A post by ChickyBabe questioning her raison d'être has prompted me to get back to what I must have been thinking about when I started this blog. I think maybe there are a couple of big posts knocking around in the back of my head that should arrive eventually.
There are a lot of blogs about. Technorati is indexing 10 million, 90percent from the last two years. MSN Spaces has 10 million by itself and that's just this year. That's an awful lot of information. Its probably enough writing to say, reach the moon if you print it all out and pile all the A4 paper up. Maybe not, but you get the idea. Nobody can keep up with that much info, its borg-collective type stuff.
And this is where one of the other posts that's in the back of my head would fit in, but I'll save it for another time because it would be going too far off topic.
You can only keep up with a few sources. Some of them might have a huge circulation like BoingBoing and give you twenty entries to read in a day, while others might be sporadically updated personal journals detailing where to get good pasta in Louisiana.
So this is my question, not "why do I write" but "why do I read"?
I started off with a few well known names, and a few "Best of" lists and then a few blogrolls later and I'm checking what feels like hundreds of pages each day. But those are resonably rewarding, simply because its self-selecting - "I read you because of some shared interest. You read them because of some other shared interest." and soon you've got a cluster of links all in one theme.
Its a third class of links within my reading list that I'm most worried about. They've crept up on me and I'm worried that its these that are most likely to become overwhelming. Its not because they're throwing a massive amount of information at me, its because this third class is the only one in which I feel I owe the authors.
Yep, I'm looking at you, the readers. Don't get uncomfortable, its ok! I wanted readers but I've gone about it in the wrong way. It should be just a question of content but its become a question of content and comment.
I can't be only one that does it, craving feedback. And then cultivating that feedback by visiting my own visitors' sites. And then I'm hooked. Feeling obligated to keep checking back and repaying the favour of a comment with more feedback. Its all very friendly on the surface but could it just be the blogging equivalent of meeting that vague aquaintence on the street and exchanging a hollow "Hey, how are you. Good? Yeah me too, fine. Alright, nice to see you, call soon."
I think the knock-on effect is a change in motivation for writing. Writing for the audience instead of whatever the reason used to be. That's something that I don't want to happen.