Keyboards throughout the blogosphere have endured the pounding of posts generated by the Why Do You Blog meme. Vaspers the Grate asks a related question: to whom do we blog? What sort of audience do we imagine when we post? To whom you think you’re talking surely must affect what you say and how you say it.
I’m “Grate”ful that Vaspers lists me in his intended audience, even though I’ve been behind in my reading of late. I often think of specific readers when composing a post — not the same ones for every post, but there are several who come to mind quite frequently. Certain subjects apply to a greater or lesser degree to certain readers, too. Those who comment or link regularly naturally create a (should I use the word?) conversation that keeps them in my thoughts. These include (but are not limited to) assaf, apotheon, Chris, Doug, Joseph, Kiltak, Paul, Randy, Robert, Shelley, Stu, TDavid, Tracy, and Vaspers. (How come Tracy is the only female member of that group for whom I could find a picture?)
Every now and then some blogger that I admire (which includes those in the list above) will drop a comment telling me that they like my blog. That always just blows my mind. Last month Rogers Cadenhead commented on my one-year blogiversary: “You don’t blog like a newbie — I’m a fan of your site.” Holy moly, I didn’t even know you were a reader, Rogers! I immediately had to go back and reread every post in my blog from an imagined Cadenhead perspective. I know, I’m a juvenile groupie fanboy — AND I’M PROUD.
MyBlogLog helps to fill in some of the faces across the virtual coffee table. I regularly visit sites of people who show up in the widget. Reading their posts gives me an idea of what they might have found interesting in my blog, and that often carries over into my subsequent posts. For instance, right now I’m thinking about Maximillian Kaizen and doing a pretty bad job of sounding like a genius.
It probably shouldn’t, but seeing the picture of a reader changes the way I think about them, too. Who knows whether the pics are genuine or bogus, after all? But it stands for that person, in my visually-oriented brain. Better to post your picture right on your front page, or remain in mysterious invisibility like Shelley. If we talk for a long time without a pic, I gradually create a mental image of what you look like. Shattering that image with a real one can be jarring — I suddenly feel like I didn’t know you after all.
So, to whom are you blogging? Link here, and you can count me in your audience.
And this really is what I look like (on good days).