I’ve been anticipating this question since I put up my blog. “Why do you have/need a blog? Don’t/Can’t you just use Facebook/Twitter/insert-social-network-here?”
Nobody has asked me this question yet so I haven’t really been able to post a response. Instead of waiting I thought I’d just write about it.
Why I Have a Blog
The reason is quite simple. I’m not a fan of any other social network out there. It’s not that I’m against them, they have their uses, but I just like having my own place to write. Let me elaborate.
Numero uno in the social world, yet I loath it. Privacy is the number one reason. These guys are out to make money. They are a public company, you know. The more they know about you the more they can charge for targeted advertising, advertising to you.
Facebook also lost the “connected” feeling as it grew beyond its college and high school boundaries. Now everyone is someone’s “friend”. The term has no meaning. Just because I can grow my social connections in this virtual space doesn’t actually give me any real achievement whereas when Facebook was connected at the collegiate level you could find and meet people in your circle of friends not just online but in real life as well. Perhaps this is still the state on today’s campuses, but I have no real use for the service.
A lot has been done in 140 characters. People have told stories, tweeted information that has ended their careers or relationships, or given updates to world events as they have happened. It is, however, a firehose of information. If you don’t have a way to control the onslaught of tweets then it just becomes noise. To me, the noise, is what Twitter has become.
In all actuality, of all the social networks out there I prefer Google Plus. I can control my level of privacy and I can control the level of information and updates I receive. It really doesn’t have a single large point of failure in my opinion.
So Why a Blog?
Blogs have been stigmatized with the nerdy, weird, or even the narsistic types (I probably fall into all of those). However, I think that stereotype should go away. I use this area as a way to communicate as I would on any aforementioned social network, yet I have complete control about what is posted, what comments are approved, the look and feel of my site, and even my site name.
I registered this domain name years ago as a joke and to play around with some GoDaddy hosting. At one point I let the hosting lapse, but kept the domain registered as I thought it was just valuable enough to me to keep it. I recently re-setup hosting and installed WordPress and started posting.
I decided to do this because I felt that I could create a better curated sense of who I am here on a blog that I control. Outside of the hosting and domain services there are no other services that I have to be attached to in order to operate. There is no service provider that may disappear tomorrow and take my site with it, nor is there any chance that some other provider dictate how I layout my pages and posts. I get each bit of it.
I can’t say that what I’ve done here is 100% mine. I stand atop the wonder of WordPress, Google, and a handful of other services that allow my blog to function to my benefit, but none of these services have an end say in what I do, post, or decide about my site.
You Can Have a Blog Too!
Now the post may have started off as a way to explain why I have a blog. As I said, it was a simple answer. In actuality I was setting you, the reader, up to ask yourself the question, “why don’t I have blog?” Why don’t you?
It’s actually very simple. There are sites like Tumblr and WordPress that will enable you to set up a blog for you to post your every whim, but those are both services and have drawbacks. I suggest you setup your blog using GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting. They take care of all of the setup and worry. Personally, I’m not using it since I have other services with GoDaddy and through those services was able to host my GoDaddy, but for ~$5/month it’s hard to beat.
If enough people are interested I’d be glad to run a series on how to setup WordPress and start blogging. Let me know in the comments!