Blogging Increases Intelligence and Skills.
It may be a hunch, with no serious scientific studies to back it up.
But many blogging pros are saying that operating a blog makes them smarter.
They say that forcing themselves to write something for their blog every day, or every few days, or even just once a week, helps them improve their thinking, their research skills, and their writing style.
For example, consider what Biz Stone says in his book Who Let the Blogs Out? (2004, St. Martin's Griffin, NY):
"With a seemingly infinite supply of information on the Internet, a blogger is forced to choose wisely when offering up a link. Then that blogger is tasked with adding succinct commentary to explain why that link is blogworthy. This in and of itself is not so hard, but doing it everyday exercises the analytical mind because it forces us not only to choose what we think is interesting, but also to pinpoint why we think it is. Then, we convey those thoughts in a short, descriptive paragraph.
Blogging is an information-saturated lifestyle filled with contemplation and expression." (p. 115-116)
"People who become consumed by details are natural bloggers. Not just because they are more likely to blog...but also because they like to tweak, change, edit, redesign, add, remove, and fiddle around with their archives, profile, settings, template, etc." (p. 118)
Bloggers say they can go into their blog archives, read older posts, and see themselves improving as they continued to blog.
Bloggers say you should keep posting to your blog, even if you receive few comments, and even if other blogs fail to notice or mention you. Keep at it, they say, and someday a client or book publisher or some other benefactor will discover you.
Here are some reasons why, I believe, blog readers will not leave a comment:
1. Shyness: not comfortable drawing attention to themselves.
2. Fear of "flaming": can't emotionally handle being harshly criticized by other blog readers.
3. Inarticulate: could be smart, but just not good at expressing their thoughts in writing.
4. Slow reaction: can't think at that precise moment of what to say, but might think of a brilliant comment later, yet not return to post it.
5. Lurking: wants to just quietly read and get a feel for the blog environment before adding their comments to the conversation.
6. Diplomatic: disagrees with a post or comment, but is not in the mood for debate, or is not the type that enjoys expressing a contrary opinion, prefers to keep silent.
7. Temporarily unfit for combat: disagrees with a post or comment, but can't think of the facts or URLs of resources to back up the disagreement.
8. Overwhelmed: is so awe-struck by what you've said, they feel that any added comment would just seem trivial compared with the majesty and grandeur of your post. (I have this problem all the time with my blogs--heh heh. Just joking :^)
Biz Stone also says "don't blog drunk" and if bloggers heed his advice, then there will be more sober people on the planet. That's not a bad development, either.
So, when you feel disappointed about your blog, if it seems obscure and underwhelmed with comments, if no one links to you or mentions your blog, remember: blogging is good for you.
Self-expression is nice, but even more valuable is the sharing of relevant, practical information. Learn facts about something important, then blog about it.
Keep working at your blog. Try to make it astonishing in some way.
Then trust that both you and the blogosphere are better off because of your blogging efforts.