Why People Blog

Commentary by Judy Winters

I put an end to my first blog seven years ago. The blog just didn’t meet my lofty expectations. Traffic was stagnant and there was hardly any comment on my posts. Blogging, for me, seemed like a failed experiment.

After I posted my farewell entry, I started to receive a plethora of emails from strangers who claimed to be readers of my blog; they called themselves "the silent readers". While these people were not active readers of my blog and many of them had never posted a single comment, they were there the entire time visiting my blog as much as their lives permitted and enjoying what it had to offer.

Many of them claimed they were inspired by my stories. One reader told me how reading a post about leprosy and volunteerism inspired him to become a missionary, serving needy people around the world. Another described how a post about the boundless reach of poetry inspired her to pick up the pen and compose verses; this was something she had not done since her high school days. One guy even claimed my blog propelled him to scrap his suicide plan. Through reading some of my super sad stories, he realized how fortunate he was compared to a lot of people; he was in no position to complain. And the list goes on and on.

I learned a great lesson from reading the emails. I realized that my previous approach to blogging was wrong. I measured success in terms of quantity and not quality. How often can one change someone else’s life for the better? If my blog could have a positive impact on even one person, my blogging is a success. To all bloggers out there who feel neglected, as a result of low blog traffic and empty comment count, this is a good reason to shoulder on.

Three weeks after I put my first blog under permanent hiatus, I started a new blog. I did not let any of my old readers know about the new blog; I wanted to start fresh. Due to my hectic life, I sometimes have to re-post old articles to fill the long gap time between posts. But as long as the blog still has at least one reader, I pledge to continue its existence…..until the end.

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