Why do we blog?

Let me tell you why that question has been rolling around the inside of my skull. Tuesday night I went to the Giants game to see Barry Bonds hit a home run or two. A failed mission. But between innings, the scoreboard had a quiz. Who is first baseman Ryan Klesko's favorite actor: A) Tom Hanks, B) Mel Gibson, or C) Jim Carrey? Then on came a video of Mr. Klesko in which he declared for B. The entire episode was sponsored by Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dogs. That seemed a little incongruous to me, given MG's anti-semitic rant of last year. So I blogged about it over at Dot Dead Diary.

Thanks to some instigation from my godson, defamer.com and deadlinehollywooddaily.com linked to my posting. Holy mackerel! I had more hits on my blog Thursday than I typically get in a month. Thousands.

But so what? Did it mean I was selling more books? I don’t think so, at least there was no effect on my Amazon ranking. So I started to wonder whether my more typical postings did anything for sales. Do I myself buy the books of the bloggers I read every day? Yes, but largely because they are friends whose books I’d buy anyway, not because they blog.

If blogging doesn’t lead to more sales, then why blog? As Dr. Johnson once famously said, "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

Maybe we blog because it’s a way to keep in touch. When I lived in England years ago, I corresponded with friends via airmail. Blogging gives me the same kind of feeling of keeping in touch, but it’s more efficient since one posting goes to everyone I’d write to.

Or maybe we blog because writing is a solitary vocation (except for Joe and Lynn) and this is our way of crying out, “Hey out there. We're alive.” Descartes wrote, “Cogito, ergo sum,” or “I think, therefore I am.” Maybe we’re saying “Blogito, ergo sum” or “I blog, therefore I am.”

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Comment by Keith Raffel on August 5, 2007 at 5:48am
And who said Latin was a dead language? Thanks for the edification.
Comment by Bernd Kochanowski on August 5, 2007 at 5:44am
I'm a bit shy, but I think it should be "blogo, ergo sum" - I think the infinitive would be "blogere" (see http://chneukirchen.org/blog/archive/2005/06/latine-blogero.html) rather than "bloggere" (see here http://minimusthemouse.blogspot.com/2006/05/minimus-bloggere-incipit.html) which would lead to bloggo. "Blogoscere", which would lead to blogito would be wrong.

No harm intended and all the best

bernd

[The infinitive to cognito is cognoscere, that is another konjugation]

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