Annewil Neervens

New Media Blog

The Hardship of a Blogger November 10, 2008

Filed under: Blog,Personal,Web 2.0 — Annewil Neervens @ 20:53 p11

Even though I started this blog only recently and did a pretty good job keeping it updated at first, I must admit (and regular visitors probably already noticed this) I’m not much of a blogger. At least not frequency-wise. Sometimes I’m just too busy. Other times, I can’t find any inspiration. Either way: I don’t blog much. UvA lecturer Anne Helmond gave a lecture on the ‘Perceived Freshness Fetish’, in which she looks at her own blogging addiction and analyses why bloggers feel the need to update their blogs daily.

She divides this Perceived Freshness Fetish into two parts:

1. The ‘internal fetish’, a wish or demand for the blogger himself to update daily.

2. The ‘external fetish’, the requirement from blog search engines to blog daily, thereby achieving a certain ranking.

Looking at my own experiences with blogging, I think this fetish could very well explain the need for bloggers to blog. Once my blog was up, I had to post. Of course, no one orders me to do this. But my blog is what represents me on the Web and since I’ve created it I HAVE to keep it up. It’s something I feel internally. Perhaps this makes it more about others (the blog readers in this case) and less about me. Which makes me wonder: why am I blogging in the first place and who am I blogging for? I think it’s safe to say that I’m not just blogging for myself, I hope to reach a certain audience and receive some feedback.

Not being a natural blogger, I constantly struggle with the question if I should blog randomly just to add a post (keeping my stats up) or if I should hold out until there’s actually something interesting to write about. It’s not that I don’t enjoy keeping a blog, it’s just not second nature to me. I have to make an effort to blog.

The external fetish is also something I’ve experienced. If I do not update my blog on a regular basis, the amount of visitors, stats and rankings will drop and eventually my blog will be deeply buried somewhere in search engine algorithms, nowhere to be found when requested. This raises the ontological question: do I still ‘exist’ when I can’t be found on Google? How important is it for my online identity to be established and found on the Web?

In any case, this lecture introduces some interesting insights in the nature of the blogger.

Note: this is not an ‘I’m sorry blog’ post, as Anne describes. I will keep blogging, I just don’t know when. 😉


5 Responses to “The Hardship of a Blogger”

  1. Anne Helmond Says:

    I don’t feel like a “natural” blogger either so maybe that also has to do with the internal freshness.

    I like the ontological question you pose because Google often defines for me whether something is either this way or that way by comparing the number of hits.

    What is interesting also, is that Wikipedians use Google to determine whether something “exists” or not in order to verify new entries. A nice example can be found at:

  2. Annewil Neervens Says:

    Hi Anne,

    it seems to me like you are a natural blogger. Of course I don’t know your exact writing-to-posting process, but your regularity and creativity in posts seem to fit my description pretty well. Or do you go by a different definition of a ‘natural’ blogger perhaps?

    I read that post on the spinplant, we had an almost identical experience with Google and Wikipedia in this years MofM group, see:

    I’m usually very suprised when I’m looking someone up on Google and I can’t find anything about them. It is strange that Google seems to be taking up such a high ‘reference value’.

  3. AnnaDenise Says:

    That sounds like an interesting lecture. The UvA is good like that, describing contemporary culture.

    I have the same problem. I often want to update my weblog when I can’t think of anything to write about, other times I have a tun to write about but no inspiration to do so at all.

    Ah, poor us. 😉

  4. Annewil Neervens Says:

    @AnnaDenise: I know, boohoo for us right? 😉 But on a more serious note: doesn’t it feel strange to have this urge to blog, when it’s actually something so voluntarily?

  5. Alex muiruri Says:

    I think the problem we-new bloggers-face is lack of experience in blogging. The fact that we rarely get some appreciation after posting and lack the expertise to compete with major blog-keywords and SEO and such, really demotes most newbies.
    However, I cannot acknowledge that we are not bloggers. The gift of opening up a blank page and passing such a strong message does not only make us great bloggers, it also makes us great writers as well.
    Some newbies are even better at passing their message than most famous bloggers, like you for example

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