In the immortal words of James Lileks, writing a blog is "unbridled narcissism."
That's just one of the things that I learned at the Minnesota Blogger Conference today. I learned a lot.
I learned that it's not unusual that I write about myself. Apparently a lot of bloggers do. Really, looking back, I shouldn't be surprised. I read a lot of personal blogs, and I know that others write them. I guess it was just reassuring to see and meet a bunch of other people who basically keep a journal as a blog, like me.
I learned all about Google Analytics. I already have it set up on this blog, but it was really great to learn how to use it better and learn more about the visitors to my site.
I learned about blogging tools, like Posterous, Tumblr, and SquareSpace. I'm contemplating moving my blog to a new place, but I have a lot of research to do on the subject. If I really am serious about this blog thing, though, I really should consider something more serious than Blogspot.
Perhaps most importantly, I learned that I'm shy. Of course, I already knew that I was shy. I've been shy my whole life. But this is the first time in quite a while that I've been thrown into a situation where I don't know anybody. I'm not good at talking to people I don't know. I'm not good at introducing myself. It kind of felt like the first day of school or the first day at a new job. Also, there was no booze. I'm way more outgoing when booze is involved (just asked the folks who shared a table with me at the Bulldog after the conference... it doesn't even take much to get me talking).
Wow, I just realized how sad that sounds. I don't need alcohol to meet people. It just makes things easier for me. I think I was just intimidated by the number of people there - over a hundred bloggers in one room. And a lot of these people were successful, making lives and careers out of their blogs. Mine is just a lark, really, something I do for fun.
Of course, that gets me thinking, too - was this conference even for someone like me? A casual blogger who sporadically posts about her life? I don't know. I enjoyed it, so that has to count for something. I did take something home from it, too (and I'm talking about more than just the notebooks they gave to every attendee). But I doubt I'll ever achieve the kind of success through blogging that many at this conference have gotten.
Well, whether I belong or not, I still believe James Lileks with the whole unbridled narcissism thing. I started keeping this blog because I like talking about myself and the things on my mind. Is that so wrong?
(Side note: the spell check on the Blogger web interface does not think that "bloggers" is a word, nor does it think "Blogspot" is a word. However, "blogger" singular is a word, as is "blogging" and "blogs." I think they might need to expand their dictionary to encompass more words related to their subject matter.)