Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What Price Blogging?

Dear friends, editors, journalists, truck drivers, sanitation district maintenance men, anybody:

Am I the only person who reads my blog? Are so many people busy blogging that there are no actual readers out there? Are the “comments” posted really fiction, making it seem like people are reading the blogs? Is there a blogger Mafia I’m not aware of, so that if you want your blog read, you have to pay for the privilege? Is my site so irrelevant and boring that people yawn in the middle of the second sentence and anxiously click back to the previous site (like How to Get Rid of Those Ugly Warts! on AOL)? Is my grammar crappy? Should I go back to wearing a hairpiece? Should I have a picture of my cat watching me blog?

Come on, someone, gimme me a sign of encouragement. For me, blogging’s not easy: I’m not fast enough and I’m not hooked up intravenously to the news media. How can some people do it every day? Maybe there are paid “ghost bloggers” or modern day Agnes Gooches glued to screens and keyboards. After all, people like Anderson Cooper and Oprah couldn’t possibly keep up their blogs by themselves could they? I consistently search for the timeliest news on the topics of religion and politics, hoping to be the first one to post about it so that Google Blogs will show me first. So far, it hasn’t happened. Either the last three months have had no news and the Religious Right has ceased to exist, or I’m totally missing something.

Blogging has become a race to post, a competition to see who can blog the fastest. Who can blog the wittiest and most scathing. Who can blog the most self-righteous attitude. Who can snag the most readers for advertisers. Soon there will be a veritable sea of bloggers: on trains, in speeding cars (we haven’t as yet passed a law against blogging while driving, but give it time), on the gondolas in Venice, on the backs of elephants in Thailand, on the trading floor of the New York stock exchange and in preschools everywhere.

Today, there are an estimated 75 million bloggers around the globe. A scary figure? No. This is scary: it still leaves 6 billion future bloggers to announce their angst and frustration to the world; 6 billion people to tell us their opinions, their highs, their lows, their how-tos, their warnings, their politics. Everyone will be blogging. Why hasn’t God started blogging yet? Certainly all his followers seem to be falling into line. Maybe He’s too busy reading everyone’s blogs. No, He hasn’t read mine yet, because I think I would know. Lightening hasn’t struck me – yet.

So here I sit pounding a keyboard instead of feeding the cat.

Why do I bother? One answer: to prove that I exist. I blog, therefore I am. When someone – anyone – comments on an article, I feel more alive. I feel connected to the rest of the world. Most people who blog feel that their personal selves are out there and, as a consequence, they are real. Autobiographies are too burdensome and it’s not kosher to publish more than three in your own lifetime. With blogging, you can spit out tiny pieces of yourself, one day at a time. And blogging is addictive: you feel that when you cease to blog, you cease to exist.

Blogging just might be the true meaning of life.

In the near future I will be conducting a “Dan Vojir’s Blog Blitz” with a special, particularly offensive anti-religious post to see if ANYONE out there is reading what I have to say. I give it a two-comment response. I will then thank those two who stumbled upon it before I give up blogging completely.

On the other hand…

Dan Vojir