One way of looking at this is to say that I never STOPPED blogging, I just shifted my daily updates over to social media, particularly Facebook. Facebook is easy to use and comes with a pretty much captive audience via the Friends list. It is in fact seductively easy to use, so much so that it became much easier to make a quick FB post than to actually write out something thoughtful and share it with the world. The friends list feature, furthermore (alliterate F much?) meant that the audience was largely friendly and enthusiastic, which provides delicious little dopamine drops ad nauseum. In sum, posting to Facebook (thanks to its carefully designed [read: addictive and manipulative] reward metrics) actually feels good in a way that blogging doesn’t.
Another way of looking at this is to note that my old blog had drifted WAY off-brand from its original style, and a time to reboot and reformat was overdue. This dovetails with the fact that I had outgrown what the original Sardonic Shock Syndrome was all about (snark, condescension, aggressive attitude, more than a little bit of white male bullshit). I was, frankly, embarrassed by a lot of my early content and while I am rehabbing that old blog into an updated archive contained within THIS blog, there’s some stuff that I am just not going to show the light of day. With a suitable length of downtime, I’m ready to, as the song goes, get on my hog and ride.
But there are more pragmatic reasons, which really boil down to two important parts of my life right now: Students and Communication. Each component is fairly discrete from the other, but necessarily intertwined, so a bit of clarification is in order.
Students in my classes, and my New Media, Rhetoric, and Writing Studies classes in particular, are looking to write and write more often. One of the best ways to do that is to blog. It helps an author to connect with readers, it provides regular (-ish) writing practice, and it helps the author to organize their thoughts and to in a sense self-inspire. Having made, for example, a proclamation online in a blog, the author can then go and explore that thought more gracefully and with more nuance in fiction…so one hopes. In any event, my students ought to be blogging more, and who am I to recommend they do so if I myself am not blogging? A real asshole, that’s who.
On the topic of communication, I mean to claim all those above /aforementioned benefits for myself (to wit: writing practice, clarity), and to double-down on that whole “connect with readers” thing. As an active, publishing author, it’s kind of important I be find-able both by readers interested in my work and, though it may sound a bit vainglorious or self-centered to suggest it, anyone interested in producing or distributing my work. I write – I like it when that writing is published. Increasingly, publishers want to see an online presence, and here it is: me being present online. The present I present to you. Now. In the present.
And thus, the answers: Why Me? I’m self-promoting and teaching by example. Why Now? There’s no time like the present. Why Blog? Why NOT?