I think it's becoming more and more popular for people to participate in some form of social networking online - whether it's MySpace, Xanga, LiveJournal, Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, even some photo sharing sites like Flickr, and numerous others, where you can share thoughts, opinions, experiences, videos, photos, news... In fact, the weblog ("blog") format has existed since long before the term was coined. As of the end of 2007, the blog search engine Technorati was tracking over 112 million blogs! Apparently in 1999 blogging became more mainstream (although the first blogs date back to the early 90's), and clearly hasn't slowed down.
I started blogging in 2005, while trying to conceive our first child. I think I was going through a really tough time and needed some kind of outlet. Although I didn't write much about TTC, it was then that I started finding old friends and reading their blogs. I wrote about my life in general, and honestly it was pretty boring! I deleted that blog and started this one (September 5, 2006), almost a month before Lucy was born. It seemed like a good time to start documenting my experiences as a stay-at-home mom, as well as my other thoughts about the world outside of my home. I knew I needed to stay connected somehow.
In the past two and a half years, I have reconnected with many old friends. We don't just comment on each others' posts, we actually do get together in person from time to time! I think that it's good to take it to that next step if it's logistically possible, and your social "network" should extend beyond your computer monitor. Also, being a stay-at-home mom, I have a great way to journal about my family in a format that is open to comments and a sort of conversation among myself and other moms, as well as friends and family who are interested in what is going on in my neck of the woods. My sister, for example, lives in Illinois and if it weren't for our blogs, it would be hard to find time to regularly keep in touch, as she is extremely busy with her job and working toward her MBA, and our free time doesn't always coincide. We can read each others' blogs when we have time, and it really helps us keep in touch on a more regular basis.
As a professional photographer, blogging is a seriously important aspect of networking and marketing my business. I want to get to know other professional photographers, and see their work, but I read their blogs every time they update! I also want to stay relevant for potential clients, and a frequently updated blog will (statistically) pull more traffic than a site that sits and never changes for months on end.
As I said earlier, the number of blogs out there is pretty staggering. I don't worry about my kids' safety, because "A Day in the Life" is also A Needle in the Haystack. Random acts of violence and terror can occur anywhere - a parking lot, a a park, a dark alley... I suppose I don't feel that the Internet is this scary awful place, although there are predators out there; I keep a watchful eye on my children at all times. I promise my blog isn't read by enough people to truly increase our chances of being in danger. You know how many people read Dooce?! If she's not worried about Leta (or the baby she's due to have in a couple weeks), I think my kids are alright!
So, to the handful of you who read this, when and why did you start blogging?