[This one was originally written on Oct. 25, 2007, and looking back at it, I think it's not half-bad, even in its unedited form!]
Blogging is a mystery. I got an email from a long lost friend recently, in which he mentioned that he keeps track of me from afar through my blog. This was really sweet to discover. He's an international friend, but one I never imagined I'd go for an entire decade without seeing. (I used to be more of a jetsetter, and I always imagined that I would make it back to Europe at least every other year.) But it's been almost 10 years since I last saw this friend, and yet we're now magically in touch, in that odd Internet sort of way. It makes me really happy that I have a personal blog.
The thing is, I don't like that blogs are so open. I know there's a site called Vox that lets you restrict who can see your blog, and I think that's really awesome. Unfortunately, the same reason I have this public blog and I make the vast majority of my photos public on Flickr is why I can't imagine having a successful blog on Vox: The people I know don't want to sign up to read. And if I further restricted access to my blog, I wouldn't get wonderful emails from long lost friends who just happen to read. (Perhaps that's the value of a site like Facebook or MySpace. Facebook is a bit like a blog, because you can express yourself in all these fun and different ways, and, for the most part, you connect only with your friends.)
The mystery of blogging, and Flickr too, is that even though it may be intended for some, it's available to all, and often, when it's hard even to get the intended audience to pay attention, it seems ridiculous to restrict that intended audience's access. Also, while the majority of my posts may be for friends and family (who know and understand and...gasp...care where all this damned meandering is coming from ;), occasionally, there's the odd post that might help a random person searching for info on a particular topic.
I don't know. It's late, and I have insomnia. (WTF IS UP WITH THAT BTW?!) I'm sure there's a college student somewhere studying this. I'd love to read what they find out. The upshot is that, just when I was considering quitting this blog because of some recent negative associations with the hobby and this particular blog's seeming lack of purpose, that email from my friend arrived, and it convinced me to keep it up. Because obviously, somebody is reading, and heck, that's one more than before I had a blog!