Beware of blogging!

You may be naively blogging, thinking you are becoming better informed and more knowledgeable. You may be reading and writing postings to keep current with changes and familiar with others in your field. If this is the case, you are unaware of being transformed by blogging. You are not the same person you were before you got deeply involved in the effects of blogging. You cannot go back to your former self. Mrs. Lot turned to salt when she looked back. All we can do is move forward from here.

Before blogging, you knew what you were good for and why you deserved to be paid. You understood how to get ahead and how to make a difference that got rewarded. You saw the problems to solve and the progress to make. You had convinced yourself of the game to play and the ways to win.

Blogging has trashed all that. You may find yourself apologizing for your past practices or confessing the habits of your former self. You may be bewildered about the future and what to do with your new found disorientation. You may be trying to go back into a paycheck prison, silencing your doubts and obliterating your heightened awareness.

Before blogging, you may have learned new skills and methods methodically. You probably gained confidence as someone who can pick up new technologies easily. You likely figured out how to set up and post to a blog like you taught yourself to use new software and e-commerce sites. You may have expected blogging to be useful like your shopping wishlists, browser favorites or office templates.

Now you're learning from other's examples. You're getting new questions instead of answers. You're experiencing leaps of insight, dawning realizations and spontaneous connections like never before. You may even be feeling less skillful and less capable of figuring new tools out on your own.

Blogging is not what we've been told it is. It's not a shortened word for web log. It's not something that happens when we post anything to our blog or passively read other blogs. It's not in the XML that ports so easily into readers, mobile devices and emails. Blogging is the difference that goes somewhere among us.

Blogging is in the blogging about blogging like this post. It's in the blogging about bloggers and their exemplary conduct, inspiring contribution, useful insights or productive collaborations. It's in the blogging about other blog posts that raise new questions, change the conversation, expose new possibilities or reframe the familiar facts. It's in the blogging about comments on a blog post that validate, contradict, challenge or stretch the previous thinking.

If a blog post does not feed back into the blogosphere, that's not blogging. That's merely informative -- or it's the formal learning we did before blogging took hold. If the value of your blogging is not endlessly recursive, then you can conceive of your value like before. If a blog post goes nowhere, that's a web log: an online personal diary.

Blogging is the repercussions and the reciprocities from responding to responses. That circularity transforms how you are valuable and how you learn. That's what emerges naturally by blogging among us.

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  1. fascinating post Tom. A bit inspiring, a bit melancholy invoking. All in all, quite poetic in its own way as its expression exemplifies the nature of blogging itself.

  2. Tom, my first impression was 'this is scary'! I agree with a lot of what you said (sorry, blogged!). It also inspired me to post my first comment! I normally keep my comments to myself for the day or blog about it... rarely do I leave a comment on someone's blog. Well, what I have to say about this piece openly now, as I have done with some of your other blogs only via email directly to you, is this: 'Love it, Well done!' I think you deserve good feedback published as much as thoughtful comments. Thanks Tom, for your sharing your insights on blogging!

  3. Sorry, Tom, but I am going to have to fly in the face of what appears to be popular opinion, here.

    I reckon there are as many different ways to blog as there are to speak, and to say that you are not really blogging unless x, y and z are happening ("If a blog post does not feed back into the blogosphere, that's not blogging"), is a bit prescriptive.

    The concept of what blogging is, is owned by bloggers: the writers, the readers, the commenters. What blogging is or isn't will be reflected in their blogs and no individual gets to draw lines around what constitutes blogging any more than an individual sportsman gets to decide what constitutes a sport.

  4. Well said Karyn. Your point is well taken. Rest assured that I have removed my powdered wig and have left the House of Lording over other bloggers.