Wednesday, December 13, 2006

An E-mail From Neil On Blogging

A few thoughts...

1) The fact that you get 300 hits a day is amazing and even if only 15-20% of the people actually read what you post, I think that you are giving those people tremendous ideas in Torah and Chassidus. That blows my mind.

One of the things that attracted me to blogging was that it levels the playing field in the sense that anyone can publish material. Think about this: While some readers might know your real name, the majority of your readers have no clue who you are and you're getting 300 hits a day. This shows that we are thirsty for authentic Torah, even if it comes from an unknown source. This is not a chiddush. Many seforim were originally published anonymously. Granted, I'm sure when you started blogging you didn't think that you'd reach so many people. This is a good thing.

2) You've been at this for two years. I'm still a rookie. While your content is fresh, I can see that it might feel like you're just 'posting the same stuff' over and over. I admit, I'm pretty impressed by your collection of quotes.

I've been debating for a while about slowing my blog down quite a bit. As I near my 100th posting, I remember typing my initial post (still my favorite) and thinking "who will actually read this and how long can I keep this up?" While one of the main reasons I started blogging was to 'write on a more consistent basis', it has become more than a light-hearted hobby. I find that I write about 'heavy' issues that I think about and, thus, only show one side of my personality. This bothers me.

One of the lessons of we learn about Rabbi Akiva becoming Torah observant (remember he was walking in the forest, saw a stream with rocks that had become smooth over time) is the lesson of consistency. Water can on affect stone after a consistent amount of time (I heard this idea from Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Weinrib of the OU). This is key in our growth towards Avodas Hashem. It is true in parenting, dealing with ones' spouse, davening, learning, and maybe blogging, too. Some inconsistency is ok once in a while, but it's the big picture that matters.


At December 13, 2006 at 5:50:00 PM EST, Anonymous Neshama said...

That was very nice what you wrote to ASJ. Our ASJ is quite a unique yid (but don't tell him, we don't want it to go to his head). I enjoy reading especially the 'conversation' type free-flowing thoughts from the searching/learning minds that contribute here.

I admire your bravery in beginning to blog and in continuing. However, if you visit more of the other bloggers and leave your imprint there, as well as a link, you too will get more visits. And, it is the readers/commenters that contribute to the increase of quality blogging. In these days of much skepticism about blogging, it is important to publicize the well-written and well-meaning bloggers.

I liked your original stream-of-conscience, and I think you should bring it back up to a current date, AND ADD ON TO IT MORE INTROSPECTION ABOUT MENTCHLIKEIT. It may be a timely message that never goes out of style.

At December 13, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Thanks. Right now I barely have time to post on my own blog. But I do need to comment more often, in general.

At December 14, 2006 at 11:06:00 AM EST, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

No need to stick to the "heavy stuff". It's your canvas.


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