Sherry, I've been a terrible blogger here, despite having Thoughts that I want to tell you and everyone. I want to write posts on asking girls out, and books, and resolutions, and then on other things. But since I'm being all meta about blogging, I'll add on a couple other things. Then I'll write those other posts and queue them up.
Thoughts on blogging:
Man, I love my loosely pseudonymous water policy blog. It is such a selfish blog to write. I say exactly what I think about some arcane issue, and I don't explain the context or give background. I expect informed readers to keep up, and don't help them if they don't. I don't expect an audience, either, because there aren't that many people who are interested at that level. But it feels great to write that blog. I love it, writing that fast and selfishly.
It is also pretty fun being pseudonymous. I'm not pseudonymous enough, because of all you people who can go from "Megan" to that blog. But water people who never read blogs don't seem to go the other direction (perhaps they have and are politely not telling me). But I see people whom I know read that blog at the cafe, and get a silly little thrill that they see me but don't connect me to that work. It is a little unfair, but it is also fun.
I read this piece, on a former journalist who was hired as a blogger and immediately started flaming people. I'm speculating based on nearly nothing, but I wonder if he didn't think that flaming people is required of the form. Like, that's what bloggers DO, and not only is he freed to do those things, but he'll be acting in accordance with the form if he starts in with name-calling. I wonder if that's a clue to how journalists think of us. Man. He is going to get real tired in the not-very-far future if he tries to keep that up. That hyped up energy level is draining, to write, to read, to follow. I don't think the bloggers who trade in that form can keep it up.
More and more I think that blogging only lasts if it satisfies something in the blogger's personality. Exhibitionism, pedantry, a yearn for connection through text, something. But it has to nourish the blogger; spats drain the blogger, not nourish. I've also been thinking about how long-term bloggers become chill. There are still comments or flames that could get under my skin, but the most of them are just noise. Being provoked by mere snark or something obviously originating in pure ideology? I'm not in the original round of bloggers, but with a couple years under my belt, those don't even touch me any more. Spend attention on those? I'd rather try to stop the tide. At least then I'd be digging around in sand or pouring concrete.
Well, good luck, journalists-forced-into-blogging. If you're working from a big platform, you started with an enormous boost, which may or may not do you any favors. I hope you find the best in blogging, because the best of it is great. But in blogging like anything, you'll get what you put out. If you don't like or respect the form (because it isn't what you wanted to do when you became a journalist, or because your early exposure was critiques of your work that you never had to put up with before), you'll get irritated, disrespectful readers back. You're in charge of that, but you're going to have like blogging, from the inside, to get a commentariat that likes your blog.
Speaking of the best of blogging, reader Scott sent me jam recently. That's so amazing. The magic of the internet turned thoughts and pixels into something tangible and yummy. I am very grateful that people like you guys read here. Y'all impress me so much.