Monday, March 19, 2012

Blogging - From a Park Bench or Soap Box?

Yesterday I posted my 30th blog. One a day for the past month. I don't know what made me do it. Perhaps it was the coaxing by various people in my life. Perhaps it was the need to release an unhidden talent. I don't know. But here I am writing blog #31.

I thought I would kick off the second month with a blog about blogging. A new friend recently asked me, "What is a blog?". I thought about it for a second and replied "A blog is a website where people stand on a soapbox of self importance and expound words of wisdom and meaningless drivel."

I am good at standing on soapboxes. I can do handstands and back flips with a one and a half twist, all the while solving the world's problems. I have an opinion about everything. I can't help it, I am a thinker, a philosopher, someone who watches the world very carefully, looking for ways to improve things. I love to learn and am becoming more tolerant in my old age.

I also love to sit on the park bench, so to speak, and tell tall tales of adventure and misadventure in the life of a small town girl. Stories that speak about life in a little Michigan village, or of remembered home. Tales from places I have worked, or the odd things that have happened to me in my 54 years on this wonderful Mother Earth.

As half of my brain is science oriented, I must admit I have been watching the readership of my blog to see which stories people are most interested in. Do they like to read about beautiful Michigan sunsets, or Rush Limbaugh? Humor or serious commentary? Or all of the above?

The results? Nature stories ranked the lowest. Rush Limbaugh ranked the highest. Everything else fell somewhere in between.

So I am left with a dilemma, one I have grappled with my whole life. Do I continue to write a diverse blog covering everything from the Republican primaries to hairy monsters that dwell in the swamps of southern Michigan? Or do I focus on my sarcastic critique of politics and current events? Do I write for the sake of writing, or for the sake of my readership?

It is much the same as being a performer putting together a set list. How many originals, how many covers? What does the audience want to hear, what do I want to play?

When I was a disc jockey many years ago, I experienced the seclusion and weird sense of isolation a DJ feels when working the midnight shift, talking on a microphone to thousands of faceless, nameless people. You know they are listening, well, they are right? But how do you REALLY know? I played record after record, would get a phone call requesting a song or two once in awhile, but otherwise I simply had to trust people were out there somewhere. Certainly the morning I overslept and was late turning the on radio station (small town radio, what can I say?) I learned how many people were out there.

The beauty of a blog is that the reader can interact with me. They can leave a comment. They can contribute to a discussion, or share a thought. They can click funny, cool, or interesting. They can post the blog to other sites to share something they particularly like. Or they can do nothing but read it with their morning coffee much like the newspaper.

Go ahead, take a chance and leave a comment. What does this blog do for you? What stories speak to you most? And why do you like to read about Rush more than a sunset. Rush, sunset, Rush, sunset, I mean REALLY! Rush?????


  1. I look forward to reading your blog every day, your sister Diann shared it with me and I signed up to follow. Thank you for taking the time to do this and giving me something something thought provoking or funny to read. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks Debbie, glad you enjoy it!

  3. I read them every day. I am however partial as you are my sister. I love them all. Keep them coming. #3

  4. I enjoy the variety of your blog!! I love the life stories and the "current" event's a nice mix!!! Thanks for your words Barb!

  5. I think perhaps you got so many comments on Rush because, as I look at the commenters, 3 of the 4 are carryovers from the people who posted responses to it on my Facebook profile (where there was much discussion!) when I provided a link, and it WAS a good piece. But I'm posting your spider piece to my FB profile tonight. We'll see what happens ;)

    I like the variety (and I see tonight how ACTIVE you've been in writing lately, so I have a lot of catching up to do!), but my favorites, I think, are your nature posts.