I’m getting to this at least a week after everyone else – if not longer. The reason why is simple: I’ve actually had something of an internal fight with myself over whether to a) do it and b) press it.
What am I talking about? Strawberry Singh’s meme (one of a whole series she has been setting, which have been thought-provoking) of “Why do I blog?” The format is easy enough – answer a series of questions on the subject of “why do I blog?”
So after several rounds of yes / no / yes / no arguments with myself, here (finally, and for whatever they’re worth!) are my answers.
How long have you been blogging? I started in January 2007 using Blogspot, then in 2009 made the move to WordPress.
Why did you start blogging? This is a little complicated. There was a time when I was very involved in D/s in my real life (I’ve actually written extensively on the subject elsewhere in the past – and no, I’m not saying where or under what name!). In coming back to SL, I opted to explore how D/s is perceived and acted upon. While it may sound presumptuous, I was so taken aback by a good few of the attitudes and misconceptions surrounding D/s as seen in SL, that I started blogging to try to offer a counterpoint and present D/s in a wider context. Over time, my own interests in SL changed such that the nature of my blogging shifted focus, particularly after the move to WordPress, and the blog evolved to what is read today.
How many times a week do you post an entry? Currently, I’m running at least one post a day, although sometimes I can hit 4 or 5 a day – it really depends what is going on, what I read about, what I learn and what generally comes my way.
How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis? I try to run through all the blogs on my blogroll at least a couple of times a week. Some are daily reading (or very nearly). I also read a number of other blogs as time allows, although they should perhaps be read more frequently (Strawberry’s being one … hence coming to this meme so late!). My problem is that I can either blog or read (or blog and read … and ignore the realities of real life!).
Do you comment on other people’s blogs? Yes, when I feel I have something to say that actually might be worth saying.
Do you keep track of how many visitors you have? Yes, although I’m actually more interested in the geographic diversity of those who visit. In the last five months this blog has averaged 32,800 page views and an average of 14,000 unique visitors a month – which I find amazing. What amazes me even more is that these people come from all over the world. Obviously, the highest concentrations of page views comes from the USA, Europe, Australia and Japan, but I’m genuinely stunned when I look back across a month and see multiple page views from Fiji, Belize, San Marino, Tanzania, Oman, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Macau, Taiwan and more. Of course, these views likely all only add up to one person each (especially as some don’t climb above 5 or 6 views a week), but the fact they are there month on month does remind me that Second Life really does have a global reach.
Did you ever regret a post that you wrote? Some of my pieces take a good while to germinate and take shape, particularly as I try to keep to a certain “maximum length” of article. This has meant in the past that I’ve sometimes pushed the “publish” button when perhaps a little more polish or simply walking away one more time and then coming back with a fresh pair of eyes for a final read-through might have been better.
Do you think your readers have a true sense of who you are based on your blog? I hope that people have a clear sense of my values. I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule on differentiating between the “real” and “virtual” me (although I have various limits on how far I will go in talking about the “real me”). Whether this gives any real sense as to who I am for anyone reading these pages without encountering me – I’ve honestly no idea.
Do you blog under your real name? Nope. All my VW writing is done under my virtual identity of Inara Pey. The vast majority of my writing elsewhere has been under pseudonyms as well.
Are there topics that you would never blog about? Yes. Real world politics for one. Religion for another.
What is the theme/topic of your blog? Virtual worlds and environments, although the primary focus is on Second Life, as I simply cannot keep pace with everything else going on out there!
Do you have more than one blog? If so, why? Yes. No. Sort-of. I have two other blogs, one for my builds and one for *some* of my D/s writing carried over from my original blog – but both rarely get any real attention from me.
What have you found to be the benefits of blogging? A greater understanding of Second Life and a clearer appreciation for Linden Lab (warts and all) and the work they put into making this incredible environment possible. A growing love of virtual photography (I’m even starting to venture into the world of post-processing!), and the discovery of in-world interests and hobbies.
So, why do you continue to blog? I can’t stand going cold turkey when away from my blog :).