Why on Earth Do I Write a Blog?

Look closely. Illustration by Roy Blumenthal
used under Creative Commons license.

Today I opened Google Reader, my preferred method for managing most blog subscriptions. At the new year I pruned my subscriptions severely because I had such a backlog I knew I had oversubscribed. In theory, then, I have a more “manageable” subscription list.

In the Spokane folder alone I see 88 unread posts. In the Biking folder it was something like 76 (started reading those first and don’t remember the number). Transportation has 93. Food has 57. And so on, and so on.

I will—yet again—make liberal use of the “mark all as read” button so I can move on. Certainly I’m missing out on some wonderful content, new ideas, fresh inspiration, great recipes and what-have-you. But life is short and there will always be more.

I imagine you, Dear Reader, in your fleece long johns and robe with your cup of hot coffee at a cluttered dining room table with unfinished taxes looming to your right (OK, I’m projecting a little here—just because that’s where I am at 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning it doesn’t mean that’s what you look like right now).

Why would you read this blog, from among all the others you subscribe to or stumble across on the web?

When I started this blog 2-1/2 years ago it initially served as an experiment. I wanted to see what kind of time and effort it took to produce a blog so I would know what I was getting into if I launched one at work (which is why we still haven’t launched one at work—I now know the beast must be fed!).

I kept it up—no idea why since I’m pretty sure even my daughters weren’t reading it, and Mom doesn’t have a computer and couldn’t use it if she did—and over time started seeing comments and getting clickthroughs on links I shared via Twitter and Facebook.

My stats are teensy but you are out there. I’m just thinking out loud here about what value I add in your life and why I should keep it up if you’re just clicking “mark all as read” and moving on. It’s a discouraging thought.

I’d better go read some of those blog posts.

Tell me, please: Why do you read this blog?


  1. I read your stuff because I like your writings and you provide a local view on things. You seem to be a bit left of me which provides a different perspective than my window on the world as well.

    Plus, it is always interesting to read the free wheeling thoughts of Analytical Engineer Eric's better half.

    Keep at it Barb - they say blogs are fading but if we continue to write, together we will maintain a strong front.

  2. I read the blogs I read (including yours) because I like to hear about other view points and often discover new things (whatever they may be).

    I personally blog for many different reasons though. It's particularly a good way to vent out frustrations, document days/events (I have a bad memory...so this helps) and also try out new things.

    I hope you keep blogging. :)

  3. Like the others, I read your comments because I find them insightful, well-written, positive, and enjoyable.

    Keep it up!

  4. I enjoy reading your bike posts... especially ones about being a female bicylist (ok, I know you say "biker," but I still can't get over that as someone wearing just enough black leather to cover her unmentionables and riding across the country with a roaring hog between her legs).

    I also read because you're local. I have found myself over-subscribed to blogs as well, and the non-local ones are the first to go.

    Your posts are also fun. The topics and the way you approach what you're writing about.

  5. I read it because it keeps me clued in to what the 'real' (non-government folk- sometimes we don't realize that just because WE live and breathe something, not everyone else does)people are doing out there as far as transportation.

  6. I answered my own question tonight about why I blog. I had opened a bike-related link someone posted on Twitter and left it there for a couple of days until I had time to read it.

    When I read it and it set me off I had somewhere to go with my thoughts besides just a lengthy rant/comment on that blog. I've turned what would have been a far-too-long comment into a two-parter you'll see posted here this week.

    Writing it forced me to articulate my thinking in a new way, which is always a good exercise for an advocate. I'm basically disagreeing with someone I partly agree with--practically yoga for the mind.

    Blogging is my anti-dementia brain exercise so come back and watch me put my rhetorical foot behind my head (or somewhere else impossible....).


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