Elsewhere I saw a post about "why blogging?" so I decided to weigh in.
I became aware of blogging 3 years ago, because my brother-in-law had a blog. I found that at family reunions I felt more connected to him because I'd been able to keep up with is life on a daily basis and know about his everyday thoughts and reflections -- things that might not be shared in an email or phone conversation but that are such a rich reflection of who he is.
I decided to start blogging too for two reasons, as a means for friends and family to know what is happening in my life day-to-day, and as a format for sharing my philosophy of life (mostly through poetry) to anyone who might be interested - "my letter to the world."
I have found it to be much more than what I envisioned at the outset.
Through blogging I've "met" a couple of really cool people from elsewhere in the world, who have truly enriched my life, and whom I would not otherwise know. They are Nethe, who lives in Norway, and Tony who lives in Massachussetts.
Through blogging I've been able to complete a project for my graduate work with the help of people around the world! How amazing is that?! I can have the whole world collaborate with me on a project in a matter of days!! It was really fun and came out really well!
Through blogging I was able to ask loved ones (and the whole world!) for prayer for my husband last fall when he had a stroke, and I was easily able to keep people updated on his recovery without being tied to the phone or email, which freed me to do what I needed to do for David and our family, yet allowed loved ones nearby and far away to have up-to-date details of how David was doing.
Through blogging we were able to be encouraged at that very difficult time as people posted comments wishing David well and letting us know they were praying for him and us, and we continue to be encouraged as people keep checking in on his progress and leaving comments.
Through blogging serious things such as the above can be shared -- but so can fun things that I hope to share in order to bring a smile to someone else.
Through blogging I can keep all my favorite poems in the same place, can access them anywhere in the world there is a computer - don't have to have 20 books with me or look them up individually online when I want to find one.
Through blogging I have a personal and family diary that I can access anytime and anywhere in the world there is an internet connection - for myself to reminisce or to share with others I am visiting. I used to keep a written diaries and have many volumes of them, but I stopped doing that years ago. Without carrying photo albums or volumes of journals, I can go back and access things like pictures from an "album" I put up celebrating our 20 years of marriage or pictures from our son's first track meet or pictures of recent family trips - or what I was thinking and feeling in summer 2006.
Through blogging I can record and hold onto my favorite season of autumn with winter coming on.
Through blogging I can recommend favorite books and get recommendations - also from all round the world!
Through blogging I was able to wish my sister and brother-in-law a happy first anniversary at the same time although they were half a world away from each other -separated as he was serving his country in Iraq.
Through blogging I feel connected to the world (see map at top). Since May 1, 2007 there have been 12,329 visits to my blog from people all around the world, including ALL 6 of the continents that are displayed on the map. (It will be a year tomorrow since I started keeping track, and the "hit map" will be getting archived and reset to zero tomorrow, which is one of the reasons I posted this today.) It's kinda cool to think that people on at least 6 continents have seen my face and read my thoughts - and some have even come back and visited again! :-)
I also read other people's blogs from all over the world and can get a very personal taste of life in Scandanavia, Australia, South America - anywhere! I have friends heading to Africa soon on a two year missions trip. They are talking about setting up a blog. I sure hope they do, so I can feel close to them and their work as they are so far away for so long!
And right now, through blogging, I can remind a friend who, as I was writing this, just called me with a health concern and whom I know reads my blog (you know who you are :-), that I will be praying for you throughout the day and into the future as you go through testing and get more information. Love ya, friend!
For me blogging has proven to be far more than I imagined it would be when I began - a thing full of possibilities - a very flexible - very connecting - very useful - very encouraging thing.