Sunday, December 12, 2004

Who's Counting?

Today I ask:
If a blog gets posted in the ether and there's nobody there to read it, does it have any words?
Perhaps you've noticed (or perhaps not) that there is no sitemeter on this page. There's no hit counter of any kind. In fact, I've done nothing--at all--to provide me any insight into the popularity of this blog. No site meter. No referral statistics. No registration at Technorati. No Blogdex. No Ecosystem. Nothing.

Why?

Well, I've been tracking the blogosphere for several years now, and I'm often struck at the lengths bloggers go to to evidence and build their own popularity. True, many bloggers write to be read ... and if they weren't read, why would they write? ... and many also write to be popular, which is also an acceptable motivation.

But I'm more interested in bloggers who write just to write. And it's prompted me to ask myself the question: What would I write if I had no readers? What would I blog just for the pleasure of the process?

And that's what I've selected as the frame for everything that happens here. I'm doing it just to do it. I can tell someone's coming by because I see their occasional comments ... but other than that, I'm posting just to post, readers or not, as do, I suspect, many other bloggers out there in the 'sphere.

There's a line Woody Allen's New York Stories that I thought of the other day. In the film Nick Nolte plays an obsessive artist, and at one point he declares (my rough recollection): Art isn't something you choose to do, art is something you do because you have no other choice.

And maybe in that vein traffic-unconcerned blogging becomes less like journalism and more like art: something one does simply for the process of expression ... something one does because he or she has to. Now, I'm not saying this page is artistic, not by a long shot. And I do post items here with the idea that others are reading, which is why try to post links of relevance and not just items of a purely personal nature. But posting here is something I'll do only so long as I can remain unconcerned about readership, and only so long as I can resist the urge to promote the blog.

Those are just my rules for the game, and that's just how I choose to play. Now let's see how long I can remain interested in the act of expression ...

2 Comments:

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Rest assured, someone is reading... I enjoy the Journalistic type of blog (to coin a phrase). Keep on writing.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Christina said...

Well, hell, Everett!

Did I screw up when I blogrolled you?

;-)

Keep writing, I'm reading.

Further, while I like the attention from the hits and comments, I do write just to write and express myself.

 

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