Monday, April 07, 2008

A Couple of Provocative Questions about Blogging

Alan at Burbanked asked me a couple of provocative questions over at his blog, and invited me and a few others to answer them ourselves.

1. Why did you start blogging in the first place?

Back in late 2003, I decided to try my hand at blogging with a LiveJournal account, because it seemed like a nice intermediate step between some of the other things I had been doing online and full-fledged blogging, and the fact that at the time, I was heavily into Friendster and was exposed to a lot of other LiveJournalists. That first "blog" was a much more personal, yet anonymous experience, in that the things I wrote about were personal, but I wasn't out there with my name or anything. But I didn't really keep up with it and it is in stasis now. I think one of the reasons that I sort of gave up on this first endeavor, and this sounds bad but it is the truth, was a lack of readership. I know that is a self-serving reason, but it is the truth.

Then in mid-2004, I got pulled into another blogging site with a rather conservative bend to it after making a quite a few forum posts. I found my initial enjoyable, and it was where I started talking about pop culture a lot more, amongst other topics like politics and my personal life, and for a time, I had one of the most popular blogs at the site. But that success was short-lived, and because of the level of generalized antagonism towards certain points of view and the beginnings of what would turn into a Code Red Blogger Burnout, I slowly stopped blogging there in late 2005. I had learned a lot during that time, and when I finally got to Culture Kills in late April 2006, well, I was a bit more of a veteran.

And I have to say that while personal expression is high on the list of reasons why I do this, the attention from and interaction with my peers is a major perk, especially since I am not the most open person when it comes to my personal life.

2. Do those reasons still apply to the posts you’re writing today?

Part of me feels my best work is truly behind me. Back in February before recent circumstances sidetracked me, I was building an archive for this site, and well, I had a chance to look at my older material, and I discovered that most of the entries which I felt the most pride about had been written during the first three or four months of this blog's existence. Maybe it was because I was burning through a lot of topics that had gathered in my mind between the end of one blog and the beginning of this one, but there were quite a few gems in that short span, and honestly, I don't think I produced the same number of great posts in the period since September 2006 that I did in those first 5 months, which is sad really. It hurts me a little bit to see how good I used to be at this versus the quality of work I am producing now.

But at the same time, I have increased the scope of my circle of peers, and I do read a lot more of their work than I did when I first started, so in that respect, I am doing quite well in fulfilling that aim.

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Now, if you want to answer these questions yourself, feel free to do so.

10 comments:

Megan said...

Well, I guess I'm off to read the archives, then...

MC said...

By the end of July 2006, you should see exactly what I mean.

Arjan said...

hmm gotta read the archives I guess, but you still make some great posts though! I especially like the transmundanities.

Burbanked said...

Thanks for posting the questions and answers, Matt, and also for providing a veteran's insight!

It's all self-imposed, but I, too, have lately been feeling the Crispy Bacon-level of creative burnout, as if the fun, original stuff just doesn't come as quickly and easily. Things still spark, but just as often the constraints of time and energy refuse to play along and fall into proper order.

That's why it's a great thing that inspiration and aspiration come from sites like yours that not only provide original content, but also links to previously unknown destinations!

MC said...

Arjan: I think my posts about Chinese Food Containers, The Big Lebowski aftermath and Personified Food Mascots were some of the best things I put together.

Burbanked: See, my current problem is even the good ideas that I have don't come to fruition these days. There are quite a few longer posts that have fallen by the wayside over the last few months that in my first year would have been finished the day I started them.

Burbanked said...

Well, this is just turning into a goldarn ray of sunshine here, but I've experienced the same thing lately. I'll head down a path on a post, thinking it's bright and witty and bound to spark discussion...

...and then I'll look at the draft again and think, "no, not so much" and dump it. Blech.

Megan said...

I did like The One About The Chinese Food Containers...

@Burbanked - I did comment on your post a couple times but methinks it went in your spam...feel free to delete one or all...

MC said...

Burbanked: I think it is the natural progression of blogging really. But it does get better, it really does.

Megan: At the time, Chinese Food Containers was the post that took on a life of its own... for a long time it represented the entry that received the greatest amount of comment love, which told me that I had hit a nerve.

Micgar said...

This is great! I knew some info from "talking" to you about stuff/blogging, but not all of this, and to this extent. It shows how much thought and work goes into your blog!

I was approaching total burnout just recently, and I am just beginning to get back into it.

the crazy dude with a beard said...

god damnit! the son of a bitch turned into a crazy purple giraffe. and the fucking blue money is dancing. OOOOOOO SHIT! my friend just turned into a yellow JAG MAN!!!!!!