Tuesday, February 22, 2005
On Xanga and Blogger as writing sites...
What is the blogosphere? It's 31 million bloggers world-wide. That's alot of writing. That's a movement. That's a social force. That's an upholder of literacy. And we thought the written word was going to die with the ushering in of the audio-video age. Were we wrong!
Audio and video blogging are coming, though. And then we could expect a total explosion in the medium.
We live in an era of self-expression. And we create our own reality shows out of our own lives with no producers or television studios to oversee us. How money can be made out of us is another question.
There was one man at the blogging conference who makes a living from his blog. His name is Chris Pirillo. Today I finally gave in and went to his site. His writing is good, but simple - nothing too complex there. And there are GoogleAds, which is where he makes the major portion of his income. The more hits he gets, the larger his monthly paycheck. What I noticed most prominently, however, is that his site, to my untrained tastes, resembled a General Store. Many links, many products advertised, with him as the genteel owner behind the counter with whom you chat a bit, only, in this blogland, it's mostly him who does the chatting, for he gets few comments. But that's okay. His site has 12,000 visits a month and generates enough income for him to travel all over North America to conferences like the one he spoke at last Saturday in Vancouver.
In fact, most of the folks there, the presenters, seemed more focussed on numbers and income than they did on the quality of writing. One lone voice in the audience asked a question about the artist who blogs, and it wasn't answered with much sensitivity or depth.
Why I want to podcast (audioblog) is so that I can offer readings of my written poems. Why I want to videoblog is not so that I can bore you with tales of my life in poor light but because I would like to offer dance pieces where I perform my poetry.
Though blogging is a medium of disappearing posts, writing our lives disappears as quickly as we live them, I take my writing seriously, as most of us do, and my blog is where I experiment with different ways to write and post my efforts and receive invaluable feedback.
Blogging is one area in my life where I can creatively realize myself. It's also a place where I can offer support to other writers, and thus help them to foster the expression of their creativity too. What blogging has done for my writing is immense; but it's not just the writing and posting, it's the comments, the support of fellow writers, the community.
Which is why I love Xanga. In a sense, Xanga has created its own 'mini feed' in our subscriptions to each other; and by making commenting a 'members only' activity, fosters the possibility of a strong community of writers, I feel. For this I am grateful.
Yet I also feel a pull to be part of the larger blogging community. At my blogger site I went 'public' last night - it had been a private site. I added a site meter. And frankly, I don't know what it means that 30 people have visited, since there's not one comment. And where did they come from? Who are they?
One piece of advice that I would like to pass on, and from someone in the audience, is that if you want to build readership you just keep blogging, post frequently and, the guy said, in five years you'll be way ahead of where you are now...
Is that what serious writers do? Aren't we all serious writers here? Isn't this why we love our blogging site so much?
And the good news is that there is one major feed service that does recognize Xanga - Bloglines...though I tried to activate my account for about 3 weeks using different email addresses before contacting help, who activated it for me. At bloglines I can subscribe to people who blog at many different sites and read their most recent posts, as we do at Xanga.
One last question, HomerTheBrave in a comment on the mirror post of this one at my Xanga site wrote that Blogger/Blogspot is a publishing site; wheras Xanga is a blog site. Any comments?
Xanga and Blogger
Posted by Brenda Clews at 11:30 AM