Speaker: Hello everyone. My name is Phil and I’m a blogaholic.
Audience: Hi Phil!
Speaker: I’ve been a blogaholic for over a year now and I’ve come to admit that I am powerless over blogging. It started with greed. I read a magazine article about a guy with a blog who ran Google ads in the sidebar and was making over $100 a month on these pay per click ads. Like anyone else I was desperate for easy money, so I started a blog and signed up for Google ads. At first I was very disappointed. At a nickel per click the money was adding up much too slowly for my liking. At that rate it would be a year before I’d see $100. I was still Ok with it, willing to be patient. I was writing, making jokes, imagining that thousands of people from all over the internet were reading my words and being amused. I had no idea that no one was reading my blog. Then it happened. I didn’t even now it existed, but there it was. In the bottom right hand corner underneath my post it said, “1 comment.” One comment? I clicked on it, and lo and behold (whatever that means) someone had left a comment on what I had written. I was amazed. How did they do this? Was this the tip of the iceberg? I e-mailed this person to thank them, thrilled that I had been acknowledged by a stranger from across the globe. Was it Ok to e-mail strangers? Is that what people did? Was there such a thing as blog etiquette?
The person e-mailed back kindly enough. I clicked on her name in the comment. She had a blog too! I was amazed. There were lots of comments on her blog! It appeared that there were hundreds, maybe thousands of blogs out there! I wondered, how do I get lots of comments? I didn’t know, and I didn’t want to look like a blog rookie by asking, so I kept writing or blogging as I came to learn that this was called. I had a blog and a new verb about it! Then about a week later I had two comments, and then three! My first blog commenter had come back! Yes! It was the ultimate affirmation. The ultimate drug. Someone had liked what I’d written enough to read my words again! So I kept writing for my invisible audience. For months I wrote, only getting 2 or 3 comments per post. It was such a tease, kind of like getting a free sample of crack from the dealer just to get you to come back for more. The blogs I visited had many, many commenters. “I’m funny, intelligent, interesting,” I thought. “How do I get comments like my more esteemed blogging brethren?” I wondered. (No, I’m not dorky enough to use words like “brethren” in real life. The alliteration just sounded good here.) Then I read a blogger who was doing a very funny thing that I had never seen before. She was commenting back to the commenters. Holding conversations and bantering! I didn’t know what I would say, but if it meant more of the sweet, addictive high of comments then I would have to try it.
I began responding. And like bees to honey the commenters returned to express opinions and respond to my comments on theirs. I was hooked. I came back time and again just to read their words, their feedback. I yearned to know what they would think of what I wrote. Although I couldn’t hear their laughter, I was sure it was there. Serenading me silently through the magic of the internet. Now I can’t stop. I feel as if my blog has become a living, breathing extension of myself. I can’t give it up. If I did, what would happen to all I have written? Would my electronic friends cease to exist? How would I know what was going on in their lives if I could no longer visit Blogland? Would they go on with their lives, or would they have a hole in their heart as I would in mine if my blog were gone?
Despite the joy, the high I get from my blog, my addiction as any other, has it’s price. The pressure. The pressure to post something witty,reasonably intelligent, and correctly spelled three times a week. I can’t stop. What will happen if I do?
Audience: Uh, Phil? The meeting ended a half hour ago. You can shut up now. Help me put these chairs away would you?