blogging just to be creative

June 23, 2008 ·

chris brogan wrote a blog post today encouraging bloggers, podcasters, videographers, whatever that they should approach their content from the audience's mindset; namely, "what's in it for me?"

while i can accept that from a certain standpoint, i don't think it is universal. for many, the blog is a form of expression, much like an artist's painting, a musician's song or a director's movie. depending on your blog's objectives, the audience's role is different. the blog as art (a stretch?) is simply an outlet for the author's creative energy. the audience is secondary to simply expressing themselves.

painter's didn't paint for others (unless they were commissioned of course), but because there was a burning desire within them to do so. that was their talent, their skill, their passion, their outlet. same with creatives of all kinds. it's human to want to express ourselves, for ourselves.

the audience still gets something out of it, it's just not what drives the content. they get enjoyment, maybe some information or a viewpoint and conversations can happen around the piece, but the function is less about directly giving the audience something or making special efforts to accommodate that.

not that we should never give something back to the audience, but to make all our postings with that ideal doesn't seem entirely right. at the heart of blogging are people who are communicating their interests and passions, the audience comes later. so there is inherently something selfish about it. being creative seems like an okay kind of selfishness.

as chris himself states "we're wired to think as humans" with a "what's in it for me" attitude. the same must hold true for the producers as it is for the readers as we're all human.

the audience ultimately decides if there is something in it for them by choosing to return. there doesn't always need to be a key takeaway or a lesson learned or thought starter. there could be just a subjective, emotional response (ie. love it or hate it). both give the audience something, but different in its overtness and intent. especially if creativity was the impetus.

so i sign off with a question. do we as bloggers write to find an audience or do we write to an audience? do we write at an audience or for one?

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