Why am I blogging

40 days of blogging is still ongoing and several participants are answering why they are blogging. The topic triggered some reflection why I am blogging myself...for almost 12 years already.

I must admit that I started this blogspot by accident: in 2005 my Canadian host sister was blogging and had set her comment policy restricted to people that had a login on blogger. As I wanted to leave a comment on her post, I needed to register on Blogger and in that registration process they asked for an alias and a domain name...and before I realised it I had registered "goofballsworld.blogspot.com".

It's in my nature to hold on to good memories for a long time. I love to reflect on fun activities in the past, browse through pictures and relive fun things I've done.  I also love to stay in touch with old friends whereas I find it harder to make new friends. In that context, I was writing before 2005 long e-mails to my host families and Canadian classmates every few months. I wanted to tell them how I was doing, what was going on in my life, ... While it was my intention to send them short regular personalised e-mail conversations, I had slowly evolved to lengthy group e-mails every so often even though I did not enjoy receiving such e-mails myself. I spent a lot of time writing these e-mails and because they took a lot of time, they gathered even more information during the writing process as new things were happening that I added in the mail as it was evolving. I wouldn't be surprised that some of the recipients didn't enjoy receiving such a monstor e-mail in their inbox filled with paragraphs of my stories on vacations I had done, my studies, etc etc.

So the goofballsworld.blogspot.com all of a sudden created an opportunity to stay in touch with my transatlantic friends in a different way.   Rather than sending huge e-mails every x months, I could blog regular short updates. Rather than push the information to my friends, it would be available for those who are interested when they had time and interest to read.  And bonus: I could add pictures to my stories!  Additionally I could focus in more personal e-mail conversations again, as I wouldn't feel the need to tell my entire live.

And so this blog was born.

  • In English, even though I realize very well that I dare to accumulate language errors in each post. I don't write in English because I want to do special (in the eyes of the Belgians) or because I want to show off.  I write in English because I hope both my Belgian friends and family as well as my Canadian friends and family can read along.

    Also in a rather informal writing style, as stories cross my mind without too much style reviewing. This is a personal blog, not a commercial semi-professional one.
  • With stories what is happening in my life as if I answer the question from a colleague at the coffee machine on Monday in the office or from a friend I have not seen in ages that I cross all of a sudden on the street: "How are you doing? "  "How has your weekend been? " "How are the children doing?" "What have you been up to lately?"

    So no, you won't find extremely personal posts on here: as I wouldn't share at the coffee machine with a colleague all the details of a friend's illness -to give a potential example- you will not find it here; as I wouldn't start a conversation with a long lost friend on the sidewalk in the city center on potential struggles in my job - to give another potential example- , you won't find it here.  While I do not intentially wish to just post the "pink cloud" happy image, I cannot share e.g. worries that occupy my life on my relatives health issues as it is not my job to describe their struggles.  I'll imply some worries now and then and friends will read between the lines.

    Since I merely answer that type of virtual questions, I talk mostly about all the activities we do, but I don't write a true review or provide information to externals   eg when visiting a zoo, I talk about how fun it was, but I do not list the opening hours, entrance fees etc. I assume that interested people can google it or ask me in a comment for more information.
  • With stories and events that I want to log and archive for myself eg the Kabouter conversations.
  • With short descriptions of Belgian cultural habits now and then that will seem obvious to Belgian readers

In the mean time we are 12 years later.  The peak in the blogosphere seems to have been in 2007-2008 with a lot of interaction among bloggers: I was following a lot of Belgian and North-American blogs and got faithful followers as well. We left comments back and forth and as a result I participated in blog meme's such as Singular Saturday, Wijvenweek, Soap Opera Sunday, ... The focus remained as always a journal of my life, but I also got influenced by other bloggers and I must admit that I counted other bloggers into my target audience as well.

Most of the (transatlantic) blogs that I was reading back then have stopped, comments on my blog have died 😞😞, the illusion that I'll gather a lot of followers is no more.  My writing style, my English and my anonymity (with an e-mail address behind that I honestly rarely check...I've missed winning a blog contest this way. Dugh), seem to ensure I never get any commercial offer as so many other blogs seem to do.  (Yes I admit, there is sometimes a bit of jealousy and yet also relief not to have to deal with that dilemma where I'd probably say no anyway).

And yet I love this space and (unlike some other bloggers apparently) I have never really considered giving up this little spot. The main goal of this blog remains: keeping my friends and family here and elsewhere in the world up to date of what is going on in my life. I hope that some people are interested to stop by now and then. And even if they would not be reading anymore, this spot fulfills my personal need to share, journal and archive activities in my life.  Differently than other social media that are all more momentary (although more interactive), this is a place I can go back to, browse and read again.  Even though I often lack time to add a lot of comments to the pictures I tend to post, there is room and availability to log more thoughts and longer explanations than on other social media.

I am also very happy for the few new real-live friendships that I have found through this blog:  Lies and Yab to just name 2 from Leuven or Allison , Jennifer, Quentin and his wife are now transatlantic friends that I would never have met without this blog! Potentially meeting such great people is also an awesome reason to continue to blog. So if you are in the neighbourhood of Leuven or the High Fenns in the east of Belgium, let me know :)


Jennifer Brown said…
Great post. It is such a personal and interesting thing. Social media has really changed how much we blog, but I agree, I love the medium for writing personal stories and for reflecting back on those stories.

Leslie said…
I agree with Jennifer that social media has really changed how much we blog. It has also changed how much people are reading blogs. I still love doing it, if only for myself! I do miss the interaction between bloggers and that peak blogosphere era you mentioned. It was a lot of fun. I started my blog (in 2006) to connect with people and find a community. Now my blog feels more like a scrapbook or a journal for memories. I like it best when it is both.

My daughter and her friends consider my blog to be a bit of a dinosaur. They prefer Instagram and Snapchat because it is fast. And they are all about getting "likes."

I still read your blog regularly and I love when you stop by mine. I often wonder where some of our old friends whose blogs have disappeared have gone! I cared about them! I'm like you - I love this space. I'm sticking around. :)
Goofball said…
@Jenn: I am glad you are hanging on in the blogosphere so I can keep track how your wonderful family is doing. I really hope that we meet one day. We seem to be every so many years within "1-2 hours" distance from each other but never closer.

@Leslie: I also wonder how some of our "blog friends" from the good old days are doing. Some are connected on FB but some seem to have disappeared. It feels weird because I did start feeling that some were distant friends as you could read so regularly what was going on in their family for so long.

I'm really glad that you keep your dinosaur alive even though we can also connect via other media. I will continue to stop by your blog and see the great pictures you post, to get inspired for fun home activities or read some haikus and get a smile on my face from your beautiful children. Thank you for sticking around!

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