Who cares that you’re not writing a mass market newspaper? The point is not to show up on a list, the point is to start a conversation that spreads, to share ideas and to chronicle your thinking. That’s the work of an author, and I think rather than kissing author blogs goodbye, someone should just start a new list.
I think that we are too wrapped up in lists sometimes. I don’t use them very often. And, as a consequence, I am not as organized as I could be. But I really like what Seth Godin says in this post about personal blogs. They are important even though they may not be the most popular blogs out there.
It may be more difficult to make a blog very successful if it is a personal blog. In the sense that it may take more hours of work to do it. Maybe it takes three years to make it very successful instead of two. (When you buy a car do you worry very much about whether you get a two year loan or a three year loan?)
But I think it would be much more difficult to create and maintain a blog that is about news, sports or the latest electronic gadget. That would be a job.
I like writing posts that have no defined beginning, middle and end before I write them. I like writing about what I feel and think but I also seek to merge with my reader’ s thoughts and feelings in some way. It may not even be a conscious goal sometimes. But hopefully there is a conversation going on in some sense about something that interests us both in some way. Even if there is no comment at the end of it.
Hopefully there is a conversation whispering its way through the wind.
I realize the results are uneven. Some posts are much less popular than others (this one? Who knows. . .) But now we are starting down the path of lists again. WordPress Stats are (is?) a list. Success may depend more on who is on the other end. Maybe there’s one person on the other end who really enjoys a particular thought. It’s almost as if he or she looked up just in time to see a meteor streak across the sky.
Timing is everything.
What I think is really cool is that a post I wrote over a year ago could meet up with someone on the other side of the world tomorrow. And there could be a merging of the minds for about one minute and forty seconds.
Or maybe it will be a photo of a sunset. Hopefully this sort of thing brings us closer together. Hopefully it helps us understand that even in a world that holds billions of busy people we are still not numbers and we can be something more than a name on a very long list. And we can watch a sunset together or, at least, a photo of one.
I have noticed that people I know or meet treat me differently if they have read my blog. They seem more relaxed and open. Apparently they have seen through the introverted shell I carry around. It is a costume made out of numbers and it is sewn together with lists.
I’m so glad I found a way to go out in public without it.
Personal blogs will do well in the future because they are a conversation between casual friends. But this conversation is open to strangers too. They can listen in without feeling awkward.
I worried when I started blogging that I would make mistakes. Now I see myself making mistakes every day and don’t care. I don’t keep stats on them. And my readers are kind enough not to point them out 99 percent of the time.
So on this Thanksgiving I give thanks for many things. But in this space I would particularly like to remember and appreciate those who read blogs and encourage their authors. You are helping your brothers and sisters to grow.
YOU are the meteors that streak across the sky.