One of the quirks of the Web is that ideas can flow back and forth from one place to another, and pick up impetus along the way. Sometimes they get expanded into an organized effort.
A blog meme, from a Greek word for memory, is one of these organized efforts, and often happens by people sharing their thoughts or creative energies in some way after being tagged by another blogger, and then tagging others to participate.
I’ve been tagged by Michael Jensen of SoloSEO in a blog meme that has people providing five reasons why they blog and then tagging five others.
These are my five reasons:
1. As a chance to pay it forward
The web is a tremendous source of information and inspiration; much of my knowledge of SEO and the Web has been learned from people taking time and making efforts to share what they know through selflessly written tutorials and frequently asked questions pages.
Many authors of those words have written them anonymously, so to thank them I try to help others in the same spirit, and if I can help them, then maybe they will help others.
2. As an opportunity for self discovery of interests
When first setting out to blog, a frequent question might be, “What do I blog about today.” After a while, unanticipated and surprising subjects may find you. At a local blog I’m writing upon, for instance, I’ve started paying a lot more attention to the architecture of the buildings in town.
Yesterday, one post became the history and evolution of lunch wagons into “dining car” like buildings and then into diners after I noticed the original manufacturer’s label above the door at my corner diner. Last week, a historical marker in front of a nearby church had me exploring Romanesque Revival Ecclesiastical Architecture.
I’m anticipating visiting the local Recorder of Deeds office in the near future to trace back who owned some historical places in town. One is a school house that three signers of the Declaration of Independence attended when they were growing up.
3. As a way of meeting people and building community
I really enjoy it when someone posts about or leaves a comment on something I’ve written, or sends me an email about it, or gives me a call. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by people coming up to me at a conference and telling me that they read my blog.
Blogs give you a chance to share ideas with people from around the globe, and exchange experiences with them. I’ve had the chance to speak at a few conferences because of topics I’ve written about here, and to visit California and Las Vegas and other places, and meet people from around the world.
In exploring the world with your blog, and reaching out to others, you run into the chance of having others reach out to you. I wrote about the premiere of a movie made by some local filmmakers last week, and one of the directors left a comment upon my post this morning, inviting me to see the movie and offering me a complementary ticket for it.
I wrote a post a few years back about the musical remix culture in Brazil and the Brazilian Minister of Culture sent me an email thanking me for my post.
I’ve been sharing some ideas with a number of other bloggers on different topics, and learning from them and enjoying their successes. There may be two people in the small town that I live within whom I could hold an indepth conversation with on SEO and internet marketing, and both of them found me through my blog.
4. As an impetus for writing
I’ve been fascinated by the written word for as long as I can remember, and spent a great deal of my youth with my nose between the pages of a book. I’ve wanted to be a creator of words as much as a consumer, and blogging gives me a chance to put some thoughts together into sentences, into essays, and perhaps into more than just blog posts someday.
The challenge of finding material that interests me, and might interest others, and attempting to present it in a manner which captures the essense of the material and yet still makes it accessible for others is rewarding when I feel that I’ve done it well.
5. As a chance to learn
The Web is an opportunity for collaborative learning, and I’ve been able to learn from others, and from my own efforts in creating material for my blog. I enjoy going through patent filings from the search engines and trying to put the ideas expressed in them into language that others might understand, and in the process of doing so, I learn a lot myself.
I learned a few years back in an internet literacy class that I taught at a local community college, that a teacher can learn as much as his or her students when he or she sets out ideas for others. Many of the things that I write about in my blog end up in processes for working upon Web pages, and in ideas that I can try out on personal sites.
I could possibly go on with a number of other reasons, but I’m interested in hearing from some other folks. Here are five people whom I’m tagging with this meme: