It is estimated that there are over 31 million bloggers in the United States today. Online self expression has been the main aim of many bloggers since blogs got their start back in the 1990s.
Northwestern’s campus is home to three of these bloggers. Each of them started blogging for different reasons.
Senior Holly Stewart started her blog between her sophomore and junior year of college while she participated in a summer study abroad program in Israel.
“I wanted to be able to share my experiences in Israel with family and friends on a daily basis.” Stewart said.
Freshman Elliot Johnson recently started his blog at the beginning of the school year.
“My dream is to be a writer someday, and I’ve found that blogging is a great way to practice writing and expressing my thoughts.” Johnson said.
Senior Graham Kinsinger started blogging his freshman year while attending Wheaton College outside of Chicago, Illinois. He wanted an efficient and thorough way to tell family and friends back home what his daily activities consisted of without having to call them all every night.
People have blogs for many different reasons and purposes. The content of blogs can range from information and thoughts about sports and politics to sharing personal reflections and private photos.
Johnson enjoys sharing personal thoughts and opinions in his blog.
“I like to blog about different things that catch my attention throughout the day,” Johnson said. “It could be something I see happen or I hear that makes think. I enjoy writing reflections and my thoughts on different topics that come up throughout my day.”
Stewart uses her blog to process her daily experiences and the things going on around her.
“When I visited the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. I didn’t know what make of everything I saw there, so I wrote about it,” Stewart said. “I can communicate my thoughts better through writing.”
Kinsinger not only enjoyed having a personal blog to share his activities with family and friends but also enjoyed having a music blog. He would search the Internet looking for new artists and unique songs and post them to his blog where followers could then listen to the music.
Much of blogging’s popularity today is based upon people’s desire to express themselves and the need to have their voice heard by others. The beauty of blogging is that anyone can do it.
“What I love about blogging is that whoever wants to write can write,” Stewart said. “You don’t have to have any formal training to do it.”
Blogging presents the opportunity for the average person writing from their kitchen table to have an influence on how other people think and perceive the world.
“When I write my blog, I enjoy just getting a different viewpoint out there,” Johnson said. “I like to challenge people to think in a way they perhaps never have.”
How often someone blogs is totally up to them. While Johnson tries to blog every day, Stewart blogs every few days. Kinsinger has recently taken a break from blogging but plans to begin again next semester while he is participating in Chicago semester.
You can view Stewart’s blog at hmstewart.wrodpress.com and Johnson’s blog at swaggerdragons.wordpress.com.