Blogging and Writing...what is the difference? It is a good question and one that I just recently had to think about. Writing has a certain automatic credibility but when you mention to people that you "blog" it almost seems that blogging isn't taken seriously. For me, blogging IS writing and visa-versa.
Today I got an e-mail from a blog promotional site I used to syndicate my blog on. The general message of the email was that to promote your blog, you had to read and comment on other peoples blogs...and do this regularly. Interesting point I suppose but for a lot of bloggers it totally misses the point and just isn't practical. It makes the assumption that that people who "blog" naturally read blogs and have the time to do so. It also assumes that doing so is a major way to promote your blog. Again my experience and other bloggers I communicate with does not bear this out. It doesn't mean there isn't some truth to these assumptions, I believe there is but it is a sweeping generalization and in reality doesn't fly.
I read a few blogs, mainly subjects that are related to my own blog but typically I don't have time or the inclination to write and comment. plus I need to be MOVED or motivated to comment...most blogs don't have that kind of effect on me. I am not going to sit and conjure up a bunch of smoke to blow up some bloggers bum in hopes they comment on my blog. I could care less if they do...My sole motivation is to write and share information.
I know this isn't typical and probably has more to do with the "nitch" subject matter covered in Shell Shock Serenade but I have experienced a huge increase in readership AFTER I dropped the syndication of my blog from a couple different web sites. And as far as I know, I am sure of only one incidence where a reader was referred to my post from one of these sites. I think the majority Google "addiction" "recovery" Sexual Assault', etc, etc. and find their way there. I am sure more "light weight" subject matter blogs have more success with these type of promotional sites. More power to them...I just don't think very highly of them for my usage.
But the blogger vs writer comparison is an interesting one. Bloggers have a credibility problem...they are not taken seriously as writers. Which is a shame because there are some incredibly talented writers out there today writing blogs. And I think as time goes on, this disparity in street cred. will diminish and eventually disappear all together.
I spend an incredible amount of time writing, it is my focus so I do not really get a chance to read many other blogs. There are a few I support and we tend to support each other through our Twitter Accounts, FaceBook and other forums so that does give a bit of credence to the Blog Site's theory but again, I think it's naive and falls way short of the reality of the typical blogger/writer's situation.
I think it is easy to fall into the trap that "One Size Fits All"...in other words to generalize. There are so many blogs today, by so many people who each have their very own, specific reason for doing it. Some blog to promote a business adventure, for some it's a hobby, some are writers honing their craft, others have an axe to grind, some are angry, some political and on and on and on...That complicates matters a great deal but I also think it is a WONDERFUL problem to have.
I think because of the vast variety of blogs and the reasons people write them the situation requires a maximum of flexibility in ideas, NOT sweeping generalizations as some of these blog sites would suggest. I think it's close mindedness and arrogance that prevents people from looking at a situation from all sides and accepting comments and ideas from others. But in many cases writers run into web site administrators who think they have all the answers yet don't write themselves. I think ultimately they are only hurting themselves when they take that kind of position but a "know it all' attitude suggests a lack of professionalism, not only here but in all business endeavours...Open mindedness is the key here, especially with the explosion in growth of blogs and forums to promote them.
I truly love the idea of writing and in reality anything that ultimately helps writers write, well I am for it. I don't want to discourage web sites that promote blogs or writing, on the contrary I encourage them to continue. My point this afternoon isn't just to be critical but to communicate the need for creativity on the part of Web Administrators...let's face it, without writers, you have no blog promotion web site. There just seems to be a disconnect at times where writers suggestions seem discounted...I think that is a slippery slope to walk, assuming that your way is the ONLY way. I think 30 plus years in business and management taught me that lesson in spades.
I would like to see blogs gain credibility in the writing world but until we get away from the stereo-types that all bloggers spend their days on the computer reading blogs and commenting...well that isn't likely to happen.