Colin Campbell on January 15th, 2008 10:39 am
I love the supermarket analogy. That is exactly how I blog. Just exchange money for time and that will pretty much dictate the quality of the post. Very random. My wife always goes with a list. I never do unless she makes me. Ditto my blog. When I log on, I rarely have a plan for a post. Good luck with this project. I am so happy it is not another make money fast blog, most of whom I find more than a little (extremely) annoying. Nice look and feel too.
Mike Macgirvin on January 15th, 2008 10:45 am
Was that a hint or a nudge? It’s a space onto which we are allowed to create, explain, and paint a picture of ourselves and what we want the world to see in response to the questions - “Who are you? What are your values? Your interests, goals, ambitions? What amuses and/or disgusts you?” In short, “How do you think?”. In Marshall McLuhan-esque speak, it is an extension of our very mind, placed into the public consciousness for all to see the inner workings.
Lee on January 15th, 2008 10:51 am
When I first started Quit Your Day Job it was going to be a professional site, one that followed my freelancing, my thoughts on blogging and the web etc.Two months in I realised that it was no longer a professional blog it had simply become a personal one. Simply is probably the wrong word because the moment I discovered this fact it became extraordinarily hard to find my voice again. I guess I still had the same goals regarding traffic etc which really didn’t align with a personal blog. I guess to answer your question a personal blog to me is one that I write for me.
Karen (miscmum) on January 15th, 2008 11:23 am
A personal blog to me is a place where one seeks to extrapolate the intricacies of life.
katef on January 15th, 2008 12:07 pm
Oh I am going to enjoy this blog! I am struggling with this very thing right now.. I want my blog to be more than just incoherent ramblings about my life, but I am not sure what or how I want it to be. I have split off the more ‘professional’ side of my old blog to it’s own corner of the web (well I will when I am done) to give me space to grow my ‘personal’ blog in other directions… I think I want to share some of the stuff I know about the stuff I have done…. but at the moment it is still just a jumble of stuff. I’ll be reading with eager eyes!
Lightening on January 15th, 2008 12:58 pm
Happy Blog Launch Day babe. Gave you a little stumble for a blogwarming pressie. As for personal blog - I think by it’s very title/niche you can’t really define it. We’re all individual and that’s the beauty of a personal blog. What I like most about them is that you rarely can predict what someone is going to post about on their personal blog. At least that’s how I try to run mine most of the time.
Andrew Boyd on January 15th, 2008 1:03 pm
Not wanting to disagree with Lightening… so I won’t. But here is my definition anyway - Personal blogs or bioblogs are defined by the blogger themselves being the niche - and whatever they write about, it is them writing it, thus they fulfil the “a niche blog is where you stay within one semantic degree of separation from the core topic and reframe like crazy” definition of niche blogging. You can’t escape it. Good luck with it, and look forward to lots of linky love from me.
swollenpickles on January 15th, 2008 1:25 pm
It’s a tough one to classify. What I might find personal you might not, and vice versa. I suppose from the outside my blog mightn’t be considered ‘personal’ in terms of an online diary, but in some respects it is quite personal, however you may not necessarily see that unless you know me. I’m probably not making sense. In any case, congratulations on getting this project up and running!
Kelley on January 15th, 2008 2:09 pm
Well you got me thinking…. when I started my blog it was going to be about life with a child with Autism. Then housework (yes REALLY!) and then it just became a place for me to brain dump the stupidities of life. I told someone once that my blog is just like my diary, left open on the coffee table for anyone to see. And the comments are just little voices in my head *smirk*. I think all of us are evolving and our blogs along with us. Some of us are silly, some serious, some aiming to make money. I guess the purpose of my blog is my desire to find a hobby and as a social person the best hobby involves interacting with others. I can do this with a blog easier with my son in tow. Does that make any sense?
Lani Giesen on January 15th, 2008 2:41 pm
Colin, I love that supermarket analogy too. I wish it was mine! And, Mike, surely just a subtle hint? It’s great to read all your responses (Thank you!), and interesting that two of you have been trying to find the line between what a personal blog and what a professional blog is. And yes, Kelley, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you again.
Kirsten on January 15th, 2008 2:46 pm
I like what Andrew said - the blogger themselves is the niche. I’ve said that a few times before, that my niche is ME. Now how to make my blog better without resorting to reporting the minutiae of my daily life is what I’m trying to figure out.
Lani Giesen on January 15th, 2008 2:53 pm
Patience! I can’t write the whole thing at once. But seriously, I hope I’ll have some answers (or at least some ideas) that will help, Kirsten.
Kirsten on January 15th, 2008 2:58 pm
Wow, look at us all chomping at the bit. I think you’re gonna have a winner here, Lani.
Guera on January 15th, 2008 3:23 pm
Off to a great start, Lani, with a thought-provoking question! One that I guess we´re all trying to answer every day. The thing is there is so much talk about what is your niche and what will you blog about, but that just doesn´t translate to personal blogs. As many have said, the blogger is the niche and we are all different people. Not only that, but each of us is 3-dimensional and interested in many different things. You may choose to have a niche blog on cooking or photography or web design or whatever, but you will probably just be blogging about one aspect of yourself or your interests. The great thing about a personal blog is that you don´t limit yourself like that and I think that is why they are such compelling reading - you feel like you truly get to know someone because they share all sorts of different things with you. Of the commenters above whose blogs I have read they talk about health, food, shopping, shoes, books, movies, webby stuff, kids, relationships… None of us can define ourselves in one short sentence, nor can we define our blogs so easily - that is the beauty of them.
Bettina on January 15th, 2008 5:58 pm
I guess what a personal blog is will be as diverse as the different people writing them.
Christine Parfitt on January 15th, 2008 6:03 pm
Congrats on a good start Lani. A few people have mentioned the idea of not having to limit yourself and that’s what came to my mind as well. You can set whatever boundaries you like and see how it evolves.
Riayn on January 15th, 2008 6:49 pm
What a thought provoking first post. Everyone here has added some great ideas into the mix. To me a personal blog is simply that - personal. It will mean different things to different people and for entirely different reasons. The reasons why someone blogs will colour what their blog means to them and add a whole new flavour to what a personal blog actually is. I think that asking what a personal blog is almost like asking how long a piece of string is.
SnakyPoet on January 15th, 2008 9:17 pm
Yay, here she is, the one we’ve all been waiting for, up and running! Good on yer, mate. What’s a personal blog? Well, I have a few, some more personal than others - then again, they all are really. On MySpace I have Haiku on Friday where I entice others to join me in practising the deceptively simple but really tricky art of haiku writing; DragonStar Rose where I teach and mentor in a very ad hoc kinda way about magick, energy and healing, cos several people asked me if I would and it seemed easier and more useful to start a blog than deal with everyone individually; and Rosemary Nissen-Wade on which I sometimes post poems and sometimes express myself about whatever’s on my mind at the time; and finally a completely private profile read only by me, which is indeed a personal diary - very boring and seldom posted in, full of answers to quizzes designed to flatter the quizzee, and “stuff” I want to get off my chest but not make public. And on Blogger there’s one about my Texas poetry tour of 2005 - growing VERY slowly (thank Goddess I kept all the emails home) - because I wanted to have a record of it somewhere; and SnakyPoet which started off as a different personal blog from the Rosemary Nissen-Wade one on MySpace, but now to save everyone’s time they have become duplicates of each other. I have never been much good at sustaining a private diary. I bore the crap outa myself that way. I used, however, to be known as a great letter writer, years ago. Then I realised I wanted to write poems and articles, and the letters dried up. (Eventually the world manifested email, which now suits me nicely.) I guess I’m just a compulsive writer! Self-expression is the first impulse, closely followed by the urge to communicate. Blogging is lovely cos you have the illusion that people will come and read it. And some even do. The personal blogs I love to read are those that are well written, and in which I get a strong sense of the person’s personality. That’s you in your guise as Cerebral Mum, Pomgirl, and my rl friend satyapriya on Live Journal. Then, because poetry is my passion, I’m presently in love with Rachel Phillips who posts nothing but poetry on her blog Outlasting Moths .. and with a number of wonderful MySpace poets also. So a personal blog is one where I can indulge my own personal preferences and even idiosyncracies, whether in writing or reading. But there’s something else. A true (private) diary, as I said, bores me, yet writing letters about myself to other people never did. I need the sense of a reader, even if an illusory one. Even with poems, they work better if I experience than as a kind of dialogue. There has to be someone out there whom I’m addressing. Comments are great like that! Thanks, Lani, for providing great material always, to comment upon.
Jayne on January 16th, 2008 11:31 am
Love the supermarket analogy, it’s so true! Mine isn’t so much a personal blog, but the comments I throw in are off the cuff, depending on my mood and my twisted take on the historical item/book/blog review at the time.
lulu on January 16th, 2008 11:23 pm
Oh! Great post! It is an interesting topic because I doubt you will get many people that say exactly the same thing because a personal blog means something different to everyone…. I tend to read personal blogs over tech style or other blogs because they appeal to me more. Perhaps because I have a personal blog or perhaps just because I am nosy and like to learn about other peoples lives!
Sueblimely on January 17th, 2008 11:05 am
A personal blog suggests to me a place where an individual can express themselves in whatever way they wish on whatever topic they wish. They are as unique as the person writing them.
Desertqueen on January 17th, 2008 3:34 pm
Congratulations on your launch. Sorry I am a couple of days late thought. A personal blog?? I have been thinking about this and I agree pretty much with what all the others have said. I guess its a chance for people to get to *know* you better, where perhaps the writer can feel safe, with a certain level of anonymity from the real world, to reveal things about them that possibly otherwise they wouldn’t. I think that they can also highlight the fact that whilst we are all different, in lots of ways we are still very similar.
Lani Giesen on January 17th, 2008 9:59 pm
Everybody, thanks for all your responses. They’ve been thought provoking for me and I’m so glad I asked the question!
Loz on January 23rd, 2008 5:56 pm
I wrote a piece on this theme in November last year prompted by some comments about my blog and my response was thus - “Reading a personal blog is like being invited into someone’s house. Sometimes we stand on the doorstep and peer inside seeing a glimpse of a room. Perhaps on the first visit we may not get past the loungeroom, but as we become more comfortable and visit more often, we may start to explore the different rooms. Each post on a blog is another room, and as we read them a little more of the writer is revealed. Perhaps there are sometimes things we see in the visits that we would rather not know, at other times there are things that delight or educate us. If you don’t mind me mixing my metaphors let me say that each post is like peeling another layer from the onion and if we keep going we will one day get to it’s heart. So when you come into my house, do not judge me too harshly. If for some reason you do not like what you see then you need not come back. When you do though, perhaps you should be prepared to learn a little more about me each time. One day perhaps you will be comfortable here and rather than feel confronted or affronted by what you read you will look forward to the visits.”
Pickledeel on January 28th, 2008 5:00 pm
I went through a similar “self examination” when I tried to work out what I was actually writing the blog for - and who for. Clarity on this was elusive (sadly it took the writing about the death of a friend to crystallise it for me)but in the end I realised that the blog was to be written for me, not someone else. That unleashed the productivity and gave me the authors perspective I was looking for. The blog is personal but doubly so - I view myself as the audience as well as the author. If others respond to it then I am doubly blessed.