You guys probably already made this connection a long time ago, but I am newer to the Land of Blog and slower than you. It dawned on me today that blogs are really letters. Used to be, you'd write a letter to someone and send it off and if you were lucky, you'd get an answer within a week or maybe a month. That letter went to one person (unless you were lazy enough to copy and send it to someone else, like the girls who had more than one guy on a string). Nowadays, we write a blog and hit publish, and the numbers of people who read (or might read) it are limitless; to say nothing of the speed with which we receive an answer or comment. Boggles the mind!
Did you ever have a pen pal? When I was in 5-6th grade, we were offered the chance to become a pen pal for a child of a similar age in some other, more exotic part of the world. The one I chose, was a girl named Crista Dietz, who lived in Hamburg, Germany. At least, I think it was Hamburg. I regret that I have not kept her letters, and the one photograph I had of her is lost somewhere in my many boxes of memorabilia. We kept up our correspondence for about 2 years. I harbored dreams of one day going to Germany to meet Crista, but that never happened. Crista, I hope you've had a nice life.
Along with the realization that blogs are the same as letters, I also think that some blog writers become our "pen pals" - or - "blog pals". We get instant comments and sometimes email. I see other bloggers mention getting together to meet each other, and feeling as though they have already met since they know so much of what the person is like. Isn't that what it would be like to meet a pen pal with whom you have been corresponding for a while?
The point of all this is that I have finally learned what I will say when someone asks me "What is a blog" or "Why do you write one?". I am writing letters to the world, and it is answering me. Blogdom is a collection of letter writers and e-pen pals, doing what they do best - writing. I am so glad I have it all figured out at last!