Actually, the first birthday of Carson’s Post came and went last week. I have been struggling with this post as it has been one that I have been thinking about almost all year. Before I began this blog I quickly realized how often bloggers blog about blogging, and have worked hard to resist this narcissistic behaviour. However, today: it’s our birthday and we’ll blog as we want to.
I started this blog essentially to get a better understanding of what a blog is. The title “blog” has been assigned to everything from teenaged MySpace droolings over Justin Timberlake through to Al Gore writing about Climate Change on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website. There is also a lot of chatter out there about it, though most of it is the aforementioned bloggers blogging about blogging navel gazing.
A blog is user generated content, broadcast into cyberspace – but this definition doesn’t mean that much to me. I think of a blog more as a sheet of paper pinned to a telephone pole. This blog is my sheet of paper, etched with my declarations, thoughts and neuroses. Writing the blog is the fundamental part of blogging, but it is not the only part.
If a blogger posts a post and nobody is around to read it… who gives a shit?
One year ago, when my virgin fingers spewed out my “hello world” post it did so to a community of nobody. Now after a year, there are quite a few more readers frequenting the site, which makes the process worthwhile. Blogging into dead space is not fun at all, and so an important part of blogging is marketing. After six months, Carson’s Post happily joined the Progressive Bloggers group, and a few others, and the Google Page rank has expanded giving us more audience.
It is important to get people to read your blog, as it gives you reason to blog. I have spent hours agonizing over the visitor stats wondering how to encourage more readers. Tony and I had many discussions on how to target headlines and topics to bring in more readers. Really, on the whole we haven’t been that successful at attracting readers. We had a great summer but the hits have really fallen in the autumn. I think this is largely due to an inconsistent subject matter, and this is something that is going to change.
My own experience with blogging is rather mixed. I don’t really like blogging as a medium. This post is probably littered with typos and poor grammar. It certainly is not “good writing”, and I can’t think of any blogs that are particularly well written.
My biggest skepticism is in the relationship between you, the reader, and me, the writer. I have never really understood why I should have the gall to transmit my opinion, and you should take the time to read it. If this is indeed a piece of paper stuck to a telephone pole, why did you bother to stop and examine it. This question sits in the back of my head whenever I do anything with this blog. I actually think it makes it a bit better. I would hate to waste your time.
I don’t know how often Tony will blog, if he ever does again. I really enjoyed having him write here and his posts sparked the largest amounts of debate and discussion – not to mention hits – that the site has had. He worked very hard at blogging, but the problem comes that keeping up a blog is essentially a waste of time. It does not pay any money, and the satisfaction received diminishes rather quickly.
I will continue to blog, however infrequently. I have gotten used to it – the blog is not something that I work at, it is a friend I speak to. So, as we crack open the birthday beer, I’ll just say thank you to Tony, as well as all the readers and participants for making the first year of Carson’s Post so interesting and memorable. Hopefully the second year will be just as fun.