Why Blog?

i-bc0c5de5cc245df95bbbfccf3db6b0d3-XmasTree.jpgMy dear scibling and fellow big-nose European Bora, over at the one Sblog that comes before Aard in the alphabetical list, has “tagged me with a meme”. That is, he has handed me a coat of chainmail. No, he’s sent me a chain letter, with a blogging assignment. I usually don’t bother about these things because a) I’m afraid to scare readers away, b) I don’t find them very fun to write myself. But this time, the question is one that might actually be interesting to some people, and somebody posed it to me face-to-face recently. Why do I blog?

As a hint, let me first quote from The Jet’s latest album (see sidebar left).

“Hey pretty girl sit next to me
Coz I’m a ten foot diamond on a Christmas tree”

There are two main reasons for me to blog. A, I love to write. And B, having readers makes me feel like a ten-foot diamond on a Christmas tree.

My scholarly work is solitary and wins me few accolades as few people care about my field. My lifestyle is that of a family man. Getting to do something I enjoy and being instantly rewarded with the attention of smart people all over the world seems like an excellent arrangement to me. Without question, blogging is the single most appreciated contribution I make to the world.

I’ve also been asked how I manage to blog, writing on average one entry a day, which seems a lot to some people. That’s easy. Most importantly, since my teens I’ve watched less than an hour of TV a week on average. Since I took up blogging I’ve also cut down a bit on book-reading and kicked a 16-year online-forum habit. Really, a blog is an on-line forum where a single participant gets all the attention.

Here’s where I infect other bloggers with the meme. Henrik, Kai, Karen, Lars, Malin, you’re it!

Update 6 April: Mike Jensen is tracking the spread of this chainmail coat.


  1. #1 kai
    April 5, 2007

    Just a ques: How do these “trackback” thingies work? I feel like I haven’t read the right manual.

  2. #2 Martin R
    April 5, 2007

    Ideally, a trackback allows your site to inform mine that you have linked to me. In practice, Sb’s trackback function is broken and unlikely to get fixed.

  3. #3 Michael Jensen
    April 6, 2007

    I have added your post to the blog tag tree that I created for tracking the “Why I blog” meme. This makes it easy to know who has been tagged already, and to easily find everyone’s post.



  4. #4 Malin
    April 9, 2007

    Consider me tagged. Here’s the answer. In Swedish there, but in short summary:

    I love writing, and discussions about science. Blogging improved my communication skills and my arguments – thus, I’m a better researcher for doing it. And a smart comment or an appreciative link has saved my day several times, when the research I’m trying to do isn’t cooperating…

  5. #5 Leslie Spitz-Edson
    April 13, 2007

    …and then there’s the lonely blogger…I often ask myself, “if a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one there to hear it fall, does it make a sound?”

    hmm…this might make a good blog-post…

  6. #6 Martin R
    April 14, 2007

    Oh yes, blogging is an excellent cure for loneliness.

  7. #7 Stefan
    June 6, 2007

    “When you’re a Jet, you’re a top cat in town;
    You’re a gold medal kid with a heavyweight crown”!

  8. #8 Martin R
    June 7, 2007

    Stefan, what can I say?

    “Hey you’re such a pretty boy
    Hey you’re such a pretty boy
    Hey you’re such a pretty boy
    You’re so pretty”

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