Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why I Blog on Here

Recently, I've been seeing a feed from someone who apparently took up blogging to make money. I must admit I find the concept a bit bizarre. I don't consider blog posts a commodity - I consider them a form of self-reflection and communication. I started this blog five years ago, so I could share what I learned with my friends. I am an experiential learner, which means I learn concepts by applying them to the world around me. This includes writing about them and hopefully taking them a few steps further to see if my understanding still holds up.

So, you see, this blog is really a personal indulgence of mine, which I share because at least a few other people find my intellectual/academic musings and discoveries interesting. I have it separate from my livejournal account because not all of my friends are interested in this part of my life. They are more concerned with my more mundane doings and and rants. I have another journal for my creative writings, so those friends interested in those can read them. I even have a religious journal, which to be honest, I have neglected badly, for the same reason. Most of my friends like the ala cart method I have, and I have no problem with them preferring only part of my life to follow.

So, for me personally, adding advertisements to this blog feels wrong, as does running it like a business. I want to share freely with my friends. I consider it an act of true charity (i.e. love) for those who don't have the access to material that I have (which is the reason this particular site was created - a friend in another country, who does not have the resources to study the topics I am, asked me to share some of my assignments with her). From there, it sort of turned into my more formal blog.

Still, if someone wishes to making blogging their career, then all the more power to them. There's nothing wrong with gaining something for providing information. Frankly, I'm tempted to put my Amazon wishlist up for those who wish to give me something to alleviate any feelings of one sided indebtedness they may feel while reading this blog. Not because I want something for it, but because I have learned that there is more to being charitable and generous than just giving to people--sometimes, you have to be humble and gracious enough to let them give to you. If you can't do this, then your generousity is a sham; a means to assert superiority to those you perceive as less fortunate than you. If receiving help or gifts from other people means you're weak, then what does that say about your view of those you are giving to? If you believe that receiving puts you into another's debt, then what price are you attaching to your gifts?

I will have to think this over some more. I haven't been keeping track of who has been reading this blog during the past three years or so. Most of the people who I do know that read it are friends who already give to me of their talents, companionship, and even the occassional gift. I guess I can start monitoring visitors again and if, indeed, I have a wider audience than I realize, I might put a link somewhere for people who just want to send a little something to thank me for whatever reason. I want whatever I do to be done as a free choice and not as an obligation. I will probably make a special "under $5" wishlist for this blog then. And maybe a list of professional books that a reader here might what me to comment on. But then I might feel obligated to read some books that really don't spark my interest.

Oh well, like I said, I'll have to think this over more.

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