After years of encouraging my Mom to start blogging, she’s finally jumped on the band wagon. Stop by her blog to check out her terrific writing. She seems to have skipped over that discovery process so many bloggers go through when they get started where their first entries are mostly reflection of what their blog might look like in the future.
I took a few minutes to e-Interview her to get her newbie perspective on the whole blogging thing. I figured since I always use the "My Mom" test for Web development, I’d better find out more about whether blogging passed that test.
So who are you?
A new blogger. [And my Mom.]
Are you generally a computer person? Why/Why not?
I use the computer for a few things, information, emails, and now writing my blog. I’m not really a computer person because I perfer to do things in a more hands on way.For me, nothing can take the place of direct contact. Given a choice, I’d rather call the 800 number and talk to a person. I’d rather look up facts in the pages of a book that I can touch and turn. I find that most computer experiences are more about traveling around inside your own head with Google’s help. I really don’t need more of that. I also find it way too easy to "fall down the rabbit hole" in terms of time. Many things take too long to find, or you find yourself diverted off on a tangent and before you know it, a lot of time has been wasted.
How did you start blogging? What interested you in it?
I was traveling and wasn’t able to call friends or family. I wanted to share my experiences with everyone, and was given a blog, all set up and ready to go. I was able to let everyone know what was going on, and it was a fun way to chronicle my experiences. A strange side effect of blogging was that I tended to pay more attention to the details of the moment, because I knew I would be writting about them later. Wow.
[Sounds like I might need to get her that "I’m so blogging this" T-shirt, eh?]
As someone who resisted blogging, what didn’t appeal to you early on?
One of the main reasons I haven’t been as interested in computer usage in general is because I still have trouble with the loss of privacy. Once you have entered into cyberspace, you’ve lost a lot of control about where your words and information will wind up. I know this is part of the appeal to some, but for me, it seems at once impersonal, and rather exhibitionistic. If that’s a word.
What surprised you the most when you started blogging?
I was surprised at how easy it was to do. Of course, I still haven’t played around with the mechanics of it, just posted entries. I was also surprised at how fun it was to receive comments and feedback. And as I said before, I was very surprised how it effected the experiences I was having.
What do you find to be the most difficult/problematic/scary?
The scariest thing is the loss of control. You can think you’re sending an entry to just a few people, but you have no idea where they might send it, or why. It’s very, very strange to see that you are communicating with total unknowns, and being judged, in a way by them. At the same time, the sense of annonynimity is a temptation to rant or to say things that just don’t need to be said. It’s hard to tell your truth as you see it, and be concerned with how it will be percieved by people you care about. I also find it a little scary to be defining myself to others based on a few written words that don’t really take in the whole picture of who I am or how I live.
Do you see yourself continuing on for a while, or is this more of a short-term thing?
I’m certain I’ll continue blogging. I read a how- to book on writing, and the author told about submitting a story to her professor. He told her that the trouble with her story was that she thought every thing that had happened to her was interesting. My blog may fall into that category, but I’m hooked.
Do you find yourself reading more blogs now that you’re writing your own? If so, which ones?
No, I haven’t read any more blogs. I’m sure there are some great ones out there and I may get around to reading a few more. But it’s that time thing. I know that once I started, I’d be searching for the next one, and reading them for hours a day. Kind of like pulling the lever on the slot machine just once more. Not how I want to spend my time.
What advice or feedback would you give to others about blogging?
I think I’m too new to this to be giving advice. I think that blogging serves many different purposes for different people. Just remember, once it’s out there, it’s out there.