Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Blogging: More Exercise for the Brain

At left: Grandad's award for Head Rambles.

People still occasionally ask me questions such as, "What's a blog?" and "Why start a blog?" I've answered such questions on both of my own blogs, but it's a matter I return to from time to time.

In short, blogging involves writing, which in turn involves thinking or exercising the brain. Blogging also provides an easy means of connection with far-flung friends and relatives who may be interested in your thoughts and activities. It is a democratic means of expression that does not depend on editors. Anyone can blog, and it generally costs nothing. Of course it seldom pays in the monetary sense, either. That's all right with me.

This train of thought came from this morning's reading of Grandad's post on his Head Rambles blog.

Discussing the Irish Blog Awards, where he was a co-winner (with Grannymar) in the Personal Blog category, Grandad writes,
"There is a lot of talk at the moment about Irish blogging. With the events of last weekend, I suppose that is natural. I have seen accusations that the Blog Awards were nothing more than a self congratulatory exercise in mutual back slapping where bloggers betray their very nature - that of a solitary semi-anonymous author typing in the back bedroom. A very fair comment. I agree with it entirely. But I would also say there is nothing wrong with that."

Grandad goes on to say, "Bloggers, in general, do it for the fun of it. It is a personal thing. Some will blog to showcase their business, or to pass on their expertise in some field or other. Others do it to showcase their talents, be it photography, poetry or writing. I don’t think there are many who deliberately set out to influence people. I rant about the nanny state and how wrong I think it is. If I influence people, then I am delighted, but basically all I am doing is stating a personal opinion."

Few blogs qualify as deathless prose or great art, and some of them strike me as either empty or silly, or both. Even the best may have their low moments. However, as an advocate of writing for all, especially seniors, I agree with Grandad: blogging is, indeed, a personal thing. If you're looking for a way to express your thoughts, begin a blog. If you want to see what others are saying, read blogs.

To read the rest of what Grandad has to say, go to

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Grandad said...

Hi Marlys,

Many thanks for the mention. I'm honoured, indeed.

However I should point out that my wife [Granny, of] wasn't actually an entrant, though she was at the ceremony. Grannymar is coincidentally a 'senior' writer from Northern Ireland. A lot of people have made the wrong assumption!!!

seniorwriter said...

Sorry about that--if it's true. You're such a joker, and as you know, we Americans lack a sense of humor.

Marty said...

This is well stated. I'm giving a speech at a university in May about personal blogs, and so I've been giving the subject a lot of thought. Thanks for adding to my ideas!

Grandad said...

Me? A joker? NEVER!

Seriously though, what I said is true. It causes no end of confusion this side of the pond, as we often exchange comments. Saturday was the first time I actually met her.

seniorwriter said...

Thanks, Marty. As you can tell, I'm a great believer in personal blogs. My two blogs help keep me active and "sane."

Thanks, Grandad. I've got it straight now.

H.A. Page said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to do a study on the benefits, cognitively and socially, of blogging? From my media studies, I do think that media can have cognitive effects. Rather than passively watching tv or reading (the latter is more active than the former) we can engage more fully in blogging, I think, and this will have profound (or maybe someday very measurable) effects....

seniorwriter said...

Yes, such a study would be interesting. I'm sure it's been done, or is being done.

Grannymar said...

Thanks for the link.

I am living in Northern Ireland and have been for the past 31 years, although I was born in Dublin.

I was introduced to the whole blogging/podcasting scene in Sept 06 and was followed by Grandad one month later. Granny, from Granny Lost the Plot and wife of Grandad is still a fledgling as she only came on board in March 07. Pity she does post more.