It's funny how things that are originally designed to break down barriers eventually end up becoming somewhat restrictive themselves. Blogging was originally begun as weblogs, on-line diaries where people wrote about their lives or whatever interested them and threw it out to the internet to see what would come back. As time passed people began to think of blogs as a way to make money through advertising, and then as a way to get a book deal, and then as a platform to build brands. Now all things are possible, blogs are large and small, homespun and polished and it's a good thing. Yes, it's sometimes frustrating to see how things have changed but that's evolution. We can't embrace it and abhor it at the same time.
Here's why we started blogging. We were looking for kindred spirits. We were in the southwest mountains of Colorado trying to open a hotel and restaurant and we were feeling isolated from the cooking community. So we started blogging. Our first attempts were tentative and self conscious and over time we became more comfortable. In some ways it helped that we had very few readers in the beginning, it gave us time to find our voices. Nowadays people seem to expect an instant readership and it's just not that easy. It takes time to build an audience. I can't tell you how many times I starting following a blog only to have it peter out. Blogging is a commitment. I have to admit that these days I don't read new sites unless they're recommended by someone and I don't follow them unless I see they've been around for a while and are committed to blogging.
Writing is a funny thing. You like to think that you're doing it for yourself, in actuality it's for the readers. You like to write, they like to read, it's a symbiotic relationship. Blogging is the job you do for yourself, it may lead to other things but it requires commitment. When we started this blog we promised our readers ideas in food. Not necessarily stories or recipes or photography, though it has evolved into that, we promised ideas. Now readers expect daily posts with photos and we do our best to live up to that, keeping in mind that at our core we are still about ideas in food. That's us. Other people develop their blogs for different reasons and have very different styles. The only true standard that you will find is that successful bloggers blog. They keep their promise to their readers and that makes all the difference.
April 2, 2005