In the mid-oughts, like everyone else, I had a blog. Actually, I had three blogs. I didn’t post to it very often, but when I did, I often posted the sorts of things one now posts to Twitter. Sometimes I posted photographs or short essays. Mostly, I posted slightly longer form writings than one posts to Twitter these days, but they were usually not essay length writings, either.
In addition to medium length writings, I used to post pictures there as well: these days I’d put them on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. So, what is the value of a blog post? I think that to be valuable, a blog post has to provide the reader with some new piece of information. If I click a link to read a post, usually I only feel satisfied if I have learned something. The blog author has to add value to Internet’s collective knowledge. Witticisms can go in Twitter, and photographs can go on Instagram and the like.
The blog as personal journal has sort of gone out of style, although I kind of like that incarnation. It has its own value: that of storytelling. Why don’t people often write journals in blog form any more, and where do they write their journals now? Have most gone back to paper diaries, or do they just not journal at all?
My sister writes creative nonfiction, which, at least in her blog, combines the personal journal with the informational style of post. As the reader, you get a story, and you learn something. I think that synthesis is a nice ideal to aspire to. As I blog, I’ll keep that ideal in mind, and I’ll try to give the reader both a story and a satisfying nugget of information.