Friday, July 07, 2006

The Whole Blog Thing VI

When you write anything that is published in any way, the question invariably becomes...for whom is the author writing?

Him/herself or other people?

I have extensive training in getting writers to create a story and a structure that takes into account the audience. Due to this, I often fall on the side of remembering that a someone other than the writer and his/her immediate family is involved.

However, what happens when what one's writing is a blog? The entire point of a blog is to write as if no one is watching. Yet because the medium is one where other people read it and respond to it, it adds an extra level of catharsis.

There are blogs that create a serious following, even though they were created to fill a very private need. What happens to the readers in that situation? Does that audience have a right to expect anything of the blogger? What if the blogger doesn't want to write for weeks, months? Can an audience ask the writer to write more, even if he/she clearly can't, won't or doesn't want to? I've seen comments that do exactly that cool? Or is the reader's only recourse to stop visiting the blogger's site? And if a blog has no readers, is it still a blog?

That's the tricky thing...a blogger needs an audience as much as the reader needs the blogger.

What do readers...think?


Yasser said...

I think that with the internet a lot of concepts evolve; dont forget though that the only reason why some blogs become so popular is often because people can relate to the content/author, which means that even in this case, the author unconsciously addresses the needs of the audience.

Kelly said...

It is a very fine line we walk, or write, as it were, in the blogosphere. I started my blog as a way to jumpstart my dormant creativity. I hadn't done any writing in a very long time and I thought blogging would be a great outlet. It has been that and more. I've "met" some interesting people, like you, who I hope to meet in person sometime.

When I select a topic about which to blog, I usually know if it's more of a cathartic exercise for me or whether or not it will have resonance beyond me. Sometimes I guess wrong, but either way, it's worth the effort and I always learn something.

I love getting comments. When I don't, I must admit that it does make me wonder. Anyway, dear L. Britt, great post and great blog. :)

Melissa said...

I, for one, write for me first and foremost, for others secondarily. I'm always mindful of who may read a particular entry, but I try not to let that make me self-edit too much. When you have a topical personal blog like we do, and not a political one, I think it's a tool for self expression more than a way to contact the masses.

Take Miss Fire, for example. We didn't agree with her and what she had to say was certainly offensive, but that was her blog she was writing for. We kept going back and she kept writing. Then, we chose not to go anymore. Easy enough, right? We're still writing, and I'm sure she's still writing.

All of us using our blogs to express something, to be creative, to have an outlet when all we want to do is dump into the ether.