I blog, therefore I am  

Posted by Laya in

Or, Bloggers aren't freeloaders. Really.

I am reminded of the old definition of the legal profession by Dean Roscoe Pound... "a group of men pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of a public service, no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood. The pursuit of the learned art in the spirit of public service is the primary purpose."

In a sense, blogging is also like that. If you are a blogger who naturally loves writing, sharing your thoughts, talking with other people in the hope that by what you have shared you have rendered some help, "writing a letter to a world that never wrote to you," then the writing itself and the sharing is its own reward. No matter that your status as a blogger may entitle you to some perks along the way, or gain you entree into some things that would normally not be available to the average citizen. Those perks and advantages are privileges and not rights, and as such really shouldn't be abused. Perhaps it might make you some money, perhaps not. But the moment you let the money and the benefits take center stage and the bloggership relegated to a secondary purpose, you have already betrayed your calling. You have put the effect ahead of the cause. You have those privileges because you are a blogger, not the other way around.

Expenses come naturally when you blog. You buy a computer, you pay for electricity, you pay for your internet. You spend for transportation to an event. That's part of the calling you have dedicated yourself to. I bought a laptop and prepaid broadband so I could blog more, but I don't really count that cost. The pleasure I get from writing is enough. The pleasure of meeting and making friends with my fellow bloggers, the pleasure of finding that someone from a distant country has commented on my blog because what I wrote struck some chord inside him or her or given him or her some small understanding into my country and culture, can't be bought anywhere in the world.

This thing about expenses reminds me of that little story about the child who billed his parents for every little thing he did for them. His parents paid up, but left the child with a bill of their own: For loving you and taking care of you when you were born-- no charge.

The funny thing is, many of the greatest blogs I've read, those that contain well-written, thought-provoking posts, posts that leave me rubbing my chin and feeling the glow that comes with having read a good piece of writing, usually have minimal or no ads at all. The Daily Dose is one. The Marocharim Experiment is another. I'd have to use up a lot more space to mention all the ones I like, but many of those on my blog roll are good examples.

On the other hand, many blogs that get a lot of traffic and have high page rank on Google, often end up there because of SEO optimization and don't really contain any substance. No originality, so I really don't get anything new from them. They remind me of a robot that has been programmed to spew banalities, and I navigate away as fast as I can, dissatisfied.

So, are bloggers really freeloaders? I have to disagree with this. Bloggers are not freeloaders, because those who are freeloaders are really not fit to be called bloggers. Nuff said.

This entry was posted at Monday, August 17, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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