Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Mystery of Capital Freedom

Running dry on blog posts but badly needing to post something, I thought I'd mosey on over to Capital Freedom. Sometimes she gets things wrong and elaborating on her articles always generates some good writing.

But to my surprise, she hasn't posted since April. Early April. Strange, I thought: CF usually posts once every day or two. Two months is unheard of for her. Granted there have been events in her life that justify taking a little break (finals, work, etc) but no one is that busy.

This got me pondering the economics of keeping a blog. Most blogs go for a few weeks and then stop. Other blogs persist but its path can easily be rocky. This one, for example, just started its third year. Of the two founders, I'm the only one that posts regularly with Mike taking occasional (and lengthy breaks). We've added three posters since our founding: Jenny, who's only posted once; Ron, who posted often but has since fallen off the face of the earth; and Tim, who posted regularly, disappeared for almost a year and is now back and writing with all the frequency of student hopped up on coffee and pulling an all nighter to finish his 30-page paper on the voting system in India.

I think a lot of the explanation lies in why people stop working out. You do it a few times, it feels good, then you stop going one day. After the day passes and the world doesn't end, you don't go out the next day, the next. Pretty soon you don't go. But others can't stop going. They step up how often they work out. They work-out harder. They live their lives around the culture. Blogging is like exercise for your mind; it's hard for some people to keep it up, but for others, it's addictive.

The addiction can be useful if a lot of people visit the blog, which can also feed the desire to post. If L3 recieved 1,000 hits a day, I would certainly write more: I'm reaching more people and I also would feel the pressure to post. Which brings us to this article's title. CF once told me she posts so often because if she doesn't, people e-mail her wondering when the next post is. Has she finally become narrowly self-interested, shrugging off the cries and desires of her fans? Maybe she hasn't checked her e-mail in two months.


Jenna said...

"Blogging is like exercise for your mind; it's hard for some people to keep it up, but for others, it's addictive."

I agree completely. I once thought blogging was done mostly by bored, unhappy people with "nothing better to do" or wanting some outlet from a bad social situation, in other words, having no one to talk to.

Then I started actually blogging. I've found that I keep up my posts when I am at my best. My happiest, my most thoughtful. If I'm bored or depressed, I won't bother. It's something to do when there are things worth thinking about and events worth discussing.

Tim said...

Geeze, you hit it right on the mark, David! Coffee really does fuel my recent productivity - that, and the fact that I'm underpaid, and given the comfortable work environment where I can blog in front of my boss :-P

Anonymous said...

All it takes is one time. Skipping something once can easily lead to a second time. Then a third. Suddenly you realize you stopped doing it entirely. For some people it's harder to get back into a habit than keep an existing habit going.


Michael said...

Maybe she feels as if all the questions which lend themselves to this format have been addressed well enough.