I don’t know, Dean…
If you’re within range of the radio signal beaming from the storefront studio at 228 Yonge Street, home of the radio station known as 102.1 The Edge, you probably know the guys from the Dean Blundell Show.
Known for their outlandish antics and sometimes crude humour, their more insightful musings are often missed, buried under jokes about bowel movements or flatulence.
A few weeks ago Dean made one such comment which I found particularly interesting, given my line of work. He mentioned that his superiors make him blog, though he finds no particular use in it. In fact, to paraphrase his comments, blogging is relatively self-serving. Which led me to wonder: is blogging strictly for self-promotion?
I’ll start with my own blog, which admittedly falls into Dean’s category. I started this site mainly so that I could have a place to write whenever I wanted, about whatever I wanted, keeping my skills sharp. But I also started it so that I had something tangible to direct potential employers to when they asked about my experience writing, blogging and with social media, which is definitely self-serving (and smart, I think).
The reasons behind my blog aren’t the same behind all blogs, however, and that’s where I take issue with Dean’s comments. I think the folks over at rabble.ca, and any of the myriad of other citizen journalism sites on the web, would too. Few are getting famous by breaking news in the blogosphere. They’re getting short-lived attention, perhaps, but they aren’t getting famous. They’re blogging for reasons that have nothing in common with why I am: they feel the need to contribute to their communities, they’re fed up with mainstream media, they’re passionate about a particular issue or cause. None of these things are self-serving in any sense of the word.
Even large organizations that seem to blog for selfish reasons are really only doing so to add another level of communication to their mix, allowing them to engage in conversation with their stakeholders and audiences.
In short, blogging can be used to reach a number of goals, both self-serving and otherwise. What’s truly important, however, is how informative and enjoyable the blog is to read.
And with nearly 200 visitors making more than 300 visits since April 30, 2009, my life…so far must be both. (Hey, I said it was self-serving!)