Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why do you blog?

From time to time, I have people ask me why I blog. Usually they simply say “why do you blog?” When what they really mean is “your blog looks like a huge time suck—why on earth would you engage in such a pointless endeavor, especially since you hardly ever have something worthwhile to say?”

The answer to that question is complicated. The most basic reason is that I really like skiing and riding bikes, and I like to document what I’m doing. Digging a little deeper, I also feel like I’m constantly learning more about both of these sports, so I figure if I’m learning something new, chances are pretty good it’s new to at least one of my readers as well.

When I write about bike racing, I’m usually thinking of my dad as the target audience. My dad rides bikes, but he took it up late in life, so chances are pretty good that if I learn something new about the sport, it’s also new to him.

Occasionally, one of my posts will be laced with profanity, in which case I’m writing for my mom, not my dad. Because she really likes the word shit, or at least I was convinced she did whenever I did something wrong while growing up, which was often. And I like to show her from time to time how much my vocabulary has expanded since she taught me that word.

I also blog because once in a while I have something that I think is funny enough to share with others. And while the really, really good jokes have to be limited to a really small audience because of their very nature, the still very funny but suitable for a broad audience jokes need to see the light of day.

Really, though, I blog because it’s cheaper than paying a shrink. And writing stuff down helps me process what’s going on in my head. I write a lot of really boring stuff for work, so writing something frivolous or angry or self-aggrandizing helps me refocus and concentrate on the writing and other work that actually pays the bills.

From time to time, writing it down is enough, and there’s no need to publish it. Which is why I’m filing, not posting, what I had to say after a delightful exchange with another racer (with whom I have some history) at RMR last night. Because if I posted it, it would just be inflammatory* and wouldn’t do any good. And racing bikes should be all about suffering fun.

*I know, since when has that stopped me, right?

But here’s the question I’m really curious about: why do you read? I’m not a lone man shouting in the wilderness—more than a few people a day check this thing out. So what do you come back for*?

*Do not infer that blog content will be altered to better suit your taste if you provide feedback. The author has posed this question only to satisfy his own curiosity, to bolster his delicate ego, and to try and understand of all the blogs out there, why you read this one. No warranty, expressed or implied, is granted with this question.

14 comments:

  1. I read because I don't want to have a blank look on my face when we meet and you ask me what I thought of your latest post. Just kidding.

    I'd say it's a 50-50 mix of entertainment and information I'm after. Stuff I like:

    - The race reports are good - you give more detail than most.

    - Often on a rant or opinion piece you'll share a point of view I hadn't considered.

    - You do some good humor.

    I may not study every post, but I at least scan each one to get the gist and pick out stuff that interests me.

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  2. 1. I read to see you talk about me.

    2. I like to see you get all worked up about doping when there is nothing you can do about it you big doper.

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  3. Kris: Thanks for confirming my suspicion that although people visit the site, they don't actually read what I've said.

    Pat: Speaking of doping, you're late with the EPO delivery. I'll out your secret fling with your favorite race referee if you don't hustle (you know which one I'm talking about--that exchange you had before Bikes 4 Kids was a total smokescreen).

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  4. See what I mean, I love it when you talk about me it is so much fun!

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  5. I read because I am bored at work and because your blog is usually entertaining. I also like to read the race reports, particularly when it includes a little race drama, which is why I am extremely disappointed in your withholding of the drama in this post.

    I'm not doing much racing on the road so I have to live vicariously through you. MTB racing is awesome and all but it can't compete with the road scene drama. Speaking of which I really miss LeAutobus dishing the dirt, that was some good stuff.

    If there isn't some yelling and swearing in the pack it just wouldn't be road racing.

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  7. I read because I can live vicariously through some of your achievements. Plus the pictures have lots of pretty colors. ;)

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  8. Are you asking why I read blogs in general or why I read yours? Since you weren't specific, I feel the need to answer both.

    Let's start with blogs in general. Bloggers are much more entertaining than the morning paper. Mostly because the paper has become all about drugs, murdering and pillaging - who wants to read about that? Heck, even the sports section is all about drugs, murdering and pillaging. I like the personal aspect of bloggers. It's like a string of editorials wherein you can become somewhat familiar with the author.

    I read your blog because it has a little of everything. That and it's mostly unpredictable. You never know what will happen next. It's like suspense on EPO. (Saying that something is on steroids is so 1990. I'm hip and with the times and now say stuff is on the EPO instead of on the steroids.)

    I too am disappointed that we didn't get the drama from your last race. That would be exciting - a real, nail-biter indeed.

    In a nutshell, I guess you could say the SkiBikeJunkie blog has become my new favorite soap opera.

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  9. I'm mostly looking for pictures or references to myself.

    Blogs ARE a gigantic time sink. But I write for many of the same reasons you do. It's cheap (free), challenging, and is something I'd like to do for obscene profits someday.

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  10. I read your blog and others because I find people, their lives and opinions interesting and entertaining.

    Basically, it comes down to me just being nosey!

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  11. I read SBJ because of interest in topics, location and quality of writing. I also read because I know you in real life, but I read your blog for a while before I met you.

    Blogging is indeed a massive time-sink. I couldn't do it without the belief that a) I'm not just rambling, but trying to accomplish a "project" and that b) the "project" will at some point be complete. (Not sure that either is quite true, but that's what I tell myself.)

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  12. JZ: glad to know that I am usually entertaining.

    Rabid: "It's like suspense on EPO." Saying that I'm like anything on EPO is hugely flattering.

    Carrie: I'm into voyeurism too.

    To anyone interested in the drama, it wasn't so much what was said as the commentary it prompted. What was said wasn't that big of a deal, but what I wrote in reaction to it would have been inflammatory and not all that productive. Nevertheless, since another chapter unfolded at DMV last night, I'll provide a rundown in a future post.

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  13. I read for the profanity and to enhance my vocabulary. You wouldn't believe how many uses there are for words like dick dance.

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  14. Hey, Ralph, still reading? The "typing" is really that engaging? How are things in Orem, anyway?

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