A few months ago, I read the Sunday edition of The Washington Post and there was an article in there about a famous novelist (sorry, I don’t want to say who because he’ll mow me down with his BMW and pelt me with M&Ms). The article had a quote from the famous novelist, stating that he would never want to become a blogger because blogging is so unregulated. And I thought, “WHAT??!!!”
I don’t agree that blogging is unregulated. I think that writer was mistaken on two fronts.
First, he’s missing out on the wonderful world of blogging. I feel so much richer since I started blogging. Not in the monetary sense — although I’m aware that some enterprising bloggers have found ways to make money from their personal blogs. I feel richer in the intellectual sense. I see fabulous pictures and videos from all over the world. (Twisted Sifter and Ad Pitch Blog, I’m talking to you two in particular!) Those pictures and videos would probably have taken me years to discover on my own, if at all.
Other bloggers have used their blogs to discuss their life stories and things they’ve learned from their own experiences, inspiring educational conversations between themselves and their commenters. Still others share their humor or their artistic talent.
Second, I’m not so sure that blogging IS unregulated. Okay, anybody can start up a blog and think they can say whatever they want, but we still have to follow the policies of WordPress, Blogger or other platforms.
We also self-regulate. As a professional writer and editor, it’s a point of pride to make sure I write my blog posts correctly (grammar, spelling, etc.). I think many others feel this way — no one wants to make patently obvious mistakes and put it out there in public to be preserved forever.
And we regulate each other. Whatever you put online, someone sooner or later is going to call you on it. It might be a factual error you make or the fact that the commenter doesn’t agree with your mindset. Some bloggers try to inspire controversy and argument, but I tend to avoid those blogs.
Bloggers write for various reasons — to entertain, to inform, to enlighten, to commemorate, to celebrate, to share creative work, or to express personal philosophies. As a Freshly Pressed blogger pointed out this week, we also blog because we like to connect.
Some brave bloggers have even shared some of the darkest of life’s experiences. I get the sense that they not only want to write that post, but they need to write it as a form of catharsis and are helped by the supportive comments of their readers.
So, Mr. Novelist, this is the world of blogging. There’s a lot of fascinating flavors around here. If you ever change your mind, come and join us.
Blog readers, your thoughts? (P.S. Text in video below has minor errors; please, don’t shoot me. I can’t fix ‘em.)