I like Blogs. I have far to many to actually read on my list of blogs to read. I find that reading what someone says when they are posting to the rest of the world can tell me a lot about what that person is about. Not only in the words they say, but in the topics they choose to share and in how they communicate those ideas.
Some of the people in my life I consider friends is only because of the content of their blogs. By the way I am including under my topic of blogs traditional forums that I have participated in, although those tend to be much less personal. I mention this because that is exactly what the first blog to talk about is.
Brightweavings is a fan based web site for an excellent author Guy Gavriel Kay. We talk about our favorite books on the forums there, and interact with each other in fun ways. We actually have had several live meetings where we get together as a group, often with Sir Kay, and hang out for a weekend. As I posted after the first time I attended on of these meetings, "It is like walking into a room of people for the first time and talking with all of your friends". I run the Secret Santa over on the site for the past couple of years. That is the sort of group it is, send a present to someone somewhere else in the world that you may or may not have ever met.
CAB is one of my friends over on Multiply. She lives up in New England (nothing like me), deals with computers for a living (somewhat like me) and is a very insightful person in what she blogs about (and we all know I don't blog, and more FULL than have insight). I like the fact that the two of us can talk occasionally in IM or in comments back and forth in her blog without pressure to continue a conversation or be too serious. I can hear the blank spaces she leaves sometimes when she posts about issues in life and cultural differences. Overall I know more about how someone else views the world and know that if I had a question about that side of things I could go to her and ask. Or just share some really good chocolate.
Another person I like to read from is Simon. He has a great wit and his blogs almost always bring a smile to my face. We live is such radically different places (South Florida to Edmonton Canada) that we can tease about weather easily, but we both fully get the family topics he often posts about. He small side comments reveal how fun it is to sit in a room with him and just hang out talking. He also is an excellent example in the art of blogging, and I use his during the class I teach to the public about blogging.
Emilie is someone else that I met through Brightweavings. I liked her posts in that forum, and meeting her in person was a great surprise. Her smile was radiant (and not only because she was the designated pregnant person at that gathering) and with English not being her native language she held her own masterfully. When I started to read her family blog I greatly enjoyed being able to look in on her life. The chance to see her and Frank interact, watch X grow up and now O also (and she has just that mischievous streak in her to name her kids with names that work well that way) through her blog has been great fun. I also use her blog in class also to show how a multi-lingual blog is important in this world where English is not always the first language encountered.
There are many others that I read on a regular basis and I am sure that one day I will post about those people as well. What I feel these four examples bring together is that blogs can be fun, entertaining and keep someone informed about living a life that you did not intend to. I know that I am not the primary audience on any of those. Emile and Simon mostly post for family members and friends to keep them updated on that is happening. CAB has some excellent friends and she gets to vent to the world. Honestly it is only the people that keep me at Brightweavings. I have found some very fun friends through the site, and my posts there tend to be mostly off topic and I do see my self as more the Knight Errant there, kept around for entertainment purposes for the most part.
But I feel part of a larger community by reading these expressions by others. I know that I know more about others, how they are handling the world and the small things I can do better or differently to help change things. I like that I can visit these places during my week and feel more connected to them and the world overall.
Of course I read several other blogs for different reasons, but I will come back and link to those when I feel inspired to.