That previous post looked more like a 'Why I Blog' than it was intended to, I think. So, a bit of corrective steering:
* What I was trying to address there was a more specific issue about the 'reality' or otherwise of the people whose blogs one reads. If I were in academic mode, I'd say I was thinking about the construction of subjectivity and the degree to which that is discursive, but I can see your eyes glazing over and so are mine, and I haven't even got to the end of this sentence yet. Nonetheless, that is what I was really thinking about: what a self is, and the extent to which a self can be evoked, and invoked, using nothing but words.
The idea that bodily presence is the only thing that genuinely reifies a connection now seems to me as limited a notion of human relations as the vague idea circulating among my post-hippie peerdom in its younger days that an emotional attachment wasn't 'real' unless the people involved had actually had sex.
I lost my last shred of unease about this one the day it occurred to me that some of the deeply-felt emotional connections in my life that for one reason or another had never made it into bed were far more important and lasting than the handful of ill-judged casual bonks it still pains me to think about. (Except for ... Oh, never mind.)
* I certainly don't care whether blogging is cool or not; fortunately I am too old to care about coolth at all. To my mind, the cutoff age for such concern is about 35, tops; after that, it's just a sign of arrested development.
* Being the first to know the news isn't important for me; most of the 'news' is such that one would be very happy to be the last to know it. And anyway, as has often been pointed out, almost all blogging is response to the news rather than the creation or breaking of it. And the MSM -- in its online incarnations at least, and on radio -- is far more likely to be accurate, and to acknowledge when things are under dispute or have not been confirmed.
*It may have looked, unintentionally, as though I was expressing no interest in the public-life blogs. It's true that it is boring, disheartening and time-wasting to wade through all the dross on a lot of the political and economic blogs' comments threads -- but when it's good, there's nothing like it. There is currently, for example, a long thread about David Hicks at Larvatus Prodeo that's told me more in one read-through than everything else combined that I've ever read or heard on the subject.
While the quality of the ensuing discussion is partly due to the excellence of Atticus's original post (though this logic doesn't always follow), it's the Gestalt of the discussion that's the truly valuable thing, and the way everyone on that thread has made everyone else think hard and formulate well-informed and/or well-constructed responses. You can't buy that kind of education, and you certainly can't get it from any single person or from even the best MSM source.
No, the banal truth is that I blog because
* I rooly enjoy it. Why do I rooly enjoy it? Comms junkie.
* I write for a living, and it's an excellent way to keep my hand in on a daily basis, like a swimmer doing training laps.
* I like finding out what the sorts of people whose tastes and knowledge I respect are reading, listening to, wearing, cooking and thinking. And I lerve reading about the practice of life skills I will never have: Dogpossum's lovely dancing, Ampersand Duck's magical printing, bookbinding and related activities, Anthony's amazing food.
* It's a great way of recording things that I want to, or should, remember: of processing and encapsulating the little bits of daily experience that one usually loses as they float away down the stream of time, but would, in a perfect world, prefer to keep.