I got asked the question in the title to this blog yesterday. The person asking the question was sincere. She was wondering if she should start a blog. Her intent was to try and identify some mystery photos. I spent some time and helped her get a new blog open and ready to publish and it will be interesting to see what she reports back to me about her experience. I also started talking about having a blogging presentation and workshop at the Mesa FamilySearch Library.
I guess one of the real questions is who are we talking to as bloggers? Each other? Do we really attract new genealogists? Or do we just plow the same ground over and over? My reality check is working with patrons and volunteers (missionaries) at the Mesa FamilySearch Library. As far as I can tell, with over 150 regular volunteers at the Library, I can think of about a half a dozen of them that have ever mentioned my blog or anything about reading blogs. These are people that do genealogy every day, week after week. In classes for the missionaries, I still have people regularly say that they have no idea what a blog is or does.
If this is the case, then why do we blog? From my standpoint, I would probably blog even if I didn't have an audience. It is comforting to find out someone reads the stuff I write, but I would write or teach regardless of the numbers. I had someone show up early to a class yesterday; one person. She asked if the class would be cancelled if she was the only one there. I have never cancelled a class because there were "too few" attendees. My ultimate goal is changing the world one person at a time. So I think it is a privilege to teach and the numbers are not a criteria for how or what I teach.
On the other hand, because we have genealogical content to our blogs, we have had huge successes in contacting relatives and obtaining vast quantities of original records and photographs. In short, the genealogy blogs have proved to be immeasurably valuable to the expansion of our genealogical information and collaboration with relatives. The benefits are enormous. For that reason alone, I would have a genealogical blog. That is also the reason why I started writing for my daughter's blog, TheAncestorFiles.blogspot.com, to increase the genealogical content of my writing.
I could go on with reasons why I blog, but most of them are very personal. I also enjoy meeting and corresponding in some fashion, with other bloggers. It has been an amazing experience and absent being sent off to the care center, I will probably keep writing. Constantly as usual.