This post is in response to Michele Martin’s comment, in which she asked “…how blogging in particular has made the web a more rewarding place to visit.”
I realized I had quite a few different but connected answers and struggled for a way to present them. Many thanks and apologies to the genius of Wallace Stevens.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Rewards of Blogging
It’s like having your very own room when you’re a child. It has your stuff, your bed, and unlike everything else out there, you control it. Yes, you have to keep it clean so your parents don’t get on your case and so friends can come over… but still. It’s yours. You want to be there.
It’s like going to a party thrown for people in your profession; it’s fun! You all have something to talk about, letting you connect with new people instead of awkwardly talking about the weather.
The Blog Stats page is fun to obsess over every evening.
Getting comments from people you know you can connect with is a little like getting digits from that party you attended in item 2. It’s gratifying and opens new conversations and possibilities.
I have a showcase of my everyday writing. It’s like an automatic portfolio for anyone who may want to hire me or collaborate with me.
I can show people what I’m interested in who might not fully understand if I just say it. My grandmother, for example.
I’m not anonymous when I comment on other people’s blogs. The blog is an anchor, some context, the home base of my web presence. My comments don’t stand alone because they link right back to my blog.
Having a web presence is important. It helps me be a tech-savvy professional, keep up with what’s going on around me, and share what I know. Back to the portfolio idea, my blog also shows that I am tech-savvy, interested, and a sharer of knowledge. It’s both the pudding and the proof.
Watching my Technorati authority creep very slowly upward from zero makes me smile. I’m building something!
Speaking of authority, as my blog becomes more and more established, I feel braver about commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s as though I feel invited to more of those parties.
I enjoy writing. It’s nice to have a public yet low-pressure venue.
I finally have a reason to take notes: I can post them and reflect upon them. While I haven’t found many of my notes post-worthy yet, having a blog inspired me to take notes in the first place. It’s helped me be a more active listener, always thinking, “How can I blog about this? What would I add or ask about?” because those thoughts now have a place to go.
Through blogging, I’m involved with communities I care about in a flexible, comfortable medium. I can widely represent myself “business casually” instead of only through formal and/or narrow communication.