Blognitive Dissonance

Wired tells me I’m a late adopter:

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.

Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge.

An assumption in the article is that blogging is only worth it if one can attract large amounts of readers. By contrast, my main incentives are personal. Blogging helps me focus my thoughts, write better, and stay productive. It’s cathartic and has kept me sane. I'm also quite proud of my blog's content; in fact, I'm far prouder of this blog than I am of my undergraduate thesis (as a side note, I have a book in the library and didn't realize it until just now, yippee!) These factors are largely independent of having an audience.

Readers do matter--I would have stopped blogging long ago if I had zero readers--but it doesn't matter as much as the article implies. Blogging is like the Speaker's Corner of the web: it's more about having something to say and a forum in which to do it than having an audience. So what if the professionals are beginning to elbow out the proletariat--the internet is a lot bigger than Hyde Park.