A few months ago, I came across this picture on Gil’s blog and had a good chuckle. There is much that is true about this caption. Blogs are a dime a dozen, and most vastly overestimate both the scope of their influence and the significance of their content. I printed the picture off and it hangs beside my desk as an omnipresent reminder of the perils of blogging.
And yet… a quick glance at my all-knowing WordPress dashboard today informed me that the 2000th comment on this blog rolled through this past week. Of course many of those 2000+ comments are my own so the stat is a bit misleading in one sense. And I’m certainly not one to equate the relative statistical popularity of some phenomenon with the quality of said phenomenon. Nonetheless, seeing this number did give me an opportunity to pause and think about this blog and how it has become a significant avenue for idea exploration and self-expression for me over the course of its lifespan thus far.
When I started blogging two and a half years ago, I really had no idea if it was something I would enjoy or maintain long term. I wasn’t convinced that anyone would be terribly interested in what I had to say about this or that particular issue. I wasn’t even sure about what I even thought about the medium of blogging in general. Simply put, I entered the fray somewhat cynically, far from convinced that my involvement would last more than a couple of months.
Fast forward to Oct 1, 2009 and my perspective has changed. I still have my concerns about the medium of blogging and the kind of discourse it can promote, but I have also been pleasantly surprised to see genuine dialogue take place and a (limited) kind of community formed. Nothing forces you to sharpen your writing and your thoughts on various subjects like immediate, often widely diverse, and sometimes even hostile (!) feedback. In my better moments, I am grateful for the challenge this presents. I have also learned a good deal from those who have taken the time to comment and have had my perspective broadened by hearing from those from different backgrounds and ideological persuasions than my own.
Of course, in the big picture of the blogosphere, 2000 isn’t a very big number at all. I know that I still inhabit a relatively small corner of the blogging world. And I’m happy with that. I don’t particularly aspire to “blogging greatness,” whatever that might mean and however it might be evaluated. When I started I told myself that this was best treated as just an outlet to write, regardless of whether or not anyone read it, and I still feel that way today. Of course I’m glad that some folks are interested, but I have never really had specific goals in mind as far as generating “traffic” or anything like that. I thought if this could lead to a few interesting conversations it would be worth it.
So finally, I guess I just want to say “thank you.” Thank you to everyone who has ever taken the time to read what I write. I know there are no shortage of options out there, and don’t take lightly the fact that you would spend 10-15 minutes out of your day on something I have to say. Thank you for the time, thought, and energy you put into commenting. Thank you for the encouragement and the challenge that your input provides. I have no idea how long I will continue to do this, but I am grateful for the interesting conversations that have taken place here over the past two and a half years and look forward to a few more.