My friend’s comment on my post about my early days of blogging started my thought process about what I had learned from blogging. I stated in this post (also the first point my friend made) that the blogging community always encourages others, be it newbies or veterans. That is also my first lesson from blogging. This learning led me to my next point, which deals with communities.
2. Community creation is vital:
Every blogging platform – WordPress, Blogger or any other – thrives on the creation and sustenance of communities. Communities are built when ideas are expressed openly without fear of retribution and others build on those ideas. If one person puts forth an idea, there should be at least ‘n’ number of people who have something to say about the idea, where n > 1. When that happens, ideas and content are built on top of each other.
People may agree or disagree, but the point that a point has been made and others have something to say about that point triggers an expression of a new point, using the previous one as a reference and source. This new point made might act as a trigger for a further rebuttal or expansion of that idea, ultimately creating a network effect that is the underlying foundation of everything social in our lives. This leads to a networking circle of idea expression and community building.
When I write about what I learned from blogging, some people might agree with some of my points and my post will act as the trigger for them to write and build upon what I have to say. For some others, who may not agree with most of my points, it will still act as a trigger to express their disagreement and discontent, eventually putting up at least two perspectives. Further, some others might have something more to say about what has been said by the previous group. The more this happens, the better it is for communities to form and sustain themselves.
The network effect thus created forms the basis of sustenance of online communities, in much the same way as local communities are built, enabling people to thrive on top of each other, not at each others’ throats. Gawker and Medium are examples of such communities being built on top of their users’ content.
3. Blogging is for everybody. Blogging consistently is for the “innately passionate”:
My friend wrote:
Blogging is for one who is innately passionate towards writing and mostly used as an alternative channel of expressing oneself or one’s opinions.
I read somewhere that there are between 1 and 3 million blogs dormant on the internet. Realistically speaking, it means that there are at least a million people who had started blogging but have discontinued it for reasons best known to them.
This supports the statement my friend made, one that I also learned about blogging, that blogging is for everybody but blogging consistently towards a particular objective is for the innately passionate. Many people blog, but to keep the activity ongoing, despite and amidst the humdrum of life, is a challenge fulfilled by the innately passionate.
An assignment for some of my Marketing colleagues during my post-graduate days was to create a blog and try to monetise it. Soon after the course ended, barely a couple of people tried to keep the blog active. So, right from a newbie who enters the world of social media through a blog, to a branding company, which tries to present and position itself in a particular way, blogging is for all. But to keep the activity ongoing is for those who seek their purpose through the medium of the blog.
I’ve seen blogging used as a medium for branding, publishing, promoting, monetising, earning, converting (sales), expressing, educating and even nurturing. The varied uses and means available allow varied channels of expression. But who uses it for what purpose and to what end manifests the propensity of the individual to keep the passion alive.
Read the next post to know about the necessity of structure in a post.