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"I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed."

George Orwell: Why I Write, 1946




by Sarah Davies -

"I am Mom Unplugged, a mother of three children, ages 20 months, 5, and 7 (and way too many pets). We have no TV, no video games, and no loud toys.

Why am I doing this?

This blog thing has become obsessive. My husband calls it my "soft addiction." I guess there are worse things to be addicted to: drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex in public places, catnip...

This addiction all started thanks to a friend of mine whom I shall call my "enabler," or "E" for short. You know who you are! You...YES YOU!!!

E said to me one day...

"You always pick such cool and unusual gifts for my daughter, have you ever thought about writing a shopping blog?"

"A blog?" I said, "What's that?" (I have told you all many times that I live under a rock).

E pulled out her laptop and introduced me to the mysterious world of the "Blogosphere."

"See, she said, I have one too!"

I thought I knew my friend pretty well, but if she had told me she liked to run around her yard naked at midnight under the full moon, I couldn't have been more surprised.

"You do????" I said.

And so...the seed of my addiction was planted in the fertile but very bored soil of my brain. I thought about it, and Googled it, and thought about it some more. Why not try it I thought. Just once. After all, E does it. But I will only try a little, and only just this one time.

Well...that was January and now it is April...and I CAN'T STOP!!

Something on NPR the other day really made me think even more about why I am spending so much time doing this. There was a piece by a college student about the narcissism of today's young people. One of the claims she made was that the popularity of blogging is an indicator, or perhaps a result, of this increase in narcissism. Wait a minute, I thought, I have a blog! Am I a narcissist too?

I have thought long and hard about this. But I don't believe that blogging, my kind of blogging anyway, is about narcissism. I do not write because I think that I am such a fascinating and wonderful person that I owe it to the world to share my every thought, emotion, and daily event. For me it is a social past time.

I do have actual, "real-life" friends. In fact, in my current small town, I have met more wonderful people than I have ever met since I left grad school. So why should I feel the need for "virtual" friends and acquaintances?

The simple answer is that, although it is entirely my choice and I am grateful to be able to afford to do so, it is lonely being at home alone with a baby and/or a 4 and 6 year-old (depending on school schedules and illnesses). I can only change so many diapers, wipe so many noses, and referee so many battles before I feel my neurons fizzling and popping one by one in a slow and painful
"mom" at a time.

The complicated answer is that technology has brought us social isolation. Cell phones, faxes, email, and the internet enable us to work and carry on with the business of life without the need for face to face, human contact. Perhaps blogging is a way for us to reach out and connect with others of similar interests and backgrounds, just as we might have "gathered in the town square" 200 years ago.

The other aspect that fascinates me about modern technology is that although it does promote physical isolation, it also makes the world a much smaller place. I am in awe of
my Clustermap and my "stats." When an internet cafe patron in China or a cat-lover in Europe can read this small town Arizona mother's words within seconds of their "publication," that is totally amazing! I am connecting with people I never would have known 200, 100, or even 10 years ago.

This desire to reach out and connect with others is inherent in human-nature. To me, that is what blogging is all about. If blogging is by definition narcissistic, then so are all friendships and relationships. And that, I refuse to believe.

So, thank you E for being the "pusher" of my addiction and dragging me out from under my rock. Even though I am not exactly "unplugged" anymore now that I blog, I am connected, and that is what really matters in life!

Welcome to Unplug Your Kids!

Why I Blog

I have long struggled with the issue of why I am so invested in this silly blog! I wrote about it once: Why Am I Doing This?

Today a friend directed me to "blink140pnt6's" blog
Training Makes Me Hungry! Hunger Makes Me Train! Being a complete non-jock I would never normally have stumbled upon the blog of an Ironman triathlete and ultra-marathoner.

I read his post today (Good Bye, Big Dog) about having to put down his dog Drake, also known as "Big Dog." This simple tribute from a man I don't know, to a dog I don't know, touched me in a way I never could have expected. I sat in front of my computer sobbing with tears streaming down my face.

Long suppressed images of beloved pets that I have had to put to sleep, flowed into memories of my mother and her final illness, and spilled out of my eyes and down my cheeks.

When a stranger from far away can reach you in your kitchen and change your day, that is a true and beautiful connection. It gives me hope for humanity and the future. Love is universal.

The internet could be a medium for such good, allowing us to reach out and connect with each other no matter where we live, what we believe, whether klutz or triathlete. This kind of experience is a reminder to me that human beings the world over share so much. Perhaps this is why I blog.

Thanks to and photographer penywise for this great picture!

Sarah's Blog: Unplug Your Kids  




by Lisa Tolliver -

Mom says I like broadcasting and teaching 'cuz they ensure captive audiences. True or not (let Freudians decide), blogging is one way I pursue a "four eyed" mission to inform, involve, intrigue and inspire.  
For years before I knew what blogging was, I used virtual communities and distance learning tools (both of which include blogging applications) to support that mission and maintain interactions with target audiences beyond the classroom, boardroom, podium, radio and print media. Then I tried blogging, starting with Lisa Tolliver on Air and Online: a roundup of my radio broadcasts and random rants, raves and reviews.  It proved to be quick and easy to do, mutually supportive of my other pursuits, and suited my preference for interactivity over one-way communications. My mantra: "If you're listening, I'm listening. Talk with me!"  
Almost immediately, I recognized how blogging could be leveraged to perform public service and reach a wider audience and now publish Emergency Preparedness and Safety Tips in collaboration with Westchester Emergency Volunteer Reserves-Medical Reserve Corps (WEVR-MRC) and contribute to a self-described "sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture." Two examples of the power of blogging are the outpouring of support I received from people who read about my father's funeral (in September 2005) and offers I've received from author-publishers to contribute to two book series.
I blog at: Lisa Tolliver on Air and Online and
Emergency Preparedness and Safety Tips



by D. Patrick Zimmerman, Psy.D. - 

One Blog's Voice:

I started a blog out of a quietly eager sense of curiosity, after reading about this hing called "Blogger"  in a newspaper technology column.  Knowing absolutely nothing about blogs and personal websties (or blogging), I set one up and entered my first "post" late that night.  This was the first short commentary (Gentle Evening Thoughts) that was posted:

"In the solitude within the late night, dimly lit atmosphere of home, I worked diligently to complete my parts of overall strategies to quietly help resolve the suffering impact of conflicting organizational perspectives reaching as high as critical areas within the formally established mission of a unique and internationally renowned research university. Throughout these efforts, my thoughts periodically returned to some of my own interpersonal experiences during the day, and slowly the words to clarify those experiences began to emerge.

As growing awareness emerged, my admiration in turn deepened for the welcoming acceptance of uncertainty as a crucial element of the path leading to a sense of compassionate under-standing. Embracing the value of a solid ecognition of uncertainty is enhanced by a capacity to tolerate the feelings of anxiety, or fears of possessing potentially inadequate resources to master the challenge, which are aroused by the inevitably constituent ambiguities characterizing our initial perceptions of concepts that others so easily reify or accept as realities.

This perspective made immense contributions today in reciprocally mutual, open therapeutic discussions with adolescents during the day that touched upon significant developmental issues and the dialectical nature of a number of concerns, which included (among others) the open expression of affectionate feelings, strivings of a sense of independence and autonomy and sexual identity."

That first piece of on-line publishing came during a time when, at work, I was surrounded and impacted by great organizational conflict, while within that setting continuing to provide an intimate setting to maintain psychotherapy support for children and adolescents.  And it provided a means for me to reflect about all of that at work within the quiet solitude of home.  Over time, the commentaries have moved on, or broadened, to focus upon a number of social/cultural issues, brilliant and (sometimes) eccentric personalities, politics of the day and analytically-oriented psychotherapy. 

Overall, one might think of many of my on-line writings as a personal voice from the Edge of the Cliff.   It something akin to the dream in Catcher in the Rye:   it is a voice that may be imagined as maintaining a position at the edge of some unlikely or unexpected cliff; it speaks as one person's attempt to catch people who are running unaware of the cliff, trying to keep them from falling off of it.

Thanks much,

D. Patrick Zimmerman, Psy.D.

Blogs at: Solitude and Hope and Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities



by David Cordes -

Why do I have a blog?

Well there are several answers to that question. But the main reasons are:

  1. I'm a creative genius, who's just exploding with undirected potential, looking for a release to express myself. (you should be laughing at me right now)
  2. Hey it's this or finish that last do-it-yourself project I started.
  3. I need to practice my typing and speeling spelling skills
  4. I'm hoping that this will count as writing letters to my mother.
  5. I've tried complaining to my family and they won't listen. So I'm going to complain to the internet instead.
  6. Working late into the night with the lights on pisses off the cockroaches.
  7. I've been reading several blogs for about two years. And while reading a blog doesn't make me blogger. It did make we want to give it a shot.
  8. There are a lot of things I want to write down. Some so I won't forget them, some so my children won't forget them, and some just because.

So here goes......

David's Blog: Ridgecrest Blog



by Chip Scanlan -

"A book," according to the tormented writer Franz Kafka, "should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us."
I know what he's talking about. A sea of ice -- in the shape of a serious bout with
depression -- immobilized me as a writer and reader for much of last summer and fall.
Usually I read several books a week, sometimes devouring one in a one-day orgy of prose. But during this period I was lucky if I could get through a few paragraphs before losing interest or attention.

I also had the worst case of writer's block I'd ever experienced. Writing my weekly column, "Chip on Your Shoulder" felt like trying to break through that frozen sea with a teaspoon. Production ground to a halt. I blew deadlines for two major projects.
Eventually, a caring and knowledgeable doctor, a combination of therapy, a powerful daily pharmaceutical cocktail, and the love of friends, family and understanding colleagues pulled me free from the darkness. I began reading again and in January, I found myself itching to write.
But after three years and more than 180 columns, I looked down into the well of my experience and interests as a reporter, writer and teacher and saw, or at least, believed, it had gone bone-dry. I thought I had covered all the subjects that mattered to me and ones that readers had asked me to address. I needed to try something new. I wanted to
Since the mid-1990's when the first blogs began to emerge, I had made several abortive attempts to create one of my own. I missed access to the printing press that a life in journalism had offered for two decades. But I always ran into the roadblocks put up by my lack of techno-savvy. 

I needed help, so I told my editor, Julie Moos, an active blogger who has made it possible for many others to find their voice online, that I wanted to try again. "Pull up a chair," she said.

Within minutes, using TypePad, a weblogging service that provides templates and an Internet hosting service, Julie had assembled a home for a title I'd been harboring ever since I heard Jacqui Banaszynski talk during a seminar about two helpers that every writer needs: a mechanic and a muse. Sitting there, I wrote down a book title, "The Mechanic & The Muse," that would be a kind of owner's manual for writers." That was the name I told Julie I wanted for my blog. 

"The Mechanic & The Muse" was born on January 17. As of this morning (2/8/06), I've written more than 20 items and posted half of them. Many are long enough to be columns, Julie points out, but I'd much rather be blogging. Here are seven reasons I joined the millions who communicate through a form that is part reverse diary, commonplace book and soapbox.

1. Blog items respond to a rapidly changing media landscape. I like the way blogging lets me tackle multiple topics in a day or through the week instead of focusing all my time and energy on one weekly column. It's the difference between being a beat specialist and a general assignment reporter. I can write on subjects that draw my attention. I've written about journalistic subjects and pointed readers to repositories of stories that represent best practices. But I've also written about fiction and memoir, two forms that are passions of mine. Like Cream, the '60's mega-group, sings, "I feel free."  

2. When I blog, my standards are lowered, always a key element in producing writing that can be revised, even after it's published. A blog, by its very nature, is more informal than a column and less freighted with the expectations that a metro or sports column can impose. Blogging hasn't made me indifferent to revision or accuracy; it just makes the process of generating words less susceptible to the inner critic.

In a recent radio interview, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins talked about his art, and it helped me understand why I like to blog.

"The real thrill is composition," Collins said. "To be kind of down on your hands and knees with the language at really close range in the midst of a poem that is carrying you in some direction that you can't foresee... It's that sense of ongoing discovery that makes composition really thrilling and that's the pleasure and that's why I write."

3. I'm my own editorial board. As a newspaper reporter, I was trained to keep my opinions out of my stories. In a blog, I can be as opinionated as I want. Case in point: my no-holds-barred reaction to the James Frey-Oprah's Book Club fiasco. I feel free to have an opinion and share it.

4. Change is vital. Wise editors realize that a reporter can burn out on a beat and so they switch their assignments, knowing that a fresh pair of eyes will benefit the writer and readers. They feel free.
5. Blogs are not new, but they're still on the leading edge of communication technology. I've always been an early adopter and I don't want to be left behind. In a time when reporters and editors are blogging on their news organization's Web site, I feel free to be part of this experiment.
6. Let's face it, a blog can also be a great marketing device. I've posted examples of my own writing, some published and others that have yet appeared in print, along with books I've written or co-authored with links that make online purchasing a snap. Like most writers, I harbor the dream that an agent or publisher may see commercial possibilities in my work.
7. To paraphrase Kafka: my blog is the ice-axe that broke the frozen sea within me. It has helped me find myself again as a reader and writer. It has set me free.
Blogging is like having an office but also keeping a studio where you can experiment, take risks with your craft, and share your discoveries with others. 
Some things won't change. I'll always be grateful for comments, questions, story suggestions, and most of all, your companionship. 

So why do you blog?

Chip's Blog: The Mechanic & The Muse



by Jozef Imrich -  

Why I blog: Hundreds of pages could be filled or just a sentence might capture some of the depth behind blogging. Blogging is interactive and in many ways inclusive. Anyone anywhere can shed a light on this strange cosmos of ours.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Dorothy Parker

Why do I blog?

Short Answer: To be heard. Sole survivors might often be thought of as anonymous, but we never want to be voiceless.

Life is too brief and the world is too small not to blog. Is it a way to let off steam and give your two cents? Does it satisfy a desire to climb the mountains or cross the rivers? Or is it an outlet for your various interests? Let me count the ways blogging can record anything delightful, surprising, or informative.

Blogging is part of who I am ... First of all, I blog to keep up my spirit; to stir the spirit of others; to stir my blood, my brain, and my beliefs.

I blog to meet curious people like Dan Gillmor, Jay Rosen, Shel Israel, Robert Scoble, Michael Schaefer, MJ Rose, Tim Dunhill, David Tiley and many others.

Herman Melville put it best when he said, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."

Before I was a blogger, I was a reader of samizdat magazines and a brother who recorded how his sister Aga died at the communist chemical factory and how another sister, Gitka, was sacked for going to church. As bloggers, we share the deepest emotions on a regular basis and today I read a touching story by Lenn Pryor on the death of his sister "Lori Ann Pryor April 27, 1976 - Febuary 22, 2005."

For me, jotting down facts and ideas as well as reading has always been an addiction. In the past, I used to post or email stories I thought might be of interest to friends and acquaintances. However, when the blog came along everything changed... it allowed me to cut down on the number of emails I sent. I still view blogging as emailing to everybody.

Blogging regularly brings new ideas up, ideas I would never have thought of if I hadn't read other blogs and magazines on a similar subject. The more I blog the more I get addicted to reading other bloggers. Blogging inspires me to read more because reading introduces new ideas or forces me to rethink old ideas.

If I learn something from my experiences, I hope it might be valuable to someone besides me. I have learned much about myself from reading others poems and stories; I hope that others can also learn something from my experiences and my writing. Deep down in the recesses of probably every blogger's heart is a realisation that we use each other for inspiration and motivation on our journey of self-discovery.

I like to think of blogging as something more than just expressing ideas or sharing trends. I like to think I'm part of a wide selfless community. Blogs not only help to reveal who we are; they help us to transcend who we were.

What I like about Blogging is that it is rather organic. There are no boundaries to ideas, interaction and optimism. Blogging can be as deep and wide as you make it to be ...

In many ways, a blog is a playground dreamed up by a powerless voice just like the prophetic story of 1984 was dreamed up in 1948 by a powerless voice of George Orwell (Orwell - Why I Write). George Orwell saw writing not only as a powerful tool for conveying ideas, but also as a demanding and enthralling art with a moral imperative to search for truth. In an autobiographical note sixty years ago, Orwell said, "Good prose is like a window pane." Like Orwell, Vaclav Havel trusted his audience to share his values and understanding of the world, but he also sought to increase their political awareness. Blogging helps us to think for ourselves. Blogs allow us to speak our mind and it helps us to link to concrete realities.

An individual blogger, like Winston Smith, sits down alone with courage and an optimistic belief in his own ideas to communicate his most secret thoughts to an unknown reader. Second, his dedication to truth, the product of independent thought, has the power to improve society. In our time, we desperately need Orwell's clear language, his commitment to aesthetic as well as moral responsibility.

My purpose in this blog is to shed more hope and sunlight on complex and moral issues as where there is sunlight there is less likelihood for slime and mold to grow. What you see is what you get!

To me a link like this one which I received this week from Shel and Robert is priceless:



Jozef's Blog: Media Dragon: Top 100 Cultural and Political Blog in 2004 AD
Bloggers are like the little first amendment engine that could
Book: Cold River, by Jozef Imrich



From: The Mesopotamian

First Post:

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Hello everybody. This is my first posting in the blogging world. Please execuse the clumsiness and not very professional style. I am an Iraqi and believe that more and more voices should come out of the country to inform the world. We live in difficult times, surrounded by danger. Hope to make some contribution to the communication between the Iraqi Ordinary Man and the western people, also to encourage dialogue between english speeking iraqis to exchange views and discuss our present predicament.


The Mesopotamian: First Post, Archive 




by Sharon Brogan -

So why do I blog?

  • It's a creative outlet -- a challenge to make something beautiful and interesting.
  • It gives me a way to share my poems, since I seem to be publication-phobic.
  • It gratifies the "collector" part of my personality -- I can collect images, and links, and stories, instead of far more expensive books, antiques, and art.
  • As a pre-illness work-a-holic, it helps me to still feel productive.
  • Virtual friendships are easier for someone with minimal energy to handle, and blogging gives me a way to share my life. It helps me feel involved/ in touch with the human world.
  • Reading and writing blog posts helps me to clarify my thoughts and feelings.
  • It gives structure to my days.
  • I'm too ill to do anything else. 

If I woke up well tomorrow, would I stop blogging? I honestly don't know. I suppose if my life filled up again with other things, I might; or I would at least do less of it. Of course, if I were well, the bit that I do would take only a small part of my time and energy, instead of virtually all of it.

But as things are, this is my job. And it is one I enjoy, appreciate, and am grateful for. I would probably do it even if I had far fewer readers -- I so welcome those I have.  I'm delighted to see my visitors and inbound links continually growing, since it helps me to feel that this is of value to someone else.

So why do you blog?

Or why don't you?

Sharon's Blog: Watermark, a poets notebook Archive: "Why I Blog"



by Di Overton - 

Bogging for Inspiration

I started blogging as I found it a great way of putting my own design magazine on my website selling luxury design led products for the home and garden. It now seems to have become a pleasure and a great way of relaxing. It also helps me find more unusual products to put on my site.  I love the way one blog leads to another and you end up somewhere you never intended to be but find something new and interesting. It's as though you are reading peoples thoughts with their permission.  I find it reassuring when I read young peoples blogs and see that there is huge talent out there. I have been in the design business for almost 30 years now and feel I have a lot to share. I have had amazing life experiences both good and bad and see no reason why I should not share them with others as it can only help not hinder.  There are good blogs, bad blogs and truly outstanding blogs it is no different to life itself, sometimes mundane sometimes exciting. For so long now people of different cultures have had no way of communicating unless they struck up a friendship but blogs have enabled people to talk across the cultures and hopefully will help us start to understand each other.

Strange how a commercial idea has turned into a life changing experience.

I blog because I love it.




by Mick Mather -

Why I blog -

This is, I suppose, one of those self-searching questions that is spreading like wildfire across all of blogdom. I'm an avid reader and researcher as well as a tester of formulae and artistic method. I've always been interested in learning where others have been and where they ended up - or hope to end up through their own pursuits of creativity, initiative and discovery. Even so, much of the old method of study dealt with the historical record of things and one quite likely already knew that your position was, most of the time, behind the curve - even though perfectly free to exercise the belief that "everything old is new again." My researches and reading are online these days, including the daily wade thru a number of terrific blogs. If there's any difference in my flight of discovery it's that much of what I learn is happening right now, today, sometimes within this very hour! So, I blog to add my two-cents. That addition leads me to more thinking about art, more blog reading, more discovery, more food for thought and more current information with which to afford myself an opportunity for trend-spotting. Over the short and long term many of the 'found trends' may be as fleeting as always, but for the most part, one is actually able to see the show - as opposed to reading about the history of it years after the fact.

Mick's Blog: No Matter What Shape



by Amy Maxwell -

Why I Write

Some blog for fortune, others for fame or friendship.  I blog to battle forgetfulness.  Each day goes by so quickly.  Each day drags on forever.  Time is such a slippery subject.  Like the steam rising from my coffee mug.  Will I treasure the contents?  Will I be warmed by friendship? Comforted by a companion?  Or will I hastily take it in gulps, just trying to get through another day?  Will I get burnt?  Or misplace my cup, as I often do, finding it later when the cup is cold and the milk is sour?


Tomorrow melts into yesterday and soon my children will be grown.  Sarah is almost a teenager… She's turning three soon.  I know that the next ten years will go by too quickly.  Time speeds up exponentially when children are involved.

So I blog. Not because any of you are interested in my day.  Or my children.  Or my obscure interests in coffee, politics, religion, philosophy or technology.  I blog so that I will remember who I was today.

And as I pause to write, perhaps I'll slow down for a moment and treasure my children, my friends, my day.  I'll watch the steam rise from my mug and let them warm my soul.

Amy's Blog:



by Karen D'Amico -

On the Serious Side of things, I started a blog as a means of documenting my work as an artist, reasoning that it would provide an efficient means of centralizing information that could be accessed easily and quickly from anywhere in the world. I use the Internet quite a lot as a research tool, so it was a practical progression. As it's unfolded, the blog has become much more than simply a tool for documentation and research. It's connected me with some exciting artists, galleries and fellow bloggers from all over the world as well as given me opportunities for collaboration and making work. It's also been a great motivator in that, when I write about an idea I want to explore or about something I'm making, I feel a sort of 'silent accountability' which makes me work that much harder and consider things that much more deeply.

On the Less Serious side of things, well, blogging's fun.

Much of what I write is tongue in cheek, sometimes flippant and very occasionally, funny. That's not to say that I don't think deeply and carefully about my work and about art in general - I most certainly do - but I prefer a less arduous approach. It's my platform, a way to express who I am and what I'm about as well as getting g my work out there and seen.

I'd like to see more artists blogging. We're a funny lot - we want to expose our ideas yet at the same time we don't want to expose too much, especially in the beginning stages of a piece of work. I believe that's partly to do with a fear of being judged or worse, having ideas nicked, and there's still a fair bit of skepticism and snootiness in the art world in terms of blogging and web-based initiatives in general. I believe that will change over time and it's going to be interesting to see how that all unfolds.

Karen's Blog: Fluid Thinking



by Elspeth Duncan

Someone I had met was involved in the tsunami and set up a blog on Blogger in the aftermath. This is how I first found out about Blogger. Out of curiosity, I started up my own blog on the 8th of January, 2005. I've been blogging practically daily since then.
(Very first post:
I continue(d) my blog because:

  1. I like waking up every morning and adding something new
  2. I'm a multimedia artist and the blog is now an important online canvas/gallery/portfolio for my writing, music, photography, video work, etc.
  3. What I put on the blog often touches people
  4. I enjoy the feedback and interaction
  5. I have learnt (and continue to learn) computer-related things which I didn't know before though the process of producing a blog
  6. Through the blog I can share my work, thoughts and visions with wider audiences

Elspeth's blog: NOW IS WOW

Trinidad and Tobago / Elspeth Duncan: Multimedia artist (writing, music, graphic art, art photography, videography). Founder of Happy Hippy Productions: creating artistic works, productions and experiences that uplift, inspire, shift perspectives and create awareness in self and others.



by Frank Martin -

Q: How did I start blogging, and what has it meant to me? - A Blogger's Tale

Once upon a time, I had a series of news sites that I checked daily. One of the sites I read every day was One day, James Taranto posted a piece by someone named "Jane Galt". She was writing ( I dont think it was even called blogging then, was it?) about her experience working in the World Trade Center. I found it moving, touching and everything I had ever wanted on the site reported in the way I learned to expect from men like Ernie Pyle and John Steinbeck. It was writing about people, by people, at the time it happened, not from J-school know-it-alls who never left the hotel lobby and only wanted to tell me what they thought I should know. It changed everything about how I thought about "what to read".

I went back to her site daily, reading and sometimes crying and laughing about what she was experiencing in her time at the site of the massacre. One day, I noticed a set of websites that she had listed on the side of her site. I started clicking and reading what she read.

From that list of websites, I found Steven Den Beste. From there I found Vodkapundit. With just those three sites I had found better content and more consistently good writing than what could be found in any 50 newspapers on any given day. Then one day I left a comment, and I got a response from one of the other readers. Now, I wasnt just reading a website, I was participating in the discussion. Then one day I sent an email to Steven Den Beste. I was one of those "just suppose" emails, so the result was predictable.

He slaughtered me.

He didnt just do it in a response to me, he posted the whole thing on his site. On one hand, I was embarrassed, on the other hand he did it in such a way as to point out to me, that had I spent a little more time thinking and a little less time sprattling around, I might have had a good idea. It was a lesson I would not forget.

Then I found Rantburg. Rantburg was the first site that I ever made a post on. Rantburg is not technically a "blog", but it is one hell of an interesting site. Fred has something else going on there that cannot really be described. I call it open source news reporting.

Then one day I wrote something in a comment on vodkapundit and it started a firestorm of response. I felt so bad that I had accidentally trashed his post that I wrote Steve an email in apology. I told him I would voluntarily stay away from the site for awhile as I was clearly disruptive,even though that was never my intent. He wrote back saying that not only was it fine, but that I should get my own blog.

"My own blog?, Wha?".

At the same time, several others in the vodkapundit commentariat told me the same thing ( ed driscoll, triticale were the ones that I remember the most, or at least they were the most insistent).

So, now I was no longer a reader of other peoples stuff. I was a "commentor", and as it turns out, my comments were pretty good. This is what "The Blog-o-sphere" had doth done to me.

I, who never ever got above a "D" in English, a sufferer of what today would be called a "learning disability", had written some things that other people found a)interesting b)thoughtful.

This was not something I was prepared to believe as even remotely possible.

However, the boys were insistant, and one day, I went and got myself a blog. I started small, using the "90 days free" typepad service just to see if its something that would work or not.

I remember trying to decide what it was I was going to write about. I didnt want to be a "linker" and I didnt want to be "all politics all the time". In the end, I decided not to think about it too much and not to worry about it, just write what popped into my head at the time.

My wife found a picture of my deceased mother-in-law, and I wrote about what I saw in the picture. I found that writing that post changed me in some way. I wrote about what life was like on Roseton Ave and how it hurt me to leave it. I wrote about my bike being stolen and the end of a bully. It was all much cheaper, more satisfying and more effective than group therapy.

One night I saw John Kerry on 'Teevee' (just one too many times for my tastes), yammering on with the 'boston foghorn' voice about Vietnam and I just snapped and began to tap the keyboard like a minature game of whack-a-mole and out came this post. Then I went to bed.

I logged on the next day and found I was the recipient of something I had never heard of before. It was an "insta-lanche". I was horrified, the piece was barely edited, and not really coherent, and now it seemed the world had been reading it. I had 200 emails, but the end of the day over 1,000. Up till that point, I dont think I had ever had a single comment or trackback, now I had hundreds of people writing me. Most of them were laughing right along side with me, but there were a large number of people who wanted me hung by my thumbs. "How could I say that about John Kerry, obviously he was going to win..."

Now I really knew I could write. When you can piss people off, thats how you know you got something under the hood.

Glenn Reynolds, another man I have never met, has also touched my life and in simple yet odd way, has changed it. I hope to meet him someday, but until them, I will simply say "thank you". All of us who blog, readers or writers, owe Glenn a debt of thanks for popularizing our sport and helping us all perfect our craft. He may be a law professor, but he's had a big hand in the renaissance of writing that is occuring in the modern world.

Learning that I could irritate people to the point that they felt compelled to send me hate mail was interesting and in someways fun, but there were other things too. Once, I got an email from someone who was very deeply touched by something I wrote on election eve. That email still makes me cry. I cannot accept that anything I have ever written has managed to make it into anyone elses life, but apparently, it has.

I cannot express in words,written or spoken, how touched I have been that some of the things I have written has been so well received by people in the blogosphere. Frankly, I still find it stunning that anyone except a few people I know have ever even found the site, much less enjoyed anything I have ever written.

For those of you that have enjoyed what I have written, all I can say is that I have enjoyed every minute of writing it. It has truly been "my pleasure". Writing a blog has changed me in ways I could never have thought possible and you've all had a part in that, and I thank you for it.

For those of you who are angry or upset at something I've written, I will tell you what someone once told me: "Go get you own blog".

We all talk about how the world is changing because of blogs. It is, but its also changing me. I look at myself differently now that I've taken to writing, I think about things differently. I spell better, I take more time with what I want to say. Blogging has in effect made me a better person.

This all started because I saw something that Megan Mcardle wrote one day in 2002. She doesnt know me, but she changed me. Steven Den Beste told me to "take a little more time and think it all the way out next time". I never met Steve, but he changed me. Stephen Green said " Get your own blog and I'll link the hell out of you",and it changed me.

Glenn Reynolds said "heh" and my life has never been the same.

Blogging. The best way to drain your emotions since the invention of the medicinal leech.

Frank's Blog: VARIFRANK
Post: "A Blogger's Tale"



by Alan Kellogg -

Get my thoughts down, see how many links I can garner (need to post more comments and make more trackbacks), and find new blogs.

I can inform, correct, entertain somebody all the better. I won't promise anything deep, but I can promise honest opining. :)


by Brandi Williford -

Why I sit in front of the computer at 3 o'clock in the morning in my underwear trying to come up with something to say on my website:

I blog to express myself.  I love to write, it is in my blood.  Even if I have little say, there is a person somewhere deep inside myself yearning to be free.  It's someone my husband, my son, my mother, father, sister, brother, doesn't know about.  I am able to pour out my ridicule onto a page and leave it there.  There are times that I feel as if I were decaying.  I miss and love school, so I need a creative outlet.  My brain is in need of use, and to get my blood and juices flowing, I write.  Originally starting my blog, I thought I would write beautiful essays and that thousands of people would be able to come and read my thoughts and comment.  I don't blog for the glory, I don't blog for other people!  I blog for myself!  To express myself and my inner writhings is more important than to have anyone comment on what they think about what I thought.  I started my book club to break away from the monotonous chains of motherhood.  In that same way, this blog has allowed me to outreach my hand to the world and touch the surface.  That to me, is important because if someone reads my blog and gets an encouraging word, or a great new recipe, I'm a better person.  I don't even have to know to whom or how it happened.  That's the beauty of blogging.  Having a thought, making a connection and publishing it.  After you're done, many people connect to that one idea/thought, and in that beautiful way, the world is at one's fingertips.

Brandi's Blog: Sometimes We Read



by Ian Lewis -  

First I did a blog to see if I could.

 Now I blog to try to make things a little better.

Ian's Blog: Everything or Nothing



by Vignesh Waran - 

How I started blogging?

During summer Holidays, I wrote about our family tour and when I completed, I thought, well we have spent quite some time on this why not blog this so that it may be helpful to some people as a guide or may be give an idea for someone who is in the process of selecting the place, so I blogged them..and that's how the story started.

Why I Blog?

Though I started of like, ok .. lets give a try, now I find it to be a way to express myself. I have read many blogs and read some of them regularly.. I feel that I would know a lot of people by blogging (though my hit count is very very low).. If we form a network among blogs which are similar it would be great..I am looking forward to do that. Some Blogs are informative also.. and they are networked excellently well. So it may be useful for someone.. And yes there is entertainment..when I feel bored, I read some blogs, they have some links, I read them and it goes on and on and on. I thought I should try to contribute..and well it is available for free...  It's like a diary though not completely 'private'... Everyone who likes having a diary may like to blog.

And this is how the story is moving..

Vignesh's Blog: Just Like That, Tamilnadu, India



by Erik Svane -

Having lived in Paris for over 10 years, I would say that the guestimate that 90-95% of mainstream European media stories overwhelmingly castigate, mock, or dis America in some way or other is too small.  Any discussion on world events will inevitably--and I do mean inevitably--lead to the statement of the "fact" that Americans are treacherous, and Europeans are ever so lucides. (That is what caused me to found Americans Anonymous)

As for why people like myself have opened blogs about this, it is because of something called injustice. I do not like injustice. I do not like the injustice of a man who claims he is against war only going out to protest instances of fighting when the U.S. military is involved. I do not like the
injustice of a woman who claims she is against the death penalty but willfully ignores China's shooting bullets into the necks of as many as 25 times the number of people executed in America each year. I do not like the injustice of an intellectual/reporter claiming to be independent and interested in all cases of government perfidy, and deliberately and consistently ignoring, and
white-washing, those of anybody but Uncle Sam, and primarily those of his own government. I do not like the injustice of someone weeping about the fate of prisoners abused in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and ignoring that of the men and women who had hands and tongues cut off, who were forced to eat the flesh of their spouses' arms, and whose bodies litter the fields of Iraq; ignoring, in
effect, the opinion of the majority of people in Iraq.

If someone said that all blacks were simple-minded and incapable of thinking clearly, there would be an uproar, and rightly so. If someone said all Slavs were treacherous and war-mongers, there would be an uproar, and rightly so. Such opinions would not only be called unjust and ignorant, they would be called despicable. And rightly so.

But say the same about Americans, in public or among friends, and nobody thinks of protesting. Well, actually, yes, there are a few of us, and people like us are called "biased" by the likes of Europeans who snicker and ask if we don't have more important things to worry about.

Now, here's the fun fact. When you mention this in Europe, some Europeans will guffaw and say, "Oh, but in the case of the Americans, it happens to be the truth!" (Of course, they forget that their own ancestors said the exact same thing about the blacks/Slavs/etc: it just happened to "be the truth", too.) Whatever the case may be, I have found what bloggers David Kaspar and Tyranno have also uncovered: that a bit of investigation turns up the fact that Americans are perhaps not as simple-minded as the Europeans would like to think, and that the Europeans are perhaps not as avant-garde-thinking as they would like to believe. But because this "opinion" is inherently "self-serving", unless some people point out the ugly prejudices that those lazy "opinions" hide (through blogs or other media outlets), no voices will be raised in Europe at all.

Erik Svane
Americans Anonymous
Eric's Blog
No Pasaran
Post: "Why We Blog" - Medienkritik (Germany)



by Jocelyn Dimaculangan

Why did I start blogging?

Truthfully, I started blogging in 2003 since all my officemates were doing it. It was hosted in blogdrive and I didn't pay much attention to it. We even created a common blog where we all served as authors but our interest in blogging waned until finally some of our blogs died a natural death. Still, others continued maintaining their blogs and made it part of their daily routine.

My interest in blogging resurfaced when I saw that a friend hosted her blog in Friendster. Her blog had a dynamic badge from Flickr and at that moment, I knew that I wanted to maintain a blog in Friendster too. Just a few days after my discovery, Friendster allowed its members to create blogs through an easy-to-follow procedure and just like that, I became part of the blogosphere once more. Since the day I created my first post on April 19, 2005, I've been improving my blog to best reflect my personality as a gimikera with a zest for life. 

Jocelyn's Blog: Gimikera



by Josia Nakash -
Why do I blog? Because I suddenly discovered that it's a fantastic way to accelerate the thought of Creation which is all about spreading the wisdom of Kabbalah as quickly as possible to the last generation - that's us.  Since I'm a woman in the core group in Israel, I'm writing from a woman's perspective i.e. on the sidelines watching our men in the live broadcasts on  I'm really loving the blog world! I didn't expect it to be so much fun!  It's probably because blogs are going to play a key role in bringing us all back to the perfection of the first soul where there were no physical bodies separating us. I'm still learning as I go along but basically my blog allows me to keep track and record every move the group makes - in real-time!  
Josia's Blog: Kabbalah 4 Women



"I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed."

George Orwell: Why I Write, 1946

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