One of the main benefits of having a blog is that it is a form of communication. In order to be successful adults, you have to learn to express your thoughts and feelings in a way that others find clear and persuasive. One way to practice the art of communication is by writing. By starting or joining a blog, you have the opportunity to communicate in many different ways about things that interest you.
One recent study indicates that there are five main motivations that make people want to blog.
The study lists them as:
· Blogs to document my life
· Blogs as commentary
· Blogs as catharsis
· Blog as muse
· Blogs as community forum
These motivations were based upon extensive interviews with bloggers at Stanford University. They have been reorganized and re-categorized in terms that are more relevant to teens and their benefits of having a blog. Below is a brief list of things you can write about in a blog.
Blogging about Feelings
One of the things most often written about on blogs is feelings. People use blogs as a means of expressing their happiness, anger, sadness, etc. in a way that many find to be therapeutic. It is similar to the kind of feelings that are expressed in diaries and journals. However, blogging has a public component. When you write an entry in a journal or diary, only you and a select small group of friends can read it. On the other hand, blogging about your feelings exposes them to a larger group of people who subscribe to your blog. You can get feedback, such as affirmation or suggestions, from more people. For some feelings that are private, blogging may not be the appropriate forum. However, for those feelings that you want to express and welcome others to respond to, then a blog is a perfect medium.
Blogging to Express Political or Religious Views
Another common benefits of having a blog is to express one’s political or religious views. If something in the news, for example, evokes a strong, political attitude in you, it is often difficult to find a way to express your views in a way that it will be seen or heard by a large group of people. Blogs provide a venue where you can express those thoughts to a vast audience. If something offends your sense of morals and you want to tell the world why it is offensive, you can communicate your ethical points on your blog as well. In the past, all you could do is write a letter to the editor of a local or national newspaper to make political or ethical statements, but there was no guarantee that it would be printed. Even if it was printed, it may have been edited to fit the format of the paper, sometimes changing your meaning entirely. You decide what goes into your blog and exactly how you would like to express it. In a sense, this kind of blogging has become a grass-roots form of journalism.
Blogging to Track Important Events in Your Life
For some, blogging has become a way to chronicle events and personal news. For example, you may have a goal that requires several steps. It could be getting into Harvard. The benefits of having a blog would be to keep track of the steps. You may start out your blog by recording your grades and talking about the areas that you need to improve. As you meet each objective, you can write about it. You may keep a copy of the blogs so you have a clear view of the path you have taken, and the direction you need to go to stay on target. Others can offer suggestions from their own experience you might find helpful towards attaining your goal.
Blogging to Demonstrate Your Creativity
Another reason for blogging is to share, things that you have created, with others. Most blogs have a way to add images, so if you create a piece of artwork or take an awesome photograph, you can show it on your blog. If you love to write poetry, then a blog is a way for a lot of people to read your poems, and give you instant feedback. There is almost no end to the kinds of creative projects that you can demonstrate on a blog. Virtual storytelling is a fun example.
Blogging for Networking
There is another use for blogging that you may find helpful. It is called networking. Networking is a method that business people use to make contacts that help their career. You can use blogging in a similar fashion by finding others with common vocational interests. You can ask your contacts for advice. You may find and develop relationships with people who can help your future career. Publishing online is one option.
Expressing Passion for a Team or Celebrity
You can find a number of sports or entertainment blogs. People use these blogs to cheer their favorite teams, discuss trades and events, and let the management know if they are pleased with the entertainment that the team is providing, or if they think changes need to be made. These kinds of blogs also let you track the career of a celebrity, or predict the outcome of a particular storyline in your favorite soap opera. You can join one of these blogs to let the decision makers know what you think about their product.
One of the biggest and best benefits of having a blog – COMMUNICATION!
As stated earlier, one of the benefits of having a blog is that it can help you become a better communicator.
Complex language is what distinguishes human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom. Our success in life is directly related to being able to communicate in a manner that others can understand and appreciate.
As an adult you will need to persuade a college official to accept you, and an employer to hire you. If you have a product to sell, you need to be able to communicate the reasons that your product is better than what your competitor is offering.
You will also have to communicate to build personal relationships. You may want to have a spouse, raise children, and have friends with common interests. It takes communications skills to successfully maintain any of these relationships.
Therefore, learning to express yourself properly is the best way to insure your success in future endeavors.
Like any other skill, communication takes practice and perseverance. If you want to be an Olympic athlete in a particular sport, you need to put in the time to practice and perfect your craft. It may be true that some are born with natural skills and talents, but they will never get to the Olympics if they only rely on natural ability. It takes hard work to get there. You talent is a springboard to motivate you to do the work. It is practice that takes raw talent and makes it useful towards meeting your goals.
Communication is a skill that everyone needs to develop to variable levels, regardless of your innate ability. Therefore, we all need to practice expressing ourselves as if we were trying to get into the Olympics. There are many ways to practice communicating. We talk to our friends and family, in person or on the phone. We write reports and have discussion groups in school. Sometimes, we even write letters or email to family members or friends who live far away. With all of these different kinds communication, why do we need blogging?
Blogging is a unique way of developing language, because it helps develop areas of communication that the others may not address. For example, you may not get quick, direct feedback about your ideas when you are speaking. You are usually addressing a single person, or a small group, and they may not have the opportunity to respond to your thoughts. That is especially true in a controlled environment, like the classroom. Alternatively, when you blog, people can respond to your ideas at their own pace. They may be more likely to give you feedback that you can use to improve your ideas and communications skills. Their questions may force you to think more about your topic, or try to clarify your original point. Either way, you are learning skills that will be valuable.
When you write, you also have the opportunity for self-editing, something which you can’t usually do in verbal language. While writing, you can read over your words and make changes as necessary before posting it for others to see. As you write more and more, you will begin to catch your errors before you post them and your writing will improve.
Another important aspect of communicating is acknowledging your audience. The classroom environment provides the opportunity to express your thoughts to a group of peers and your teacher. They are a small representative group among many groups that you may have to be able to communicate with as an adult. Therefore, it is important to have opportunities to speak to a larger audience. Other benefits of having a blog is that you can write to groups that only include your friends, groups that have a common interest, or large groups with diverse audiences. Knowing your audience is a key to learning how to write professional documents, and to speak in front of groups as a presenter. Blogging can help you think about the group you are addressing, measure what you want to say, and decide how to best express it in a way that the audience will understand what you are saying and find it meaningful.
There are a number of benefits of having a blog that may motivate you to begin blogging. You may want to have a forum to discuss your feelings, express opinions, talk to people who have common interests, display your creative side, or simply document important events in your life. The great benefit of having a blog is that it provides a place where you can do all of these things! Your ability to communicate with other will strengthen and you will develop the skills that you need to be successful in the future.