Last night, after doing a bit of blog-jumping to follow up on posts and view similar threads of discussions, I began thinking about the phenomenon of blogging and the reason for its popularity today. While pondering, as I am wont to do on occasion, it occurred to me that a blog is much like a campfire.
Campfires appear to have existed in one form or another since the beginning of recorded history, and certainly long before that. Wikipedia says of campfires that they “have been used for cooking since time immemorial.” Other campfire applications and activities that Wiki cites are: “drying wet clothing, alleviating hypothermia, signalling distress, and recreation, in which they include conversation, storytelling, song and roasting marshmallows or making s’mores.”
Aside from drying wet clothing and alleviating hypothermia, for which try as I might I can’t find applicability to blogging, the other campfire applications and activities are, it seems to me, quite similar.
Signalling Distress: Ah, yes. A rant in today’s vernacular 🙂 I’ve never seen any statistics on rants, but rants must rank pretty high on the list of possible tags to a blog post. Rant tags seem to attract a high number of “hits” for any post to which they are attached. Are bloggers undergoing a lot of distress these days, or is there more to be distressed about or is ranting just de rigeur when you’re a blogger?
Conversation: A blog is, indeed, a conversation between the blogger and his or her followers. The blogger posts. The follower replies. I happened upon a blog post a few days ago to which there were 498 replies (including responses from the blogger). That’s quite a conversation, probably all night by the campfire!
Storytelling: If nothing else, a blogger is a storyteller. It doesn’t matter whether the blogger is a professional writer or a hobbyist, or whether the story is fiction or non-fiction or the genre of story that’s being told. A blog can be a wonderful repository of stories.
Song: Many blogs are devoted exclusively to musical topics: fan blogs for both today’s artists and the artists of yesteryear; blogs for song lyrics; discography blogs; and reviews of music and musicians, just to cite a few. Sometimes, if my blog post is going particularly well and the muse is on my side, I’ll even hum a little bit while I’m blogging. It’s a good thing that the blog doesn’t capture that for public consumption;)
Roasting Marshmallows and Making S’mores: Rest assured that if it’s a recipe you’re looking for or a cooking technique or practical food advice for your next camping trip or a review of the latest and best kitchen equipment, there’s a blog for it.
So, if you’re a blogger and you’re encountering writer’s block, follow the KH’s Writer’s Block Cure: pause, take a deep breath, pull up a log and imagine that you’re seated ’round the old campfire, just swappin’ tales!
Oh, and please — save me a s’more!!