The art of blogging …
Next week happens to be the 2nd anniversary of this blog, so I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to discuss the art of the blog. My welcome post was on February 10, 2012.
Let’s start by asking the question: Who’s blogging? Though I don’t know the answer to this, here’s a little perspective. WordPress.com has posted the following statistics for January, 2014:
- There were 1,321,980 new blogs created in one month, or roughly 16 million per year.
- There were nearly 40 million posts, which would extrapolate to roughly 1/2 billion posts yearly.
- There were roughly 4 billion page views, which would extrapolate to 48 billion yearly.
Given this is but one service (albeit one of the larger ones), it’s probably safe to assume the total figures are several times this.
There are 7.2 billion residents of planet earth, 321 million in the USA alone. It’s an exercise left to the reader as to what this means? Suffice it to say that a lot of the folks you know are blogging.
What are the topics? This is the really cool thing about blogs. The topics are as wide-ranging as what interests (and differentiates) individuals. It seems that music, politics, food, technology, sex, poetry and commentary are the most popular topic areas. Whatever interests you, there is a avalanche of blogs related to that topic, from many different perspectives.
Why are people blogging? Though I can’t answer this for everyone, but I can give you some insights as to why I do it and what others have indicated. First, it’s fun! For as much as I HATED to write when I was a school kid, I learned to write and enjoy writing as an adult. Also, we live in an increasingly connected world, where much of our verbal and written interaction is via social media. Blogs are a nice way to discuss a topic more fully than Facebook or Twitter permit.
I started the blog when I retired as a method to keep my hand in technology, while I worked on my golf handicap. However, the primary reason that I started the blog was to provide a forum to answer the tech questions that friends and family posed as they saw me as the guy with the most tech knowledge (go figure!) I’ve heard this refrain from many bloggers. It was a method to document some topic for the blogger and their friends and family. I’ve also found enjoyment posting opinions on topical topics like intellectual property issues, malware, acquisitions and other tech related issues, especially when I get feedback on a given post.
What I didn’t appreciate was how the readership would grow. The first year was slow, with not too many views and just a handful of folks getting email notifications of posts. However, my readership is growing exponentially. Though the majority of views is from the US, folks from 120 countries have viewed my posts. Of the countries that haven’t viewed them, the most glaring is China. I can only think I’m being censored (hot damn!). I’m still somewhat blown away by the geographical breadth of the readership in spite of the fact much of my content is US-centric.
So, what are the most viewed posts? Of the 82 posts to-date, the top 5 (in order) are:
- Using your electrical wiring for networking
- Can you get electrocuted by your phone’s charger? – This was about a single, not fully understood incident in China that clearly concerns a number of folks.
- Hackers can hack the camera on your new Samsung TV … Or can they?
- A smarter thermostat: Nest
- Creating an emergency USB drive
This top five accounts for roughly half the views.
What about the veracity of blog posts? As I’ve mentioned in other posts regarding news and information from the Internet, the quality and veracity of blogs is highly variable. It’s probably wise when you find a post from an unknown blogger, to read a few of their other posts to get a feel about how good the writer is, how useful the information is and how objective they are. To help you insure that my posts are of sufficiently useful, I try to insert links from other sources for the reader to find more information.
For me blogging has been an enjoyable and hopefully useful-to-you exercise on my part. Fortunately, the tools for blogging are pretty easy-to-use and inexpensive (or free) so that anyone can do it.
To start your own blog, here are some services to consider: