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Wide White: Personal blogging

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Personal blogging

As my wife starts her blog, I think back to when I started mine three and a half years ago.

I was adamant that it would NOT be a personal blog. It was all about politics and current events.

After all, I worked in politics at the time and followed others' blogs. Why not join in the fun?

And besides, personal blogs where people aired their dirty laundry and went on and on about their lives seemed so self-centered.

I ended my first post with the line, "Let me hear your thoughts." Three and a half years later, nobody has left any thoughts on that post. I suppose that should have been a sign, but I forged ahead.

Owen was the first blogger I ever read. I was Googling for information on a debate for the Republican US Senate primary in 2004 (nerd alert!) and came across his coverage of that debate. I've read him ever since and a year and a half later started my own blog.

But after a bad experience in politics, I got out of that line of work, got a "real" job, and kept up with current events but at a much less ravenous pace. I moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota and in doing so lost my base of political readers.

So, what to blog about? Why blog?

I think I got lost and pretty much have been ever since. The best blogs have a theme. Mine had a theme and suddenly that theme was gone. I've contemplated shutting it down many times as a result.

But I've also started to see the value in personal blogging. I'll never have as many readers again, but bringing the blog down to a more personal level has engaged people I know more. With politics, my audience consisted of people I didn't know (though I eventually met some through blogging), so the relationships in blog land didn't transfer once I logged off of my computer. And with my mom joining the fray a year and a half ago, it's given me a means of keeping up with family that I wouldn't otherwise have.

At this point, I still don't know what the theme of this blog is. I suppose that's why it's gone from 100+ hits a day to ~30. But I said from day one I didn't care how many people were reading; I was just flattered that anyone read at all.

And in the end, whether the blog is about politics, humor, family, etc., isn't it really all personal? It's you telling the world - or as many of them as bother to pay attention - what you think is funny, noteworthy, etc., and all of that sounds pretty personal to me.


Blogger Wendy declared,

I like the balance of your blog. I started reading when you were traveling the 50 states, and I thought how neat it was that you were doing that with a sibling.

For what it's worth, Owen's was the first blog I ever read, too. But I'm his wife, so I don't know if that makes me a nerd because I read it or because I married the guy. Maybe both. :-)

10/21/2009 2:11 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Well thanks, Wendy! If you started while I was on the road with my brother, then you started after I slowed the political banter down. Funny, I never considered that my shift in focus may have added readers!

I ran into Owen a few times at political events in 2006 and most recently at the 2008 national convention here in the Twin Cities. I still think he's the most balanced conservative blogger out there and it's a great way to keep up with Wisconsin politics for me.

(And I'm going to go with nerd for you...I know that's why I read him! :) )

10/21/2009 2:17 PM  
Blogger Keelie declared,

I'm so thankful for all my friends and families' blogs! It's an awesome way to keep up and keep in touch! I know I wouldn't probably otherwise. So thanks for keeping at it, but I'm really excited about your wife's!:)

10/21/2009 3:37 PM  

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