As often happens with one blogger or another, Winnie Lim again notes that blogging can feel like “publishing into a blackhole” even if we know that mostly we’re doing this for ourselves.
I’m certainly publishing into the void, and recently in the status section of my homepage I wondered about something.
Basically no one’s really read my blog for a decade but someday when I die someone is going to discover the treasure trove of posts in the years since my autism diagnosis, or, I guess they will if I make arrangements to keep the blog online.
Lim cites a website called The Cheapskate’s Guide to Computers and the Internet’s observation that, “Consistent content produced over a period of years requires either a huge commitment, an inborn need to write just for the sake of writing, or both.”
Which is all rather a longwinded way of saying that I don’t consider blogging at all “unsolicited” in any meaningful sense. We solicit from ourselves, and the world either cares to bear witness or it doesn’t.
One of the things I will find interesting as I get deeper into the blog restoration project is getting to determine just how much I’ve written since early 2000, discounting social media or the odd bulletin board or forum. To try to get the process unstuck, lately I’ve been working on my earliest available blogging rather than work on getting recent years back online.
I do wish, though, that bloggers would stop using the word “content” unless they are (hang on while I shudder) “content marketing” or “SEO” people.
If you’re blogging about your life, or even if you’re blogging about some niche, special interest, you aren’t “producing content”. Content is that fungible nothing that platforms require in order to keep the advertising-to-eyeballs pipeline churning along with sufficient return on investment, or at least long enough for them to cash out and leave everyone else in the lurch.
The primary subject matter of a personal or an interest blog is you, and you are not content.
Whatever value my blogging might or might not have for anyone else today, it’s hard for me to think that it would have no value in perpetuity. Even absent contemporaneous readership, something in here—especially once it’s all restored—surely will have value to someone in the future.
Even if not, as I’ve said before: “I am here. So are you. Where we should be.”