A Hobby By Any Other Name

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How many of you have a hobby? Or two, or even three? Let’s see…I’d wager that most of you enjoy at least one of the following hobbies: hunting, skiiing, reading, exercise, outdoors, model trains, baseball cards, watching sports, working on your car, home repair, sewing, shooting, photography, bowling, gardening, community service…you get the idea. The point is, there are lots of hobbies out there. Hobbies are something that a person does for enjoyment; a hobby can be defined as: “An activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.”

So how come so many people seem to simply not “get” that blogging can be a hobby just like any other? That’s precisely what it is, for many of us. It’s not simply typing a bunch of random words for hours on end for no reason or purpose. I spend time surfing lots of websites, looking for new bloggers, reading all types of local publications and sites, noticing things around Great Falls, taking pictures, and chatting with plenty of people in order to create entries on this blog. I also spend time learning about new developments in the blogging community: tweaking templates and files, understanding what brings people to the site, trying to figure out how to make it visually appealing, and so on. It’s not exactly “work,” so I’d say that the time that I spend working on GreaterFalls.com qualifies as a “hobby.”

So I’m a bit puzzled when Rich Ecke says: “How people are able to devote the time to keeping up their blogs is beyond me, but it’s clearly a popular phenomenon.” Come on, Rich – don’t you spend any time at all on a hobby of some sort? And I’m not trying to be snarky, nor single you out – your attitude is one that I encounter quite often. I’m not offended by it – just curious. I am able to devote time to maintaining my several websites the same way that your next-door neighbor is able to “devote the time to keeping up” with developments in NASCAR; and your co-worker is able to “devote the time to keeping up” with her gardening, and your boss is able to “devote the time to keeping up” with his hiking and subsequent journaling. See? My hobby is just like their hobbies: it occupies my time, takes some effort, and I enjoy it. It’s really that simple.

UPDATE: hope nobody thinks that I’m picking on Rich – actually, he was one of the first local columnists to notice blogs nearly two years ago, and I appreciate that he took the time to learn more about them. I’m addressing the general “where do you find the time?” attitude that many people have about bloggers, not criticizing Rich!
MORE: Hawkeye, a new contributor over at GeeGuy’s Electric City Weblog, does a semi-fisking of the article.



  1. David,
    Hey, nice to talk to you again. I’m not anti-blog, but I can imagine how good blogs like yours must be kept up, and how much time it takes to have a decent site.
    I just can’t imagine how I could squeeze in the time to do that myself.
    But, some of my best friends are bloggers, and they do it, so I guess it’s not impossible.
    Anyway, I thought those predictions on blogs were interesting so I threw them in my column.
    For the people who are able to create and maintain blogs, more power to you.
    Take care.

  2. I read that article, and I didn’t hink it was negative toward local blogs at all. In fact, it was very supportive. You local bloggers are way too thin-skinned. You hammer on the city, local TV stations and the Trib all day long and if one person says one thing that isn’t 110 percent positive, you crumble and get angry. Ya all need to develop more backbone. Chill.

    They’re only words.

  3. Easy there, Jocko…I never said that the article was negative, and I specifically said that I was not offended, and was not being snarky. I appreciate Rich’s support of the blogging community – and said so above. I was addressing the perception that blogging is somehow a negative thing that consumes more time than other traditional “normal” hobbies.

    And besides, as you pointed out – they’re only words! Thanks for stopping by, Jocko – seriously – and giving your opinion.

  4. I read the same column and I simply took it as a tribute. As in how can people who no doubt live real life lives and have a job find the time to keep up quality Web sites and update them regularly as well as check back to respond to comments. I can’t find time to go to the gym three times week, let alone run a Web site. I’ve tried to blog before and, after 3 entries in 2 months on a bland-looking site, gave it up. More power to bloggers for keeping their sites up and feeding my hobby: reading them. Also, more power to Rich for giving you folks a well-deserved nod, in my opinion anyway.

  5. “..Hawkeye, a new contributor over at GeeGuy’s Electric City Weblog, does a semi-fisking of the article.”

    OK, I admit my ignorance. New to blogging, I had never heard of the term ‘fisking’. I thought I was just being wise-ass. I think I will try to avoid fisking or even semi-fisking in the future. Original thinking is so difficult though.

  6. OK, you made me look it up:

    Fisking, or to Fisk, refers to the act of critiquing, often in minute detail, an article, essay, argument, etc. with the intent of challenging its conclusion or theses by highlighting logical fallacies and incorrect facts. The practice was named after British journalist Robert Fisk after he issued a dispatch from Pakistan describing his savage beating at the hands of Afghan refugees.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisking

  7. Why are there now two FOX stations (channel 16 and 26 over the air and channel 12 and 3 on cable) in Great Falls. They both run the exact same prime time as each other. Which one is the true affiliate and which one isn’t? From my understanding the FCC will only allow one broadcast signal per affiliation in any dma. How are they doing this?

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