Why I'm Blogging

A recent post by a friend of mine from work (Matt & Amanda Get Married: Why I Blog) inspired me to write a post about why I'm blogging. I didn't have the chance to post on the topic before friends at dinner last night asked me the same question, so our conversation helped me to further refine my thoughts.

I've started blogging for a few different reasons, some of which will change and evolve over time. In no particular order:

* Blogs have been an important factor at work over the past year. I've found a number of blogs which have some great perspectives on the major changes under way in media businesses, which has been really helpful for developing my own perspective. In addition, blogs and online activities in general are becoming an increasingly important part of the way books are marketed and discovered. Given those factors, I have a professional interest in the blogging world and figure writing my own blog will help me have a better grasp on what blogs are all about.

* I have a further professional interest in understanding the technology behind blogging and the internet and figure that managing a blog and trying out lots of cool features (blogrolls, widgets, photo/video feeds, etc.) will help me learn the technology in a way that wouldn't be possible by just reading a book.

* I've taken on the challenge (as described in earlier posts) of running the NY Road Runner's Club Half-Marathon Grand Prix and the Chicago Marathon in 2008. Before I ran my first half-marathon earlier this year, I found that it was fun and helpful to talk about the upcoming race with a lot of people, both to work off anxiety and to give myself extra motivation to complete the race (I didn't really want to go back to everyone and tell them I'd had to stop after 9 miles, after all). Some of the conversations were with people who'd run half or full marathons and people were great about sharing details of their experiences. Since I waver between total confidence (most of the time) and high anxiety (some of the time) about what lies ahead, I can only imagine it will be helpful to have a community of supporters out there rooting for me. To that end I hope everyone will make liberal use of the comment feature (see the link at the end of each post).

* Like Amanda, I've kept a journal off and on during my life, and I'm eager to have a record of how I approach the races which lie ahead. My earliest example of 'journaling' was on my first trip ever to New York City - I think I was about 14 years old at the time. The journal is a funny compendium of all the stuff we did - the shows we saw, the meals we ate, etc. - along with the impressions of New York City on a teenaged boy from Texas. The journal provides an early window into my geek persona as I wrote in great detail about all the different kinds of lights which were used in the production of Dreamgirls - fresnels, lekos, etc.. Oy.

* I'm hoping that blogging will help me stay in closer touch with the far-flung community of friends and family in my life. At dinner for my birthday (!) last night my friend Bob asked me to call out highlights of my just-completed 40th year. His question reminded me of a 2007 review I did at the beginning of this year - a process described in this New York Times blog entry: Year-End Review, With Yourself - Shifting Careers - Small Business - New York Times Blog. As I looked back over 2007 - which by the way was a great year - there was a strong theme of friends and family; I felt I had the opportunity on many occasions last year to spend lots of time with people who are important to me - my immediate family, my extended family, old friends, and new friends - and that the year was richer for it. While it's not always practical to see people in person, it gives me great satisfaction to know that there's a broader community out there that I'm connected to.

Though the blog is supposed to be about all the miles that lie ahead (including over 200 miles of training between now and the Brooklyn half-marathon), I'll certainly write about other stuff that's going on, including but not limited to photography, technology, Elizabeth and Sarah, cooking, gardening, birding, books, friends, family. I hope you'll let me know what you think along the way.


Amanda Close said...

LOVE this post! Naturally, because you give me a lovely shout out, but also because you bring up several really great personal points and some additions on the technical aspects of blogging that I neglected to include in my original post. I love the personal essay aspect of blogging and I think the more we bring of ourselves to our blogs, the more the people we love with come back and read and comment and participate. Like a lot of life really, if there is heart, there's something there.

My only concern is the 4:35 am time stamp. Do you not need sleep?!? Oh, if only I could get by on less sleep - imagine how much more productive I could be!! I could run several blogs all at once!

Chatham Gardens said...

I am so glad that you decided to blog as it not only helps you stay connected to many people in your life, regardless of distance, it will allow me to stay more connected to you, too. I look forward to your frequent updates on different elements of your life and those around you. Thanks for sharing, I am and always will be a fan.

Now for the other side - I see your pace fell off a bit today - too much to drink at your birthday dinner last night?

aweber9 said...

Thanks Amanda and Phyllis for your thoughtful comments. Interesting point on the timestamp as there are two issues at play. One is that the timestamp is pacific time and two is that the timestamp reflects when I start the post, not when I finish it. I jotted down some thoughts this morning and wrapped up tonight. I'll have to see what I can do about that.

As for you Phyllis, today's slow pace reflects the fact that it was supposed to be an easy training run rather than a tempo/pace run. The 5 mile run yesterday included a 1 mile warmup, 3 fast miles, and then a 1 mile cooldown. I know I still owe you a post on the training approach.

Katherine said...

Phyllis, I love that you (of course) noted the quantitative aspect of AW's run today. I gloss over the little box of numbers at the bottom of the blog. I think there's math in there somewhere: RxT=D? My concern is more like "What time will he be home to cook our breakfast?"