I have friends who don’t get blogging at all. “What’s the point?” they ask. “Most blogs are not even reporting; they are just people pontificating about things.”
Which is more or less what I do. And I have to admit, they have a point. After all, when you are not reporting new information, all you can do is give your take on it. And let’s face it: when you are giving your take, the three major reactions are:
- I agree.
- I disagree.
- I don’t care.
If they agree, there was no reason to read it, since they already thought so. If they disagree–well, this is the internet, so they will probably just insult you and leave. (I have been fortunate to have intelligent readers who can disagree civilly and with reasoned arguments.) Or they don’t care, in which case… they don’t care. That’s probably worst of all, since it means the least traffic.
So, given all that, what’s the point of blogging if you are not going to be a shoe-leather reporter bringing the latest news?
One of my favorite quotes from literature is Lovecraft’s “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” This, as longtime readers will remember, was on the footer of my old blog.
But despite the pessimistic tone, I actually like correlating contents. In my opinion, the best post I have done so far is this one, because it involves correlating a lot of disparate ideas and information. It’s not like I did any original work, but I like to think it led people to information they might not have been aware of otherwise.
The other thing I like about blogging–and I realize many bloggers do not take advantage of this–is that it can be collaborative. This poem, which I started and then Thingy and P.M. Prescott completed is a good example, and I’m sure I could find more.
I guess that’s really what I like about it more than anything else: the opportunity to exchange ideas with interesting people.