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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why do you blog - part II?

In the first part, I answered the generic "why do you blog" questions. The second part, I wanted to address one of the questions Heather Etchevers asked, because it really is the core reason of why we blog:

Who are you blogging for/who are you talking to?

After much soul searching, I have to answer the reason that probably lies behind all blogs: I blog for myself. If I didn't get something out of it, I wouldn't be doing it. Although, that doesn't mean there's nothing altruistic about the time I invest - there are people who find some of the information I post to be useful. However, it makes me happy to when I get a comment that tells me that something I post made them think, answered a question or just helped them get their computer configured. Yes, I (unashamedly) love to help people, and that is what I get out of blogging.

The less subtle question implied is "who do you think your target audience is?" As to that, I have to admit, I'm not sure. There are several distinct groups who might find information I post to be useful:
  1. People who do Chip-Seq may enjoy the posts on FindPeaks
  2. Next Generation Sequencing related posts may have a broader audience of scientists in the field
  3. People who use Linux probably enjoy the Ubuntu related posts
  4. Grad Students might find my school related posts to be insightful (maybe?)
  5. Anyone who enjoys art might find some of my science art to be unique.
And yes, what that should tell you is that I have a wide, diverse audience. I would suggest that many of the groups above are non-overlapping, so at any one time, I'm probably boring 80% of my audience.

That is the core of the "why am I blogging" question: who am I writing for? Between now and the time I move my blog over to NN (Yes, I think that's where I'm headed), I'm going to try to narrow it down a bit. Some decisions are fairly easy, I'm probably going to drop my linux related posts (there are better forums, and I already participate in them.) and the art/photography is already on the wane. The Grad School posts will probably accelerate for a bout a year (hopefully) and then tail off completely. That should provide a little more focus, in the wake of my scholastic adventures, assuming I can continue blogging once I leave academia - I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

So, why do I blog? Because I enjoy the conversations and the community. As long as people are reading what I have to say, as long as I get the occasional comment, and as long as there is a reason to keep talking, I'll keep blogging.

Ah... Clarity. (=



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very much enjoy your blog & share the sentiment that I blog mainly for myself ... to use writing and art to work through issues that are of interest to me. Cheers!

February 4, 2010 5:11:00 PM PST  

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