Once upon a time – and it feels like a long time ago – it was my job to get people blogging. I took poor, ink-stained wretches from their journalistic bunkers, and introduced them to the digital world.
It was great, and I loved it.
Nowadays, I seem to be doing it almost by accident. I jumped into a conversation on Twitter between Mary and Patrick the other night, in which they were both reflecting that their day jobs were consuming the enthusiasm they once had for blogging:
As I’ve often said, I can thank the fact that I kept blogging throughout my RBI days to the fact that I was able to move cleanly and quickly into a consultancy career in the aftermath of that job I loved.
Happily, that conversation got Mary blogging again:
I used to blog all the time. I used to have a serious writing work ethic. I’ve blogged in many formats under multiple names since 2004, or thereabouts, which makes me a bit of a youthful whippersnapper in terms of some of the internet. But it’s nearly a decade now, and that’s too much waffling on the internet to throw away just because I’m busy.
And then she got her husband Grant going, too:
This is all derived from a conversation with my wife, who said she wanted to write more, and sort-of-challenged me to 10 consecutive days of blogging. Then I started writing this post and realised 10 days didn’t sound like an awful lot, so I bumped it up to 14, then I realised that I’m going to be at PAX Australia all next weekend and that might make posting to schedule difficult if not impossible. So I stuck with 10.
And then Amy Adams (not that one, the other one) was watching all this, and decided to join in:
But as I was scrolling through Twitter the other day, a conversation between journalists Mary Hamilton and Adam Tinworth about the importance of blogging started to make me feel guilty. The argument, in summary, was that it is undeniably important to keep writing on the web. It is important creatively, for people who work with words for a living; intellectually, for people who have a lot of ideas and opinions, and for whom writing is a way of refining these; and logically, in a digital world where declaring yourself a writer of any kind without easy-to-find evidence is a pretty avoidable mistake to make.
In 2006, it would have been great if I could have got people blogging just by pontificating on Twitter. But then, they wouldn’t have needed to pay me, would they?
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