I was going to call this "Why you should blog – even if you have no readers", but then again, I do have readers. I mean, my aunt prints out some of my Norwegian-language posts so my grandparents can read them.
Seriously, I know that there are people out there who don’t know me at all, but who are still reading, for whatever reason. And I blog for them as much as I blog for my friends. But mainly, I blog for myself.
I’ve been blogging since June 2005. When I started, people asked me: "Do you have time for this?" and I thought "Time? Blogging isn’t time-consuming!" Since then, I’ve used this site as an (incomplete) digital archive of things I’ve been thinking about anyway. I think pretty much everything I’ve put here needed to be written. Rather than bookmarking interesting news articles, writing out the lyrics of a song I obsessed over in a journal (yes, I was once a fourteen-year-old girl) or simply talking about the same thing with every person I met, I could store my thoughts online. And as an added bonus, sometimes someone cared about it.
Continue reading for some examples of why I blog, and what blogging did to me.
I guess the more interesting question is: Why are you reading this?
I have blogged in order to…
- request answers to burning questions like "Why do people care about the Olympics?", "What kind of computer should I buy?", "What should my BA thesis be about?" and "Why should I not move out of the country?"
- rant about people nagging me, bad customer service and Parisian weather – rather than throw a real life fit.
- publish the notes I was taking anyway, to justify being late for class because of Joseph Nye
- remind myself what not to do
- advertise my magazine
- explain my inside jokes
- make those of my friends who should be just a little bit more famous look better online
- kill time at the airport
- keep in touch while living
away from homein a different home.
- jot down some thoughts which will now turn into a research project.
- express my gratitude to friends when I had not quite been able to do so in real life.
- count down the days until Christmas
- procrastinate while studying for PoliSci exams
And sometimes people cared…
- People have often answered the questions – rhetorical or not – that I’ve posted here, in real life, or by e-mail, even if they didn’t comment.
- When I wrote about Steve Jobs’ commencement speech in 2005, it led to an article about that speech in one of Norway’s main papers.
- After I discussed the need to educate "globalists" in June 2006, I was recruited into the student government.
- My rant on Skeidar got me a free lunch and gift certificate, and the chance to tell this furniture chain how they should be doing business. ("Are you a business school student? Since you think about this so much…" "No. I’m a customer.")
- My musings on politics nearly made someone cry.
- My guide to feeling happier and my thoughts on how I would spend the last six months before I died actually made someone cry.
- This blog post about brain drain started a debate with the writer I was criticizing. This led to an article in the magazine argument, which eventually led to a permanent writing position there, which eventually led to my current job as section editor. This spring, I’ll be going to South Africa to report on brain drain issues.
- I published this blog post about rape in the newspaper Aftenposten back in March 2007. Three years later, I met someone at a party who talked about that article. Pretty fun to be able to say: "I wrote that!"
- And then of course, there’s the one about the future of journalism.
I didn’t plan for these reactions to happen. And while I’m far, far from being the kind of blogger who achieves money or fame from blogging, I can definitely say that blogging has changed my life.
In the winter edition of the Norwegian magazine argument, there will be an article by Kristian Landsgård about political blogging – and it’s pointlessness. Kristian has been using his blog to test out ideas and thoughts that may or may not end up in his magazine article. And as we were discussing his work, we couldn’t escape the irony: a political blogger arguing that political blogging is pointless? So why is he doing it? And this got me thinking about what the point of www.accordingtojulie.com really is.