Friday, December 08, 2006

Why I Blog.

I posted this over on NUI Galway's new MediaSoc Blog. It is only early days yet and hopefully it will take off once the exam are over and the students have more time. Any here is my post I wrote as I guess the "experienced" blogger on the blog.

I have been blogging for over a year and a half now. And I am not sure why I still do it. I started when I lived in Barcelona. I was doing an experiment and well to cut along story short. The cavity of my ND-YAG laser was misaligned so I could not do anything. So I sat down and started my own Blog calling it the Dosing Times as I was basically dossing. Now if you type into Google the term dossing. I am second.

I worth a few posts for a few weeks and when it was time to leave Barcelona I decided to pack the blogging in. It was fun and I got only 4 or 5 readers a day. So I posted this message.

Alas my project here has come to an end. So I no longer have the easy access to keep this blog running at the speed I normally do. So with the reason for dossing gone. I am not sure if I will be posting much here anymore. But if I get to a place where I have the time and the connection to the internet the Dossing Times will rise again. If anyone wants to contribute to this Blog by the way just drop me an email to and I’ll add you to the contributors list. Till I write again slan go foil. simon

And that was it the end of the blogging. However 5 days later this happened. I got quoted on the BBC website. The post was about Irish Bloggers response to the IRA ending the Armed campaign it said

The Dossing Times made a Harry Potter analogy“

The point I made was not very good but I still got the mention. I wonder if that had not been mentioned I would I still be blogging. I don’t think so. That piece in on the BBC really made me think. Maybe I am not wasting my time maybe somebody really is interested in what I say. Or maybe it just gave me an ego boost.After I finished my Masters I was unemployed. And that is a depressing time. It is all fun for the first few weeks. Getting up at 3, watching Yu Gi Oh, watching TV until late at night. Living the dream. But that feeling does not last for long. Soon you are struck by an almighty sense of uselessness. Of extreme boredom. In Nick Hornbys about a Boy. The character does not work but splits his day up in to little segments. And that is what you do. You assign your self tasks to do. Nothing major but just time slots. When watching Yi Gi Oh changes from being “ha-ha I am watching Yi Gi Oh instead of doing something” to watching Yi Gi Oh is the highlight of my afternoon depression hits.

But for me I had something to occupy my mind something that in a kind of sad way gave my days a meaning. I have the blog. I would get up in the afternoon. Switch on the computer. Listen to the radio. And find something to write about. From the merits of an A Manned European Space Program to Drinking Hours to the Duplicity of Political Correctness to the state of the Irish language Gaeilge Inniu

And this occupied my day. And slowly my readership increased I got to know people who also blogged, and who commented on my site. And the months went on job application followed job application, but the one thing that kept me sane in the long lonely afternoons was that I had a purpose in an evening to write something. Maybe I should have learned a programming language or read more books. But I didn’t.

Just encase anyone is wondering the biggest post I had was when I posted details of the Dublin riots. I got linked to by one of the top 5 world bloggers. Instapundit and got thousands of hits over a few days.

Then eventually I got a job and no longer, were my afternoons empty. I had a job and a pretty nice one at that. But still I felt the need to blog. I knew many fellow bloggers and I felt part of the community. And that is what is best about the blogosphere is the community feeling. In Ireland the community is small. Like the sin boards people like to meet the others and have various meetups and awards. (Sadly I was not short listed last year for the Blog Awards but I am hopeful for next year). But even that I had something to do with my life. I realized how much of life is sat in front of the TV. Even someone with the greatest social life in the world will spend time in front of the TV watching meaningless tripe. And I thought to myself what is the point. Not only do I get more enjoyment from blogging, But also it is a lot better use of my time then watching friends re-runs.

Back in March I set-up with another Blogger Irish Basically the idea was that there was so many political bloggers out there that it would be good to have them all in one place. So we set this up and asked others to join. And they did and the media picked it up too and we have got the occasional mention in some of the papers. And politicians actually reply to questionnaires we send to them. It is funny feeling me just a normal Joe public getting a TD to reply. Also quiet fun getting mentioned personally in the Irish Times. And being a group it gets more hits and has people of different opinions something that is hard to find in today’s partisan world.

Now that I am back in college doing a PhD I still blog. And I now blog here on mediasoc as well. I have no illusions that I will change anything with my bogging. While I might get the occasional mention in the Irish Times or get a thousand people to read something I write I am not going to change anything. And often I wonder why I do it?

Sometimes it is because I am genuinely angry at something. Like the Department of Educations recent court case over Dyslexic students. Mary Haffin or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Oppostion. Sometimes because I feel the need to supply for my audience. (Don’t I sound like a pounce) and other times simply because it is better then watching TV.

But anyone reading this I would say 2 things. Start a blog it is easy, you get to say what you want, you get to satisfaction when someone says “great post” or “well said” you may very well get quoted in a newspaper or even your own Sunday column. The other thing is it is hard to stop. I nearly managed to chuck it in the early days save I was thwarted by the BBC now I don’t think I could. So if you are reading this contact the powers that be here, get an account and start to blog trust me you wouldn’t regret it.


Godwhacker said...

Great story Simon. Well said. I had my big inspiration years ago in traditional media. There is a post on my blog titled Before There Was an Internet which deals with my first publication.

The illustrations was not mine, but the words are. This was right before the 1992 presidential election and being published gave me a sense of pride and power. Here I was, calling out the President of the United States in a major national newspaper on the eve of an election.

I've been published dozens of times in print, but the blog gives me the freedom to write what I want when I want, and that is a freedom not easily obtained from the mainstream press.

Anyway, cheers to the BBC and to you ~ keep up the good work.

Sarah said...

Hey, well done on the BBC link. Very cool.