I recently attended a conference where blogs were not only discussed but there was a conference blog (and a session blog for one of the sessions). I'd been thinking about the nature of blogging for a while and this got me thinking even harder.
When I started this blog it was a way for me to put "out there" thoughts and links that I thought were interesting but that most probably didn't matter to anyone else. Friends could check, read and (or) ignore as they chose and I wasn't wasting their bandwidth e-mailing them stuff. The concept of belonging to The Blogosphere really didn't enter into my thoughts. Then I noticed that people outside my immediate circle were noticing what I was writing and some were commenting on it. While that hasn't changed what I post, it has made me think more about the community for whom I'm writing.
With this conference, the blog wasn't really a success by most blogger's standards. Few people really commented on the sessions and discussion was limited. Still, given the geographically diverse group of people that attended, a blog would appear to be a good way to continue the conversations started. Why a blog rather than an e-mail list? Because you can opt-out of a blog: it is your choice to read and respond. Because a blog is less annoying than an e-mail message with a ton of quoted previous comments. And because a blog can track comments on different topics easier than an e-mail list can.
I think the next time this group starts blogging, it'll be a richer experience for all. As for my blog, well... more on that later.