May 8, 2008

Are blogs self-serving?

My blog is very important to me, I've had it for over three and a half years after all, it's chronicled my life during grad school and dating in New York City to being engaged in Los Angeles. Blogging is a source of refuge for me. So, I guess in that way it is self-serving.

Also, it keeps me creative and up on the whole Web 2.o buzzword and that's advantageous for my job in public relations and my past career in journalism.

Plus, I earn a few extra bucks from it via the ads on the left of the page. Emphasis though on the few--I'm not quitting my job anytime soon, it just supports my eBay habit really.

So yes, it hurt when a friend told me she thought my blog was very self-promoting. Well, I don't mean it to be. I just try to share my adventures. My family and some of my friends especially like my blog because they can keep tabs on me and see what I'm up to. For others I think they like getting ideas for places to go and things to see, some free giveaways and a quick distraction.

In the past I've received emails from strangers who said they like what I have to say or how I say it at least. I get a good amount of visitors and a few flattering email stalkers. So, in that regards my blog isn't completely self-serving, right? Hell, there have been plenty of times when I've wanted to just let it die away, but after this many years of documenting everything, I'm just too used to looking at things in two ways, stuff I can blog about and stuff I can't. As a result, my camera phone is never too far from reach, ready to capture just the right photo to go with the moment and to help illustrate my post so it's not just words like this one is. The fact that I'm blogging about a stupid comment that was made to hurt me, shows how addicted I am. I can't stop...don't want to. Thanks for reading.

78 comments

  1. I've never done the ad thing; does it really support your e-bay habit? Maybe I should check it out! I'm sure it's a typo but, just in case it isn't, the perfectionist in me would like to point out that it's i before e in 'received'. Yeah, I'm one of those kind of people. I annoy myself, even.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing post, i hope i can keep a blog running as long as you have and create a fun environment for web users to entertain themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree that blogging is a good creative outlet! And I love sharing the things I'm passionate about.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Rebecca
    My Adventures in History

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your thoughts and experiences mirror mine: I like to blog, enjoy photographing my life and writing about the daily adventure. I keep reminding myself that blogging is for ME, and that others read or have an opinion, that is fine, but like my own thoughts, I share them as I wish and try not to wince when other who are not brave enough to do the same slam me as trivial.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Self promoting? For reals? You're blog is one of the most down to earth & real blogs that I have been reading. I read my fair share of blogs and the tone of some of the posts I read - well, you would think someone was standing behind them with a gun to their heads, forcing them to blog. And then can be so boo hoo about LIFE. I love hearing about the places you been to, the cupcakes you've tried & the gadgets you've discovered. Not everyone has to agree with how you choose to to put it out there, but if they're a friend they can refrain from the *snarky* comments.

    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your blog. And the reason people have blogs is to share their stories and adventures. Lucky for us, you have lots :)

    Keep up the blogging

    ReplyDelete
  7. How funny that someone would call a personal blog "self-serving". I mean, hello, it's your blog, your thoughts, your photos, your ideas. Well then, I guess it is just all about YOU. Don't worry, I'll keep reading.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just started reading your blog and really like it. I used to be a journalist and now am a SAHM, and just started blogging. I see what you're saying--blogging is a great outlet, but mining your own life for material can be a little awkward at times. But I think the good outweighs the bad--if people think it's self-serving, then don't read it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your friend doesn't have to read your blog if it bothers her...so I wouldn't worry about it. Blog away.
    http://evansgillespie.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don't take other's comment seriously. You are what you are, and you have the right to blog what you want. Keep blogging girl :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, impressive you've kept your blog going that long. I've only been blogging for a few months and I never really thought about it being self-serving. I guess in a way it is, it's your blog. You can say whatever you want, that's the point. But you also can help people. So if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to read it. The rest of us will. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Huh.. I don't know why they would say that. From what I've read you're always really down to earth. I like the blog and I think you should just do what makes you happy. That's what I'm doin over at my blog, and it's starting to build up again!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You know, I just started a blog a few weeks ago and so far, I plan to remain "more or less" anonymous. You seem to put it all out there. I think I like the idea of an immediate sounding board. You put something out there and get an immediate response. I think it is a little self serving, but it is also a suitable outlet for those of us who have something to say about the things we see in the world around us. There are far worse outlets. Tell your "friend" to stop cutting herself in the closet, binge eating or purging. Nervous energy can be focused. A blog is at least a neutral.
    1chance2live

    ReplyDelete
  14. Of course they are self serving. Self indulgence is the whole point. I went through a divorce in my old blog, it kept me sane to type out thoughts that were all muddled up and bottled up. Also, I felt less alone even though I was in another country and knew only my husband and his family there. Don't let any comments get you down. You have the power to zap them. There's no law that you can't delete a comment. Your blog; your rules.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Regardless, people are interested. It's fun to involve ourselves in other people's lives (and read about them). My big issue is how much to divulge.

    Plus, people write what they know. What can you know better than your own life?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've really enjoyed reading some of your blogs.I'm new to all of this.I once had an LJ account, but decided i needed to start afresh :) I love to write, especially about the way i'm feeling. Some say it's therapeutic :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Tara,
    I found you on bloggers list of great blogs today. Your blog has a wonderful design.

    And well...yes, sometimes blogs can be self serving but this is a GOOD THING. I started mine to get over an emotional pain and now I'm so happy I took the plunge. I think your friend is just jealous.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Our blogs mean much to us... that is why we blog. They give us happiness, fulfillment, a place to converse with ourselves, an outlet...and more.
    So, how is that self-serving? If it is, then surely breathing and drinking water and sleeping must be considered self-serving for your friend....

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ignore what your 'friend' said

    Your blog is great.

    Keep up the good work

    Sheila.

    uk

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great writing there, Tara! I agree that sometimes when you're blogging, you just have to follow your heart and write whatever you want to regardless of what others think about that.

    Thanks for sharing,
    StephA

    ReplyDelete
  21. I actually rely heavily on your blog to keep me up to date with what's going on in your life, now that you left me all alone in the Big Apple. :) But you keep me up to date on new products out there as well.

    Don't change anything. You didn't win those awards and recognition for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I enjoy reading your blog and am amazed and jealous of how 'out there' you really are. I enjoy living through your experiences. Your blog entries regarding CUPCAKES launched my current volunteer position. I am now organizing the Nottingham Day 1st Annual Cupcake Contest (in NH).
    I enjoy your blog greatly!
    Nicki's Aunt Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  23. Blogs are inherently self serving, as they raise your profile and get people to focus on who you are and what you do. (In fact, so are comments on blog posts, as they achieve the same effect.)

    The more precise inquiry is whether a blog is self serving in a good way or in a bad way. Posting stories or information that interest you and that will also probably interest others is the good kind of self serving. Posting about your experiences and problems that might have relevance to a wider audience is also the good kind of self serving.

    Self serving breaks bad when one loses sight of the larger interest and focuses on topics or life details that really don't connect with the wider audience. Those kind of details are best kept on a Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, thank you everyone, I thought by putting this question out there that I'd recieve some hate, but thank you for all the encouragement. I'm not really stressing about what she said, it just hurt hearing it come from a friend. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  25. CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!
    hearyourcomments.blogspot.com
    What Do You Think?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I totally agree with Karen. We east coasters need to know what you're up to since you left us! Plus you have all the tips, tales, and toys that we might not know about without your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think it's a given that blogs are self-serving...if they weren't, what would be the point? Blogs are a great outlet for anyone who may not otherwise have a creative venue where they can post their thoughts, opinions, writings, etc. And, if a few other people find it an amusing read, all the better! Write without guilt - obviously you have a lot of readers that like what you have to say!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tara, your blog is fabulous! Sounds like you have your very own "frienemy" - person who manages to be a friend and enemy simultaneously. Take that comment with a grain of salt and a margarita and keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hey Tara,

    I don't get here as often as I'd like, but I love reading your blog. I don't think it's self-serving at all. I enjoy finding out what's going on with you and you make everything so interesting. Keep going!! JMHO!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love this post! You're a great writer and never stop! Don't let anyone tell you that your writing is self-serving. I totally relate to your comment about "stuff I can blog about and stuff I can't." Your blog looks great!
    Karli

    ReplyDelete
  31. hey there Tara! Nice template! Where did you get it?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hey Tara, I'm not sure that I agree with blogs as self serving but as a virgin blogger I'm not sure I qualify to answer! I am studying journalism currently in Western Australia and my next assignment is about blogging- Personally I hate computers and living in a land of beautiful climate ensures I'm usually to busy painting or writing on the verandah to bother with on line public discussion. Any time I've tried I've only unearthed dead end sites with school yard rubbish and border line perverts. I'm sure this global village you inhibit is alot more fulfilling than that. So whats the secret to blogging bliss? I would love a response, as would aid my marks as well. Peace out from the West Coast,

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey Tara, as a virgin blogger I'm not sure I qualify to answer your question, however as a university student in Western Australia studying journalism I found your blog very cool and engaging. Personally I hate computers, maybe it's the perfect climate here but I prefer to spend my leisure time painting or writing on the verandah (uni budget has yet to provide laptop!)Any attempt at blogging to create discussion has resulted in dead end sites filled with school yard rubbish and borderline perverts!! My next assignment is on blogging and I would love to know more about the connection you feel within your global village? What is the secret to blogging bliss?

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have a Ebay store. My store and blog are my creative outlet. I loved your blog. The add thing is new to me-um. I must prepare Um It is good to circumspect, it is good for peace-loving---is it enough? Strength is good and self reliant is good-my ebay store including being one of many blog superstars is satisfying. Visit my store and sign my guess book. Sip coffee or tea. Win something for you! Best Wishes Vicky

    ReplyDelete
  35. She must be jealous and doesn;t understand the blog thing. Research shows that it helps keep you socially connected even during trying times. For me it keeps me motivated to take constant pix. If thats all it does I say it is still worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Half of the is lost thinking what people think about you and other half brooding over them....learn to give a damm

    ReplyDelete
  37. Your blog is simply wonderful. =)
    It's your blog so you should write whatever you want to. Like a lot of people before me has said; the point with a blog is to share your experiences, thoughts and ideas. And you do it in a very interesting and telling way. Keep up the good blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  38. you should check out

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/05/07/blog.therapy/index.html

    you have agreat blog keep it up

    ReplyDelete
  39. hey, i hope you would open my blog. your blog is really good!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Huh maybe I'm confused but I dont think there is anything wrong or unusual about a blog being self-promoting.

    ReplyDelete
  41. If your blog is about your life, experience's, and so on, I would call it self reporting, not self promoting. This is not a bad thing, People love to read about what is happening to other people. I have a few of my favorites, I'm sorry to say this is the first time I read yours, that I check on a regular basis. I am totally into reading blogs, and have just recently started blogging. I am still learning.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sure, go ahead blog about stupid comments. It helps to get it out. It's like your own Dear Diary.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Just now seeing your blog. I went back into the archives and saw how long it took for people to start commenting. Just proves how devoting you are to writing. Read many of the blogs and you are inspiring to keep going. Many people don't realize that they inspire other... you just did that for me. You go, girl! KC

    ReplyDelete
  44. wow three years? man, I just started mine...lol. to answer your question, no, blogs are no self serving...they are a way for us to express ourselves. It also helps us to network with other people who share our interests and...wait..that is kind of self serving isn't it...umm...never mind, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have had multiple blogs for years and wouldn't give them up for the world!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Great! Appreciate it. I guess it's the "community" we miss these days. Howdy, neighbor. Tnanks for sharing. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I thought I would de-lurk to say that you have a wonderful blog and am lucky to call myself a loyal reader.

    -tarametblog fan in the Mile High City!

    ReplyDelete
  48. your blog seems really fun!
    i was just browing and your blog really caught my eye. i think your life reminds me a little of sex in the city.

    ReplyDelete
  49. i totally lave ur blog, it's awesome!!! i totally think blogs are for venting ur feelings, totally love da blog tho!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think you blogging is great. Even though we dont hold an actual conversation its great to know whats going on in your life, and to dream of what it could be like. Whowever said that to to is jealous of some sort. All a blog is an online journal or diary. lots of love cuz keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  51. For anonymous jones - the old classroom maxim was "I before E, except after C" - received is the correct spelling

    ReplyDelete
  52. Of course blogs are self serving - isn't that the point?

    When we manage to make them funny and/or entertaining then they may well have an appeal to others, but they will always be the ultimate in self indulgence for most of us. Doesn't mean we have to stop doing it does it?

    Ignore your friend - she doesn't get it (or is just being bitchy)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Maybe it is self serving, so be it. $200 a week to a shrink or blog about myself? Hmmm, I will serve myself, and love reading yours! I think the comment was made by someone who really needs to service themselves, if you know what I mean!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Well, yes blogs are self-serving. Was there another purpose to them? Mine is entirely self-serving, as is my website, if you really look at it - its all self-promotion.

    Thanks for the tip about the cupcake place in North Hollywood/Studio City. I'll look for it. It may be a fun thing to get someone for a birthday or something. And you see? You did a mitzvah (jewish for good deed).

    ReplyDelete
  55. Is your blog self-serving? Sure. But why does that term have to have a negative connotation? B/c your blog is not written in a "selfish" manner.

    And your blog doesn't have to be exclusively self-serving. Because it's not. Your blog serves a purpose for other people, also, whether they read it for information, entertainment, or to keep tabs on you. ;)

    Your blog serves you and it serves others. And that's what makes it so GREAT!!

    ~SL

    ReplyDelete
  56. I love blogging. I do mine primarly on myspace though. I love reading blogs as well. Who cares if they are self-serving you never know what stranger is going to come along and need to hear something you have to say. Blogging is an emotional release - we all need that!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks, Tara, for this post. I have friends tell me that my posts are self serving ( on my myspace blog, not my blogspot one) and boastful. Well, it is MY blog afterall.. and if they didn't want to know about my fab life, they wouldn't read it, right? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  58. i think keeping a blog is a creative way of connecting with people, sharing your thoughts, or just recording memories. i love my blog, its an empty chalkboard for me to do what i will with. (stop by anytime, as if you arent busy enough already lmao) i find your blog entertaining so dont stop (which sounds like you wont anyway cos youre as addicted as me lol) have a great day tara :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. I think blogs can be self-serving, but it doesn't mean that they don't serve a purpose for others either! It's a great outlet but also interesting to those that want to take a peek into the lives of others all around the world.

    -Elle, self-indulgent blogger

    ReplyDelete
  60. I don't know how self-serving your blog is, but you do a good job with it. It is none of my business anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I think jealous friend, not self-serving. I love my blog, it's a great way for non-creative, non-expressive, non-writer to be a creative, expressive, writer. and of course, keep my family (out of state) "in the know". My readers (though few) would be crushed if I stopped. AND I can hardly wait to someday have my blog published (by me) for the coffee table. It's the ultimate diary, journal, scrapbook.

    ReplyDelete
  62. What's wrong with being self-serving?

    ReplyDelete
  63. self promoting? Isn't that what a blog is though? Good attitude, it's your space, keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Of course blogs are self serving, but that doesn't mean the blogger is selfish or conceited. If that was what your 'friend' was implying, then she really doesn't know you at all. Even casual readers of your blog can see that you're a normal and down to earth. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Tara--- My sister and I just started blogging recently and we love it. I'm so annoyed by your friend who told you that your blogs were self serving. Isn't that what a diary is? If you love writing and you like the response that it brings you, who cares!!! I say get down with your bad self!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I love your Blog. I just discovered it today and I have already Stumbled It!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi...

    I just started ..once again my blog....kinda for similar reasons...I like doing it....I quit once ...because a comment said to me by a "friend"..self serving...well honey what isnt now adays?...I found your blog tonight..well really this morning...cheers to you darlin...I like your creativeness(sp)...and maybe your friend who told you such un kind words ...should be moved from friend colume to the ..Hummmm colume...just a thought...or maybe she was just having a bad day..and needed to put her stuff on you...any way your delightful keep blogging....Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  68. Who the heck cares if your blog is self-serving. Its short for web log right? Isn't a log really just a diary? Isn't it supposed to be self serving? And isn't it the individual's perogative the content of said log? If your sister has a problem with that, she should start her own. Keep doing what you do. You're obviously doing a good job. Keep up the good work.

    Brittany

    downoffthedragon.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. My blog is focused on fashion and beauty trends. Check this out: http://stylewriter1.blogspot.com

    I appreciate it. xox.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi!

    A blog is meant to be about the owner. He / she has the right to decide what goes on it.
    Let it be self-promoting! What's wrong in that?

    My first visit here and I do not find it to be self - promoting at all.

    If you ask me about ads, I was never comfortable with it. But, each and every individual has his own views, right?


    Keep writing
    GBU
    Arti

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Tara, I will de-lurk as well and say I love your blog. I check it regularly. Do you remember me from the Vegas trip? Congrats on your engagement.

    ReplyDelete
  72. So blog aren't supposed to be self-serving? Hell, I've been doing it wrong for six years now... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Self-serving? Self-promoting? It is, after all, a LOG, a Web-log. What does that person want you to write about, world peace?

    Anyway, stumbled on yours while getting started on mine. Nice work.

    Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  74. Blogging in my case is therapy in a specific circumstance in my life. It's helping immensely. I don't think your friend understands what blogging is truly about. She/He means well, I'm sure. You just keep blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Unless your blog is filled with other people's lives then sure, it's self serving. But so?

    Isn't that really what they're for? Not only can we journal our lives for our own enjoyment...complete with photos and links to places and other people...we can keep friends and family connected. Even make new friends!

    Keep writing. I just ran across your blog and am enjoying reading about everything.

    ReplyDelete
  76. How do you do the add thing, and I just happened to click on the most viewed blogs and your name was on there, read one, and was instantly stuck lol. I wouldn't care what others think, so what if it is self promoting. After all, you are a New Yorker :P.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Shae (yep, that Shae)May 23, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Keep on trucking, Tara! I love the new layout - and there's always room in the world for more cupcake updates!

    And OMG - congratulations on your upcoming wedding! ^.^

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...