Last week the coordinator of the writing center called me over to her desk. She thought it was interesting that I write a blog -- a form of writing that's relatively new and different, especially for an academic setting -- and asked me if I could convey the bogging experience in 300 or 400 words, to use in their newsletter. I decided I could, but didn't think I had to take the assignment too seriously . . .
I introduced myself as a volunteer in the Writing Center, but admitted that in my secret life I write a blog. It’s called Sightings Over Sixty, and it covers baby boomers, retirement, health, finance, grownup children and . . . how time flies. My pen name – my nom de Internet, if you will -- is Tom Sightings. And I’m over 60 years old. Get it?
A lot of my friends are curious about why I spend my time jotting down thoughts in cyberspace. So, what do I tell them? First of all, I point out that I’m not alone. A lot of people write blogs. (And I wonder -- why do you write a blog?) The web directory technorati counts 363 blogs about baby boomers alone. There are blogs about stamp collecting, knitting, golden retrievers and a thousand other topics.
But if you really want to know, here are the top ten reasons why I blog. To . . .
10. Get something off my chest – I have a few opinions on things like health care and how people drive (in my opinion, unlike Lake Wobegon, most people are worse than average drivers!), and so I can spout off whenever I want.
9. Make friends – I have over a hundred followers of my blog. Some of them I consider friends. In January, when I vacationed in Florida, I played golf with one of my blogging friends.
8. Join a community – You don’t just get people to read your blog. They talk back, make comments, and usually, you end up following their blog as well. It’s a party!
7. Make people laugh – I admit it, in my younger days I was a class clown. My teachers didn't think I was funny, but some of my classmates did. If you don't believe me, check out the Humor section of my blog, and you be the judge. But hey, gimme a break . . . it’s not easy to be funny!
6. Make money – Yes, you can sign up for advertising programs though Google and Amazon, and earn money from your blog. Why, sometimes I earn as much as $3 in one day!
5. Practice my writing skills – As you can see . . . I need the practice.
4. Annoy my spouse – Since I write my blog under a different name, and I don’t identify my spouse by name, I can say anything I want!
3. Stay out of trouble – I’m retired. Well, to be more accurate, I’m unemployed. But when you get to a certain age, you can call yourself retired instead. Blogging gives me something to do while my long-suffering spouse goes off to work.
2. Make a name for myself – Wait a second, I write the blog under a different name, so how am I making a name for myself? Er, I guess I’d better rethink that one.
And the Number 1 reason why I blog? I blog, therefore I am – It’s a little known fact, but all the great philosophers had their own blogs. The first blog? "In the beginning . . . .”