Sunday, January 16, 2005

Why I Became A Blogger

I've been thinking about this for at least a couple of weeks, but haven't written anything down on the subject. Here's some thoughts:

Like most Americans, a year ago I did not know what a blog was. I had begun to read about the phenomenon in the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, and knew that they were having an impact on Howard Dean's candidacy, but it wasn't until several months later in the campaign that I actually read one.
Now I write four of them, and comment on many others. Not a day goes by when I don't spend at least a few minutes in the "blogosphere."


For a lazy, undisciplined writer like myself, blogs offer several pleasures:
  • A forum for writing about whatever I want, whenever I want, in whatever form I want
  • The freedom not to research, or even to know very much about what I am writing
  • The kick of immediate publication, without interference by an editor
  • The ability to write as much or as little on a subject as I want, without shaping it or "completing" it to anyone else's satisfaction


I have never had the discipline to sustain a journal. I've been blogging now for quite a bit longer -- and with much more frequency -- than I ever was able to do in a hand-written journal. The blog provides the ease of computing, offers unlimited (so far) storage and easy retrieval of everything I write.


I will not tell you what my blogs are called, nor will I direct you to them. Part of the pleasure of blogging is the thrill of putting secret thoughts on display, of setting them out so that they can be discovered, but yet of not announcing them.

If some of my blogs became known as mine, my life would be turned upside down, or at least considerably disrupted. I would have a lot of explaining to do. But in the blogosphere, I can be anyone. In this sense, I think that blogging is a successor to the 1970s phenomenon of CB radios, which allowed many people to assume secret identities on the air waves. (see Jonathan Demme's excellent 1976 comedy Citizens Band for a refresher in this phenomenon).