to say. Writing is a popular pastime or occupation, which creative people have indulged in for centuries. Some people write for profit, such as journalists and novelists, others because part of their job or profession is to provide records of events, instructions, lessons, business plans, advertising material etc. Many more write letters to friends, newspapers, magazines, keep diaries or journals, simply to keep in touch, complain or simply to preserve memories for themselves or those they leave behind when they die.
Like many people I hold strong opinions about a host of issues; unlike many I try to limit myself to important issues, those which seriously affect people's day to day and future well-being and happiness. Rather than think about "who will win the World Cup?" or " if celebrity A marries celebrity B, how will it effect their careers?", and other such trivial matters, I concentrate on the philosophies of Life, Death, Health, Happiness, Politics, Religion, Success and Failure and so on.
You may agree with my views, wholly or in part, or find they go totally against your own particular thinking on a specific subject. That's OK; you are entitled to your opinions, as I am to mine, and I will vigorously defend both our rights to express them. However, if you put forward a convincing enough argument, I may be persuaded to amend or completely change my stance on the matter. Very few people are ALWAYS right in ALL things!
How Do I Start to Write a Blog?
Ideas occasionally come randomly into my head, but more often than not, they are triggered by conversation, an overheard remark, a news item or something I actually witnessed. Questions are raised in my mind; "How did that happen?", "Why are people like that?", "What effect will this have?", "When will somebody act on this?", "Who is responsible?", "Where is this leading to?", "How will it affect the future?"
Ideas can be fleeting, they sometimes arise at the most inconvenient times, but I try to capture the gist of them by scribbling notes. I keep pen and paper handy in several places, but this does not always work. Many philosophical gems have slipped through my mental fingers. I can remember thinking of a "great phrase" to use in a blog, but cannot for the life of me, moments later, actually recall what it was! Such is the life of most writers, perhaps.
Sometimes when I feel the need to write something new, I refer to a list of subjects I am building and keep near my desk. I pick a topic and begin to scribble notes and/or make a rough bubble diagram to examine and show connections between ideas (see pic below).
Once I make a start, the words come like falling dominoes; each one triggers another. Structure and flow follow as I commit the article to paper or screen, editing and re-forming as I go. The work is finished when I judge I have enough material to publish.
The beauty of electronic blogging is that appropriate changes, additions and even deletions can normally be made at any time in the future, should the need arise, whereas the printed word, e.g.., magazine and newspaper articles, books, etc., once in the public domain can not easily be withdrawn.
Finally, I find there is an over-riding dilemma; philosophising about life, and the issues it raises, and trying to find solutions to the infinite number of problems which keep the world in seeming chaos, often appears to just simply raise a lot more questions! Good luck with your blog.