I’ve started reading a lot more blog posts as I’ve taken up writing this blog. I have had to focus on which blogs to subscribe to, and in particular which posts will have a real and positive impact on my thoughts.
I realize that I’m being a bit narrow, and ignoring entertainment or artistic value. I do read and enjoy novels and short stories, and don’t require them to have impact on my life (though I do believe they’re ultimately good for me) – the enjoyment is enough.
However, I’m mainly looking to read blog posts that are informative, persuasive, challenging and/or inspiring.
The easiest to handle is blog posts that just tell me what I already know or believe. I try to be careful not to just read these, and to avoid ones that really don’t add anything. But, I do enjoy them if well written, and am always interested in new anecdotes and examples that illustrate the ideas that I’m often trying to convey, or better ways of explaining things.
Next, I love reading blog posts that get me thinking about things I’ve never really thought about. This being today’s world, far too much is happening for me to keep up with everything, but I discover quite a bit from the blogs I follow, along with Twitter and Facebook. It is a challenge getting my mental filter right – I don’t want to waste time on things I won’t care about or miss out on things I would care about – but I have to keep trying.
The final category is the toughest – those blog posts that contradict what I believe. This is where the most value could come. I tend to read these posts, and do my best to understand the author’s perspective as best as I can. That way, if I stay disagreeing with the author’s point of view, I at least better understand their perspective and appreciate the objections to my point of view. And, it does offer the chance of me changing my views, maybe not to the extent of disagreeing with what I previously thought, but at least reaching a more balanced view that incorporates the two perspectives.
So, I get value from blog posts in different ways, and when I write my blog posts, I’ll hope that my readers may similarly get value in these sorts of different ways.