I told a friend of mine (Victoria) about my idea for a blog. She knew what a blog was, but was rather dissaproving (atleast at first). We discussed the idea of blogging and the different ways in which it, and home pages in general are used.
The problem with blogs/home pages, she said, was that they can often become places for people to talk overly about themselves and that this usually isn’t very interesting. Its is just another outlet for people to show off. She also disliked the fact that a blog was sometimes a diary, or journal, which should more appropriately be kept private.
This is a problem that I can really relate to, having had a web page for a number of years. From the days when I was at school writing big headed programming tutorials, through to ego boosting rants about where Ive travelled to. Ok, I’ll accept that im guilty as many others are to these crimes.
Could we assume for a minute that the only difference between a good old fashioned home page and a trendy new flashy blog is one of implementation, the overall goals are somewhat similar. The real question is, what are those goals? These goals will certainly affect the content of a blog. As for myself Ill have to say that Ive started a blog mainly because many of my colleages have also started blogs and I thought, considering that I already have a web page that it should be updated. The new design may not win any awards, but its certainly no longer an embarassment. As for why I wanted to have a web page in the first place, I honestly can’t remember. It probably involved some level of showing off to my buddies.
So far, Ive identified the following uses for blogs/home pages, and for sure this list is incomplete and many subtle combinations may exist, but its a start. This also does not cover business web pages as these have clear goals and are obviously different.
- A diary or journal - This is by its very definition a page about the author. One of the most heinous examples of self worship
- A CV or resume - For a photographer or artist this may contain examples and information about previous work. For an engineer this may be something more simple like a description of previous projects worked on.
- Promotion of a project - I have created something that I wish to share with the world. This could be a story ive written, a computer program, or some artwork that Ive created.
- Commentary/news - Publishing of news and commentary is somewhat similar to journalism. I would include personal opinions in this section.
None of these categories are safe from shameless self promotion, infact some (ie. CVs and resumes) are for the sole purpose of advertising your talents and experience. So its probably academic to discuss whether or not a blog is a tool for boosting the ego. The aim is to find the right balance so that the readers don’t find it irritating.
The differences between a blog and an ordinary home page now come into play.Â If a reader reads my blog and finds it a temple of self-worship, he can quickly bring me down to earth by leaving a cutting comment behind to slowly deflate my ego.