I have had to spend a bunch of time maintaining this blog over the last month and it has me thinking if blogging – on an actual blog – is still a thing. With tumblr, Facebook (list other social media tech here) do we still need blogs, RSS and that stack of tools (including WordPress – the app I am writing this with). For that matter, do I even need a personal domain name (e.g. <my name>.com, .org, etc.)?
To disambiguate this a little more, I am not questioning the value of blogs in general. I believe that as a way to publish things for those that are semi/professional bloggers – blogging still has a role. Personally, I read fewer blogs; but I feel that the reason for this is more a factor of the changes in the type of information I consume. My personal life has undergone a great deal of change and my career continues to evolve where I don’t find the need/time to subscribe to blogs. What I am contemplating here is do I need to the custom website, blog, infrastructure that is needed to have my own blog? As just some person in the world who has some things to say and assumes that no one is actually interested/reading what I write. Which means that much of what I write is for myself rather than anyone else. This is the context of my contemplation.
For a very long time I have been racing other people for logins/identifiers. My default for this is “ckoppang” – a left over from long ago network logins. Turns out that I have 2 brothers whose first name also starts with a “C” and there is at least one other person who likes to use ckoppang. So of course in the early days of the Internet I went out and reserved my person domain name; which I have renewed year after year at not an insignificant cost for something which only exists in electrons.
So why do I keep this? Especially since I seem to get hot/cold on blogging. Why spend the money or invest the mind space to something that has questionable value? To answer this I feel like it’s worth trying to explore why I blog. Is it just a good intention with low value it ends up getting pushed to the end of my priority queue? Case in point, as I have been trying to type this entry it has taken me over a day due to interruptions and “real” work. But I do find value in thinking about things “out loud” and being able to see my thoughts. Granted they don’t come out of my head in a very coherent way – so the act of organizing/processing thoughts can be helpful. Stated another way – I am arguing or convincing myself sometimes. This is actually a practice I do a lot; just no always in a public way. I am a fairly self-reflective person looking for ways to improve the way I “move through the world” and I tend to do quite a bit of writing around this. So this feels like an extension of that. Looking at the frequency of writing I have been doing on that front – it too has suffered recently with life’s priorities.
So where does this leave me? Or stated another way – I feel like I need to wrap this thing up. At least before the next interruption.
I am going to keep this going since I do like writing – as much as my 11 grade English teacher may be cringing right now (she really didn’t like me – but that’s whole other story). Being someone with the knowledge and means I and going to work on utilizing technology (e.g. WordPress on my iPad) to make use of those moments I do have where I can quickly put something out there. Hey they don’t always have to be as long as this one. Even something with twitter length is valid. So if writing is important, then why continue to do it here? Is there some reason that my own standalone blog is somehow better? Am I actually building something larger – like a personal brand?
As I sat here and contemplated these questions (and more) I reached a place where I was just like “maybe I just like having this quiet little island to go and play on”. But those are all good questions to consider if you are thinking about this “problem”. I feel a little like I am just abandoning this whole discussion while at the same time admitting that it is possible to just overthink things.