While I'm reading Nardi's (et al) paper on why people blog, I came across the posting of Aaron Campbell (
apcampbell :). I agree with him that we should not only look at success stories, but look as well at people who struggle and may stop blogging. It sound quite dramatic what Campbell quotes (from a posting of John):
Maybe I have been hiding my blogging frustrations, my doubts. I want to create something out of my blog, but I feel alone in my struggle, even after a year and a half of work! It seems I've learned a harsh lesson - No one out there is interested in creating a community with me. Not yet any way. I don't think I've been writing enough about all of the times I've felt ignored. That's a serious issue and something that I've been trying and trying to overcome - it's the reason I've sacrificed content on my page, it's the reason I'm always changing the appearance of my blog. Overcoming the feeling of being ignored is the greatest single motivator in my quest to improve my blog.
But it's a Catch 22! As a blog user and a student learning about Weblog Dynamics I don't know how to overcome this feeling except to attract more readers to my site. This is the stage that online publishing is at for me and I could easily understand others feeling the same way. Especially when using blogs in a learning environment. Who wants to put the effort into writing and publishing work on a blog if no one is going to read it? I'm not writing for my own benefit, I'm not writing to hear own ideas, I'm not writing to document my studies, I'm not writing to archive my thoughts - I'm writing with the hopes of being read. But I feel like I don't have an audience. And that feels like shit.
I can understand what John is experiencing, though I'm not desperate: you want to write for someone who is interested, belong to a certain community. But who is your audience, certainly as beginner? Who wants to read my weblog? I would like to be part of "the" network, but how do you become part? One thing I understood (from our in-house expert Lilia) is that you have to link to others, so they'll find you. Is that how it works?
Janine is also wondering who to write for and about what? I found that I don't write about my big hobby (running). Why is it for my not interesting enough to write about, while it is one of my largest time-consuming activities (next to work). Is it that I don't want to share it with "the audience"? Myself, I think it would be boring to bother you with my results and pains (for that's what runners talk about: what is my time on ... (half marathon, 400 meters etc.), and my ... hurts (achilles tendons, in my case)).
I also asked Henk why he is not blogging, while he is enthousiast with the phenomenon of weblogs and has a lot of stories to tell. For him it is a matter of time, or rather priority. Appearently writing in his weblog is always on the last place.
Something to think about: why DON'T people blog?