What’s to Like and Not Like About Blogging

My friend, Rory, over at Hamelife tagged me for this meme — 5 things I like about blogging and 3 things I don’t. And how fortunate, because several readers have asked me about the pros and cons of starting their own blog. So I can skip two stones across the pond with one throw. :)

5 Things I Like About Blogging:

1. Blogging is a great creative outlet for anyone who wants to write.

It’s a way to hone your writing skills in a (relatively) safe environment.

2. You get to write about anything that’s on your mind.

Freelance assignments are often set for you. And the publication’s format and readership pretty much determine what you can and can’t do. On your blog, anything goes. You can share your passions and find other like-minded folks who won’t be inclined to roll their eyes, because they understand.

3. Connected to 1 & 2, you get instant feedback on what you’ve written.

When your readers are moved by something you write, they leave comments that very same day. Unlike publishing, where it can take months to hear anything.

4. You’ll meet some really wonderful people

…who’ll feel like your long lost brother, like this guy. And you’ll get to vicariously live in other parts of the world by reading here and here. And experience other lifestyles by reading here and here. And have your thoughts challenged by reading here and here .

5. It’s a way to share a piece of your life.

I like the idea of creating something for Cait, and, maybe even someday, for her children to enjoy.

3 Things I Don’t Like About Blogging:

1. Blogging winds up being pretty darn time-consuming.

I think all bloggers share this one: Between writing posts, responding to emails and comments on your posts, and, conversely, visiting and commenting on other blogs, hours can get eaten up.

2. In many ways, blogging is no different than an old-fashioned high school popularity contest.

This post at I’m not a girl, not yet a wino says it better than I could. Kris goes on a hilarious rant and pretty much sums up the problem as I see it too.

She begins:

Despite the massive, uncharted size of the information superhighway, blogging is starting to feel more and more to me like attending high school in a small town.

Technorati tells us who our most popular bloggers are, but that is mere confirmation of what we already know. We run across the names of and links to these cooler cats on nearly every Blogger nav bar. Go Fug Yourself. Defective Yeti. We even have a prom queen, and she resides at Dooce.com.

Blogger relationships are also similar. When a new kid makes his way onto the scene, you either embrace him by linking and tell your girlfriends about him, or he is at once relegated to the lunchroom table status of fewer than 25 hits a day. When a regular visitor doesn’t comment on your site, but leaves a comment on a blog you regularly visit, it is at times a pang akin to running into your best friends at the mall when they both said they’d rather stay home… (Read the rest here.)

3. It’s just too easy to use blogging and reading blogs as a distraction and procrastination when you really need to be getting other tasks done.

This last reason (somewhat connected to #1 above) is why I’ll be posting more lightly through the summer. I’ve got a lot on my plate and can’t be letting time slip through my fingers.

For those who want to play: What things do you like and not like about blogging?

9 thoughts on “What’s to Like and Not Like About Blogging”

  1. Yes, yes, yes, and more yesses!
    I love this post, your answers and your insight. Love especially (like other commenters) your take on the popularity contest. Yikes. It seems so odd to be thrown back in to that. But I do so love and share the notion that the outlet and the opportunity to write what you want and when you want are there for you as a blogger.
    So well put. As always.

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  2. I know that blogging is a very good way to procrastinate. I go on a guilt trip every time I turn my computer on. But what fun hey!

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  3. I have also had many conversations about the phenomenon that is “Dooce”. Some people hate the site and think it is “silly and pointless”. I do enjoy reading it from time to time myself, but am a tad boggled by how much revenue is brought in by it. Hard to say why certain things catch like wildfire.

    If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a combination of timing, talent, and luck.

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  4. I totally agree with it being a HUGE source of distraction.

    I hope you will join my pledge. I’m not sure if you’re a Dogs with Blogs member but it really doesn’t matter anyway.

    Peace,
    Fei and Eve

    Eve is asking people to donate to shelters. Please click on her link to learn more.

    Eve, I already donate a good chunk annually to a couple of shelters here.

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  5. Love the excerpt–the comparison is so apt (and don’t tell but I’ve never really “got” Dooce)

    I don’t either. Can anybody explain? I wonder if she hadn’t gotten the early boost from some big-name bloggers if she would have gone anywhere.

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  6. Can definitely be a huge distraction….usually a welcome one unless I am on a deadline and get caught up reading and posting :)

    That’s my problem. I have too many deadlines that I’m juggling! Ack!!!

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  7. Way to make a guy go to work with a tear in his eye, Karen. Thank you for the lovely words.

    In many ways, blogging is no different than an old-fashioned high school popularity contest.

    I was just think along these lines the other day. Not quite the same, but certainly the whole school thing. This blogging world is like being back in school. You come in as a little first former. Don’t speak to the sixth formers, don’t even look at them. You must associate only with those in the same year as you, possibly including those who are a year above you. If you’re lucky, a third former might take a shine to you – there’s enough kudos right there…anyway, it started to get depressing, so I tried to switch my mind off to it!

    And, I like #5. It is a lovely record to keep (as long as it’s backed up!) – the stories, the pictures, and the timeline. It’s a great journal.

    Thanks, for this.

    If you haven’t figured out what formers are, Rory is from England, and that’s what grades are called there.

    It’s so true, isn’t it Rory? The tyranny of stats and “sixth year formers”… Both can take a hike as far as I’m concerned; I don’t need any more time-suckers in my life.

    On the plus side (since I do remember what it was like to be on the other side of a closed door in publishing) when a new writer asks for help, if I can, I’m only too happy to lend a hand. 

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