A blog, short for weblog, is at it’s most crude form an online journal.
A blog is something which may be private, intended for a restricted readership.
Or it might be public, meant for the world.
But, why do blogs work? Why do people read blogs?
Why would they spend their precious time to read what has been written down by someone, whom they’ve never met, and will probably never meet?
Why do they care?
Just yesterday, I was teaching a student of mine and I used a globe as a teaching aid.
My mind drifted away to my blog (as it always does after an average interval of 10 minutes).
I looked up India, and pointed a finger at Assam, which is my state. Then, I located Canada, then Australia, then America, then Dubai, and then back to Tamil Nadu.
These are all places where some of my blogger friends live. Some of them so far away, separated by vast oceans and seas.
Yet, we find concurrence of thoughts. We ‘like’. We comment. We ‘reblog’. We ‘follow’. We nominate them for awards. We recieve awards from them.
It’s amazing to observe how this phenomenon happens. It’s so thrilling and romantic.
But, for the sake of not digressing, back to my question – why are blogs read.
My guess is that blogs work because of their informal nature. They are written by you, by me, by people like us, by people who care to share.
Blogs don’t have the usual ‘snobbery’ associated with novel writers. There is this instant connect.
If I feel that there’s something I need to tell him/her, I’ll just leave a comment.
There are chances that he/she will reply to my comment. Except, of course, if he/she is the author of an incredibly popular blog (the kind that I’ve given up reading).
You know why I gave up reading some incredibly popular blogs?
Because, slowly the personal interaction of the blog form was going away.
These guys don’t reply to your comments. They don’t care to find out more about you, your writing. It’s like they are standing on a pedestal, while readers stand all around them and look up to them.
They talk only to those they choose.
I too, try to keep up with other readers. But, there is this unbearable strain on my neck and I can’t look up to them any more.
Soon, I shift my attention towards my neighbour reader in the crowd. I get into an interesting conversation with him.
I find out that he too blogs. Soon, I discover his blog and find that I’ve been missing the incredible writer, that he was, all this while.
Another reason why the blog form works is that there has been this total breakdown of social interaction in our real lives. We don’t like the people around us.
But, we enjoy reading the thoughts of someone who lives in far-away Australia or say, Canada or down south, Tamil Nadu.
Perhaps, there is also this veil of anonymity on the internet. It allows you privacy. You can choose to only air your thoughts.
If you wish, you can keep your identity to yourself.
You don’t have to like a person to like his thoughts.
I presume we have this gripping fear of judgement.
“What will he think?”.
“What if she doesn’t like me?”.
The blog form is bereft of these inherent fears man is born with. Nobody judges you on your blog, do they?
It’s simple – they like your writing or they don’t.
On your blog, you are not out there to please, to conform, to agree. On your blog, you can finally be the person you are.
There’s no fear of judgement.
I often feel that world should ideally be like a blogging platform. There’s no high or low. There’s no royal lineage. There’s no pretence, or so I would like to believe.
No one stands above his neighbour. It’s an open field – a level field. Everyone is allowed their voice. Everyone has an audience. Everyone has their style.
And everyone is unapologetically themselves!
More power to blogs!!!