Blogs and expectations

I find it interesting how a blog, more than any other medium, carries with it this expectation of frequent updates.  Often the blogs I read will have periods of slowness in posting or longer gaps between updates and when the blogger returns from whatever real-life adventure he or she has been having, there’s generally an air of guilt in their words, an apology for not giving their readers something new to read.  I can’t imagine this with another format.  When a novelist takes a longer than usual time putting out his or her next masterpiece the first chapter isn’t a lot of hand-wringing and apologies, it jumps right into the story.  So what is it about blogs that makes bloggers feel so directly responsible for churning out a lot of content?  I suppose in some cases blogs offer the reader a chance to give near immediate feedback to the writer through comments.  That could make a writer want to be a little more hands on and placating in that relationship.  Also, as evidenced by this blog you’re reading, absolutely anyone on the planet can be a blogger, and sometimes that includes people who haven’t established emotional boundaries around their work and the public’s reaction to it.  There’s another factor though, now that I think about it, and it actually ties into our hypertext class, so yay for finally being on topic:  since blogs are electronic content that exist in serial form on the Internet, a constantly evolving platform, they are expected to be constantly evolving as well.  There’s nothing more disappointing than a static webpage.  Web content has to move, to change, to continue to entice us as readers.  Otherwise it might as well be a book, and really, who reads those?

What else do you think distinguishes blogs from more traditional media?  I’m sure there are things I haven’t thought of.

Btw, sorry it took me so long to post this entry…<winky face>

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7 thoughts on “Blogs and expectations

  1. I agree – if webpages don’t evolve asap, then we see them as a book we just finished, not as a work in progress. Another note, as you mentioned, is the way the audience is directly addressed in the blog. I think about when I used to write “dear diary” in my journals, and the way in which I wrote the entries. They were very conversational as if I were writing a hand-written note to a school friend. I used to chuckle to myself about that. “Who am I writing too?” I wondered. Blogging is very therapeutic in the same way journaling is. I think that’s a huge difference when compared to traditional media.

    BTW I like your blog layout. It’s tidy and I like that your entries are synopses, which reflects the “nugget” in your name. 🙂

    • Thank you! I agree that blogging is therapeutic, and it’s easier to be honest on a blog than to one’s closest friends and family because of how much control the blogger has over the content and who can access it. Sure, it’s all out there, but in a split second I can hide it all and you’ll never know the difference. Easier to feel protected.

  2. I really like the point you brought up about blogs being used by people “who haven’t established emotional boundaries around their work and the public’s reaction to it.” It’s extremely true! I think this is an interesting difference between blogs and traditional media, because blogs revolve much more on our social nature. When bloggers return to a blog to write they don’t just become closer to their own work, but rather they become instantly bound to their public. This is important for us to note as writers.
    Great post!

    • Yes! Especially if the blog content is personal. It’s like “here are my thoughts and life experiences, please approve of them!” No wonder bloggers get neurotic about how their readers will respond.

  3. I like how you said that blogs are constantly evolving just as people are evolving. If one was to follow someone’s blog I would presume that they would see growth in the writer as a person but also as a writer. Without that constant evolution of ideas and lessons learned, the blog itself would become stagnant just as the written word would become uninteresting to read. Just like a novel. The reader hopes to see growth in the characters throughout the story. If the character is flat, the book is flat. If the blogger doesn’t show interesting content, the blog is boring. Makes perfect sense to me!

    By the way: I love reading your writing! You are a great writer!
    Oh, and also: I refuse to write the initialisms for By The Way and Laugh Out Loud. I’m just that old…fashioned. 🙂 (Or just that OLD.)

    • HA! at least one of us has standards 🙂

      I love your comment about a blog needing to keep moving so the characters don’t get stagnant. I never thought about myself (as a blogger) as a character before. Great point!

    • Amy,
      I like your perspective on personal growth being present in authors who are part of the blogosphere. I think my drive to present “perfect” work is what has kept me from blogging before. I feel vulnerable posting something as part of my journey. Whatever I’m unsure of, well, google or one of my readers probably already knows the answer. Why bother expressing curiosity or uncertainty when someone will certainly step up to tell me what’s what? I’m adjusting my view though, and hope to truly align it with your sentiment. There would be significantly less appreciable reading material if authors were always sure and fully confident in everything. Mostly it is the journey and the questioning and the uncovering that makes life (and reading) interesting.

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