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?