Why Do You Read Blogs?

I’ve been thinking a lot likely about the why of blog reading. This question, along with others, has prompted me to think about why I first starting reading blogs, probably sometime around 2005. It’s been nine years! I could hardly believe it. I started reading blogs to entertain myself mostly. I read blogs by semi-anonymous writers who were very open about their lives and experiences, but never “outed” themselves. I had never met them and had no interest in meeting them. They were anonymous, and I was happy for them to stay that way.

After a few years, I got into “healthy-living” blogs. You know, the kind where the blogger talks about what he/she ate that day, what sort of exercises he/she completed, and general health topics. This phase lasted a while, but I finally realized these sorts of blogs were uninspiring to me. I decided to quit reading them.

I got into reading Spain-expat blogs in 2009, when I came to Spain for the second time. I sometimes felt lonely and isolated, and so reading these blogs allowed me to identify with the blogger and his/her situation. I found more and more blogs (including those of fellow auxiliares de conversación), and reading these blogs helped me to get through some tough moments in my life. It even allowed me to make friends! (I swear, I have met some of you in real life.)

Through the years, my tastes have changed. I now no longer look to be inspired or to read some idealized version of someone’s life in Spain. I don’t look for travel guides or tips on how to behave myself in a certain country. Rather, I look for authenticity, for personal connections. I like to read bloggers who share their true selves, even if that blogger only has ten readers. I’d rather read an imperfect version of someone’s life instead of only the good times.

What about you? What do you look for in a blog?

17 comments

  1. Great topic! I’d like to be better writer but I don’t think my blog is the place for it. It’s more of a dump for the material that PREVENTS me from becoming a better writer. :) And I still sort of have a sick fascination with HLBs.

  2. I remember the first blog I read was one for “real” Castilian, in contrast to what textbooks teach you. The second: yours. I discovered your blog by chance. After googling “life in Spain,” I eventually made my way here. I read this blog to live vicariously as I hope to one day realize my dream and live in Spain.

  3. Hmmm, great question. At this moment I think I read them as a bit of escapism. I love reading about other folks adventures, especially those who break out of the “9 to 5″ norm and live life with a different set of rules.

  4. I don’t read a lot of blogs. I’ve tried reading other travel blogs but for me, they’re more “showy” than personal if you know what I mean. I do like yours. love reading about how you enjoy your suegra’s cooking but also miss your hometown in Indiana. Life is not all sunshine and siestas, and I feel like some people just like to write about the good stuff.

  5. i’d never been interested in blogs until i found this type of blogs about foreigners in Spain…..i like to know their opinions about the country, whether they have knowledge or show interest, or whether they have fallen into the fake stereotype of flamenco and bullfighting applied to all Spaniards, etc I’m just curious!

    some blogs only show great times or fun….they look plastificados (plastic-ish) or artificial, so no need to say that i don’t like them at all.

  6. I started blogging back in 2008 (so about five and a half years ago) back on Blogger when I was first studying abroad in Malaga. However I do not recommend that anyone go back and read those posts! Oh my god, they are embarrassing. I didn’t really find travel blogging until 2010, a few months before I left for Madrid to do my Master’s. And then I discovered a whole world I didn’t even know existed–Gary Ardnt and co as I like to call them. The fact that people actually did this for a living and there was even a Con for it (TBEX IS the Comic Con of travel blogging) boggled my mind. Obviously I preferred reading blogs about living in Spain and that’s how I found yours.

    And I like yours for your honesty and the fact that you bring up homesickness and that kind of thing. I never really get very personal in my blog like that (I’m a private person to begin with) but I really appreciate the way you write about your experiences living away from your family. I know you’ve been having conflicted feelings about blogging lately (or at least that’s what I’ve inferred), but I hope that doesn’t keep you from posting once in awhile.

    1. Thanks for this comment. I loved reading it!

      I think I will keep posting but I’m trying to let myself post what I really want to instead of what I think I need to.

  7. I read blogs because I like to learn new things, and I find that includes learning about people’s experiences and the lessons they’ve learned. I always like seeing if I can bring myself to a humble enough level (lol, sounds odd, but it’s true) to take in other people’s lessons, because I’ve always struggled with being a bit of a smartass. I like having a blog for two reasons, though: to become a better writer, and to reflect on my experiences. I find it helps me with my memory, too, as I often forget things that shouldn’t be forgotten. Writing is my method of preserving things in my brain!

    I can’t even remember when I began reading blogs, though. It must have been a very, very long time ago, because I started writing at 6 or 7, and started my first site around 11-12 years old. It’s great to simply read, and hope you can take something from it.

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