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Why do we blog? Why do I ask the question?
Well amongst the many interesting articles over on the invaluable resource that is Sphinn during the last week, two in particular got me thinking. These were Vandelay's 15 ways to get exposure for your new blog and Onreact's 101 Blog Posting Ideas.
As a newcomer to this blogging lark I eagerly took their advice on board and then began to wonder why it was we blogged at all? What do we actually gain from it?
Drilling down a little deeper into my initial question I figured that us bloggers (for I hope one day to be accepted in your collective bosom) could sit nicely in one of a number of demographical groups - or for the purpose of this article, stereotypes!
NB. I've not linked as this isn't aimed at anybody in particular, it's just a bit of fun!
1. The Sage
The Sage is a font of worldly wisdom. He/ She sits high upon their binary mountain top, a master of their particular niche. They deal out the information the rest of us could only dream of discovering or putting a unique spin on. They are almost universally respected in their field, and secretly the rest of us are jealous of the power they wield. The Sage's motivation is to educate the masses and make this world a better place!
2. The Egotist
The Egotist is just that. Solely there for their own fulfillment and theirs alone. They are the pub bore, who'll talk at as opposed to you and their world revolves solely around them. The egotist is grossly over-opinionated and always right. Even when they know they're wrong. The Egotist's motivation, like that of a Big Brother contestant or some other such shallow fame seeker, is to be the centre of attention. As long as everybody's looking at and listening to them, they're happy.
3. The Subversive
The Subversive, like the Sage, is an exceptional font of wisdom, highly knowledgable in their particular niche. However, they use this knowledge to subvert from the inside out. They challenge our pre-conceptions and turn everything we thought we knew on its head. They kick down doors and smash through plate windows. Our lives would be a lot duller without them. The subversive's motivation, like the sage, is to educate the masses. They just approach it from a different angle.
4. The Vandal
The Vandal cares not for originality nor anything else. Like the Egotist, their motive is purely selfish, and of course, money. They will happily steal your content and pass it off as their own. They are also known for relentlessly spamming the comment sections of other blogs and forums.
5. The Young Turk
The Young Turk arrives in a hail of gunfire. He/ she's hot off the blocks and hitting the ground running. Like The Subversive their aim is to rattle the collective cage, although presently they lack The Subversive's experience. Some hope to one day mature into respected Sage's or Subversives, whilst others are solely in it to get whatever they can and get the hell out! Dismissing trivialities like unique content or enlightening the user, and instead resorting to all manner of underhand tactics to achieve their aim (see The Vandal).
6. The Bored Housewife
The Bored Housewife neither refers specifically to a housewife nor a female for they are also male. Unsullied by adsense, widgets, affiliate programs and 'monetizing the blog', they do it for the sheer pleasure of sharing their life and views with others. They may not straddle a particular niche, choosing instead to spread themselves across a broad spectrum of subjects, connected by the general theme of their everyday ins and outs. Motivation? Something to do? The sheer pleasure of it all? Who cares? It's refreshing that the mighty pound and dollar hasn't coloured every aspect of the mighty blog-o-sphere.
You can probably suggest any number of other groups that bloggers could be shoehorned into, and equally come up with valid arguments as to why categorising people in such a way is unhealthy and smacks of Orwell's Big Brother (sad that we now have to say 'Orwell's Big Brother' to differentiate the all-seeing-eye concept of 1984 from the reality TV show trash that stole its name). But there it is. Just a few things I'd noticed on my travels during the past few months.
So why do we blog? Well I personally think that the vast majority of bloggers out there are a mish-mash of all these characteristics (except perhaps The Vandal, whom appears to be a sole entity) in varying degrees. Of course, there will always be a smatter of egotism in what we do, but I think by and large, we are mostly in it to help others, share information, maybe earn a bit of extra cash, and (hopefully) entertain.
Nick James (whip-cracker and all round nice guy)