According to Wikipedia, in 2011, there were 156 million public blogs in existence. The term “blog” comes from “web-log” (1997), and referred initially to a log or journal on the web. In 1999, a gifted wit came up with “we blog,” meaning to post to one’s blog and “blog” became both noun and verb. Now, thousands of bloggers post to their blogs in “the blogosphere.” Books have originated in blogs, as did the delightful movie, Julie and Julia (2009), directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep, about New York writer Julie Power’s year blogging as she cooked all 524 recipes in the famous Julia Child’s cookbook.
Eighteen months ago, I really didn’t know what a blog was, or how it worked. I thought blogging was the preserve of entrepreneurial business types, celebrities, the media, high flyers, and the very young. I have since learned that my retired west coast brother-in-law has a blog, and his kids blog about their travels. My niece-in-law blogs about school activities and exercises used in her elementary school French immersion class. Her blog is a school board-sanctioned channel of communication between what goes on in her classroom and the parents of her students. Cousins in Vancouver told me that they follow (“follow”?) several blogs on design, recipes, and investing. As they say, “Blogs are like falling down a rabbit hole: you can get lost following all the interesting links and forget to eat lunch.” I have learned that younger people I see frequently in Toronto have great skills on WordPress, and that they maintain several blogs. Even the venerable Statistics Canada has been posting a StatCan Blog since January 2013 at www.statcan.gc.ca. I cannot speak to the quality of its content, but If taxpayers are funding such a blog, and the Harper government hasn’t cut it, blogging must be ok. Where have I been all these years?
Given so many blogs, why create another? Who will read it? Why bother? It has taken me all this time to appreciate that blogging can be a tool for learning the craft of writing. On retirement, I had fantasies of writing two books: one in my area of professional expertise, the other for fun. But writing takes time and discipline. The professional writers I have known write every day. My attempts at writing have been a sorry story of false starts and procrastination. Now that I have become comfortable with modern technology, and understand how communications have changed, I have finally accepted that a blog may be what I need to learn to write. And if I can write about things that may be of interest to others, why not share what I have learned? That is what blogging is all about.
I am beginning on a journey and would welcome your company. Enjoy.