I've been blogging now for four months now and I am still scratching my head over it. Is it really necessary to blog in order to sell books or attract an audience? I'm guessing the answer is yes but it is probably a lot harder without one because the technology reaches deep into our society and our lives.
Another benefit of blogging is, I suppose, based on the premise that if enough people gather round the electronic campfire of their computer screens to read what I have to say, one can assume there's a certain level of interest my opinions and musings. Although writing fantasy novels is very different from writing a blog; being able to do either does not necessarily mean I can do the other.
I can also see that a blog is a form of self-expression. What better way for someone to prove to others he or she knows what he/she is talking about than to show it? For me, however, the way I prefer to do this is give them a book I've written and say, "Enjoy."
And, of course, there's the rant posting too. I've done a few of these myself because getting my book written, ready for publication, and sold has been a roller-coaster. I've hit potholes the size of watermelons on more than one occasion and have been angry at the setback. Of course, better to make these mistakes now so that I never make them again.
But these points aside, there is something about blog that bothers me and I'm not sure I can put it into words. In its simplest form, I think what concerns me is this: blogs make private information public, by their very nature. Depending on the blog, you can find anything from very private posting to items that more befit a newspaper column. And it is the sharing of overly personal information that bothers me. We already have more content to deal with in a given day than we can deal. Sharing personal information inappropriately just adds insult to injury.
There's more to it than that I think. Increasingly I see the average worker is busier than ever before. At the same, the technology that makes all this social networking possible is everywhere. We are forced to squeeze out social connections in short bursts because we don't have time for anything else. Humans are social creatures by nature; we need to interact with others but socializing takes more time that we don't have. Is it any wonder that social networking is now huge.
And so blogging is one way for the writer to make a connection with his or her readers. The blogger must find a way to pierce the veil of the computer screen can grab your attention in order to connect with you. Ironically, I never know if I succeed. So I keep pitching and hoping at least one of these topics goes over the plate so you can hit it out of the park.
If I succeed, I'll let you know.