The Five Motives Why We Post

Blogging is not what it used to be.Do you agree or disagree with this? Several years when Twitter and Facebook came in this was a question asked. The answer might differ from person to person. But the answered maybe yes and no: Yes, because aside from blogs there are now several social media channels that can more easily share and spread information. I is now one of the long hand forms of doing things on the Net; and No, because there are still a number of people blogging and the reason they do this is still the same.

George Orwell once wrote an essay – Why I Write. If you look at the reasons still hold true even for blogging. Orwell mentioned the four motives: (i) Sheer Egoism ; (ii) Aesthetic Enthusiasm; (iii) historical impulse; (iv) Political purpose. Orwell explained that these motives differ from writer-to-writer and in fact may exist in different degrees within each writer. He described the four as such:

(i)Sheer egoism – Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.

(ii)Aesthetic enthusiasm. – Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.

(iii)Historical impulse.– Desir e to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.

(iv)Political purpose.–Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

Now these four motives are the same motives that drive bloggers to blog.

So if you walk among and within bloggers you will find that whether one is a political, technology, food or lifestyle blogger you will find one, two, three or all four motives driving them to blog.

But of course this is not the only reason why we blog.

Orwell before introducing the four motives deliberately moved out the fifth motive that drives one to write – to earn a living. So now we have five:

Sheer Egoism
Aesthetic Enthusiasm
Historic Impulse
Political Purpose
and to Earn a Living

Earning a living – This is interesting. Over dinner a few weeks I was faced with this question how does a blogger earn money. There is no simple answer.

First there are bloggers who have independent sources of income. They maybe people who received stipends and allowances. They may be people who have steady jobs or steady income independent of blogging.

Second there are bloggers whose income are somewhat related to blogging. They may have consultancy businesses; blog hosting and other related services; speakers who earn from seminars; and they may also be part of an industry that comes into contact with blogging – like Public Relations and marketing firms.

Third there are bloggers whose incomes are directly related to blogs. They allow ads in their blogs. These ads differ from banner ads to text-link ads and to advertorials – paid posts – and others. Payment can come in the form money, gift checks or items. It is important to note though that not all who have ads in their blogs are making money, far from it. As in all business endeavor there are success stories and there are business failures.

There are those that use their blogs for their own business. A restaurant owner or hotel may have a blog that talks about the different things within and around their business. Or a blog maybe used as an online store for Jane selling necklaces or Tom selling comic books.

Earning a living and blogging is difficult. It is a balaning act bewtween income received and credibility perceived. And even if you earn independently from the blog at one point or another the blogger will come face-to-face with the proverbial and much personal serpent and forbidden fruit.

But I meander.

There are different motives reasons why we blog and because of this there are different bloggers.

But then again what is the importance of this now that a blog is just one platform of many available for an individual. Today, an individual at the computer desk or accessing his mobile phone can be at several online places at one time: Today, an individual can post the same photo on a blog, post it on Facebook; post it on Tumbler; tweet about and post it on Instagram.Yes. Times have changed and times are going change. But what motivated writers, bloggers, and individuals before still motivates the Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants at present and again they are:

Sheer Egoism
Aesthetic Enthusiasm
Historic Impulse
Political Purpose
and to Earn a Living

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