I recently read somewhere that there are now more than 70 million blogs. I can't confirm this, because my own efforts at a hand count have stalled at around 37. But let's say it's true. And let's say that I am correct in assuming that about 98.8 percent of these blogs consist of mindless blather, narcissistic ruminations and erroneous conclusions -- which is to say, they are a lot like this one. That means there are roughly 69,160,000 blogs out there that really, really suck. Even if nobody reads them, that's still a lot of productivity down the toilet. Somebody should do a study.
When they do, I'll blog about it. In the meantime, some more mindless blather: Why do so many people take it upon themselves to write a blog? I'm glad you asked.
1. Because they can. Lore Sjöberg of Wired put it best (much as I'd like to take credit for the line myself): "Creating your own blog is about as easy as creating your own urine." So true. Look, if it wasn't easy, I wouldn't be doing it. Unlike the desktop publishing phenomenon 20 years ago, blogs require no equipment beyond a Wal-Mart computer and free wi-fi. Nor do they require any design sensibility, as you can verify by clicking the "next blog" button. Or, for that matter, remaining right here. All you need is some time on your hands and at least one acquaintance with an e-mail account so you can send them the link. Unless you're satisfied, as I am, just to have the blog all to yourself.
2. For the money. Everyone knows the riches that can accrue through Google's AdSense program, which promises "a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages." Uh, yeah, content. But let's get right to the monetizing. I'm no math major, but if I were to fully AdSense this site, based on the flood of traffic I'm getting right now, I calculate I could afford a seven-year-old Honda Civic in about 4,000 years. That's some righteous monetizing, friends.
3. For the lasting relationships. Nothing warms my heart more than the close personal connections I've formed over these past two months of blogging. Recently I received a comment from Cyndi, who in just that short a time felt she knew me well enough to make her hot and nasty sex videos available to me at a discounted price.
Comments are the coin of the realm in the blogosphere; nobody (except Cyndi) gives you one unless you first leave one, preferably expressing solidarity with their views. Even when people don't comment, you can still get to know them through Sitemeter, which lets you see the location of the ISP from which a visitor reaches your blog. Thus I have become fond of Duluth, Minn., who drops in periodically and stays an average of 2 seconds. Hail, Duluth! Let's have coffee sometime.
4. It beats watching TV. Seriously, have you tried sitting through "John From Cincinnati"? If I'm going to sit around watching crap, I prefer it to be crap I can massage and polish ... oops, bad metaphor. What I mean is, I get more pleasure out of tweaking my excellent blog and resizing its stolen jpegs than I'd get in a whole season of "America's Got Talent." But that's just me.