Sunday, August 13, 2006

Thoughts on Blogging

As my blog approaches its 100th posting (we're at 88 now), I've been reflecting on the blogging experience. So far, it's been interesting, frustrating, discouraging and promising. It's caused me to rethink some expectations. It's also been a lot of fun. 
I started "Shadows and Light" to express my interests in Zen Buddhism and the Zen aesthetic (if there is such a thing) through photography. I wanted to show the ever-changing nature of the city. And I wanted to do it very simply, so readers could pull up the page, get a quick visual with a few lines of text, and then go on about their day. 
I wanted the blog to move slowly, with just one posting per day. I wanted serene, largely people-free images and a very spare template. I didn't plan to write much - let's face it, the Web is already full of an unmanageable quantity of text. 
I anticipated blogging mostly for my friends and family, to keep them updated on my activities here in the city, and to show them what's caught my eye. 
Three months later, what I imagined isn’t quite what's come to pass. From what I can tell, most of my family pretty much shrugged off this project. Maybe they’re too busy - like my brother, who has a new baby - but my inner child still complains.
I do, however, have regular readers, and for that I'm grateful. My site meter shows the number of daily hits I get and where they originate. I can't tell specifically who's visiting, but sometimes I can guess based on their city of origin. A lot of visitors I don't know at all. 
I get about two dozen hits on a good day. Technorati ranks my blog 711,398, which I suppose means there are 711,397 more popular than mine. I guess I can live with that!
I’m also writing a little more than I'd originally planned, to keep the blog from being too impersonal.
So, how do I rate this experience? 
Well, frankly, I’m disappointed in my family’s reaction. It’s not what I expected. (Ann Landers would tell me to seek counseling.) 
But otherwise, I feel good about the blog. I like the fact that some people out there have noticed me and come back from time to time to see what I've been up to. I have made a couple of "blog friends" here, whose own work I enjoy and whose comments I appreciate.
What I do isn't for everyone. This minimalist approach must seem bland and frustrating to people who look for blogs with multiple entries and updates every day. (It's hard to post only once a day. I have to restrain myself!) 
But I want it to move slowly. We all move too fast anyway. 
So whether you're just here for one visit, or you come back again: Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're out there.

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