Blogging: Valuable or Narcissistic?

I am so embarrassed. As you can see, it's been a long time since I've posted an entry on my blog. I could give a myriad of good excuses, but it would result in the same thing--it takes discipline to keep it up. And a feeling of purpose. I've struggled with both.

As I launch my blog again, I've been reflecting on the purpose or value of being a "blogger". Since the late 90's, the blogging world has exploded. Originally termed a "weblog", this form of interactive communication has gone from zero to over 300 million blogs on the internet. That's a ton of personal sharing! But, again, I wonder, "What is the value?".

After I returned from living overseas, I attempted to start a U.S.-based speaking ministry and the first question asked by all speakers' bureaus was, "How many people follow your blog?" When I sheepishly said, "None", all conversation went dead. Obviously, it is considered valuable in the marketing world and I didn't measure up.

Just what is a blog? There are a wide range of definitions: 

1) a website that contains online personal reflections, opinions, experiences and observations, written in a particular order based on time and with a possibility of interactive comments;

2) an online diary; )

OR (and less palatable!) 

3) a meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life; term use to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives. 

So, I wonder, "Should I blog?" If so (as I'm told is it essential for a writer/speaker), what should my purpose and focus be? It is not a personal diary for me. I keep a personal journal regularly--which is not open for the world to see. So, why blog? What can I contribute to the millions of discussions already going on?

Is it possible to share my experiences, opinions and challenges in a manner that would contribute something positive to this cyberspace conversation? Can I encourage someone in their spiritual journey as I share mine? Will people find hope to face their own difficulties by interacting with my thoughts and experiences? If so, perhaps I can find a renewed purpose to write regularly again.

I ask you, my dear reader, what is your opinion of why a person should be a blogger? What causes you to follow someone's blog and read it (with comments) regularly? I look forward to hearing your opinion.

One more thing. . . now you CAN follow my blog! Just sign up here and eventually I'll be able to answer the question about how many followers I have with a smile!