I just described what blogging is to a friend of a friend on Facebook. I just made it up, of course. I don't really know what blogging is - to others. I just know that I blog, and I know that my blog contains what may be considered "diary" entries, but really is an attempt to relate my experience to the greater human reality that we all experience.
Wikipedia says that "blog" is a contraction of "web log." Blogs proliferated when techies created web-publishing tools so that non-techies could add content to the www. Other than those two back story items, my definition was similar to that on Wikipedia, i.e. blogs can be personal or political; content can be art, photography, writing, poetry.
What I didn't note either to my friend's friend on FB, nor to myself, was that blogging is usually an interactive tool, i.e. a social media tool. People write blogs. Others comment. Others comment on those comments. Etc.
Also, blogging has become a societal news stream due to larger media, think tanks, organizations, etc. creating blogs where posts are written by different authors on difference subjects.
There is a way to traverse the blogging world in order to get "traffic," i.e. not just people viewing your blog from your own advertising (say on FB), but also from web searches, or friends of friends, or other bloggers looking for interaction. Sometimes, blogs can become so famous and widely accessed that they decide they don't want any more interactive tools (i.e. no comments, etc.). How exclusionary.
I have not yet figured out how the marketing of a blog happens. I suppose I'd like to spread the news of onecattwocats - but I'm not of the techie generation. For me to figure out these systems takes a long time.
For instance, I've been struggling through the morass that is tumblr now for about a year, and still only have about 200 followers (combined from several different tumblr sites). See www.fairchildwrites.tumblr.com or www.amateurallisaurus.tumblr.com or www.mypageforsparkle.tumblr.com.
I know there is a large writing community on tumblr, but I have no idea how to tap into the community except in a vary random way. There is no central command, so to speak, where you can find all the tumblr blog pages to go to where you can submit your writing for posting, or review, or comments...they are diffuse and once you find one site, the information they give you is also diffuse - so that I have no idea what's being offered or how to get involved. I end up sending messages to the "editors" - the bigwigs on tumblr who choose what poems or writing to publish on the main writing or poetry "features" news feed. They send me back (sometimes) vague replies about looking through the main poetry and writing hash tags for my answers. Which is what I had already done which led me to them.
Lost? Yeah. Me too.
Twitter is another social media tool that is lost to me. I don't have many friends who tweet. Most of my larger social friend group on this planet use FB. And, I'm not famous, or infamous (at least outside of my own milieu). So, how do you get followers? It seems that Twitter, for me, is just a place where others can market their thoughts, fame, products, etc. In other words, I follow them, but they don't follow me.
I am starting to get the feeling that social media is becoming just another marketing/advertising tool for the new breed of robber barons. The fact that we can all send messages to each other, and post funny memes (yeah, ok, what is a meme? do you know? this took me a long time to really figure out), or photos of your vacation. But, in reality, I'm thinking that 90% of its use doesn't involve us - it uses us and our information in order to sell us something. It's obvious in the advertising that is showing up more and more, not just in the right side feed, but in our main news feeds. Also, there is just a feeling I get when I use FB or Twitter that I'm just a rat in a cage talking to other rats in their cages.
The whole blogging phenom - whether it's here at blogspot, or on tumblr - that's simply a popularity contest. How do you get yourself noticed out of the hundreds of thousands of others doing the same thing? How do you get famous? Or, infamous.
Of course, once you get famous as a result of your blogging or tumbling, then you get to start making money off the rest of us - product placement can be invisible when someone is placing the product in a stream of writing or posts that appear to be, well, a stream of writing or posts.
And quality is really not the foundation of fame, or infamy. Of course. We all know that already, yes? What shocks? What awes? Or, who is better at becoming popular on the www.
Regardless, I realize I'm most likely writing to maybe a dozen friends on FB, or their friends. I've gotten one comment in the last few weeks of writing (from Connie Usry - who I adore and should write her own blog because she's so fucking funny).
But, I'm happy about the dozen or so people who click on my onecattwocats FB post and read up on my current life circumstances, my musings on any old thing (like today's blog), and my deeply personal journey through a major life transition (marriage ending; abandonment of a 17 year career that I hated). It's nice that anyone cares, or is amused enough to read. Frankly.
Although, I am ambitious by nature. I would LOVE to get hundreds of followers and starting long threads of comments where a true marketplace of ideas and information could emerge, and separate itself from the hype of the capitalist marketplace otherwise known as the www.