On blogging

Not infrequently I find myself having a conversation about blogging where I find myself needing to justify why I blog and why I read other people's blogs. I find myself telling people that I write as a journal for myself and as a "letter home" to friends and family. That my blog, this blog, functions as a group email that is written in snippets every few days. People can log-on and log-off as they choose, moving in and out of my life as they see fit. This is usually sufficient for most people, although others still insist on ridiculing blogging and bloggers as narcisistic and voyeuristic.

What is less easy to explain is why I read other people's blogs. I follow close to 30 blogs. Many of these I discovered while in Botswana. With hours to spare I enjoyed surfing the blogosphere and discovering people thousands of miles from me enjoying the simple pleasures of life - photography, cooking, craft, family and blogging. Most of these people are women. Their blogs gave me strength in a way that others couldn't. Checking-in on their daily routines, both mundane and exciting, gave my life in Botswana routine.

I don't know much about media and communication. But it didn't surprise me to know that most of traditional media is written, directed and produced by men. The blog world seems different. Of course there are many men who write blogs too. But there are an awful lot of women blogging. Strong women with strong voices. And they write from home looking after children and husbands and boyfriends and girlfriends and sometimes no friends at all. They write beautiful words that accompany pictures. Words and pictures that don't conform to traditional media. And they publish these words and pictures away from the gaze of the (men-folk) who would edit their words to make them 'publishable' in today's mainstream media. I am not anti-men, but I am pro-women (and these are not mutually exclusive). I believe that blogs allow women to publish a story and a voice that is missing from current mainstream media.

Kirtsy, Take a Bow is a book about women online. Strong women, like the women I discovered while in Botswana. Women who have something to say to other women who might like to listen. Or not. The point is, it doesn't really matter. And this is why I blog. Other people blog for other reasons. I think I would like the book Kirtsy, Take a Bow. I definitely like the inspiring trailer (see below).

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