While social networking sites seem to be all the rage at the moment and are still experiencing huge growth and massive mainstream media exposure, blogging is still a great way to promote yourself and get your message out. I suspect that will always be the case.
And there's another way in which blogging is very powerful: Since a blog requires constant updating, it develops good working habits. That's a boon for writers, who often find it hard to keep themselves at their desks.
If you just write a few posts a week, before you know it you have tens of thousands of words up there. It really is amazing how this builds up.
I discovered this last night. I recently looked at one of my old blogs which has pretty much kicked the bucket and started cutting and pasting the material into a word processing file, just so I had a record of it. I could barely remember writing a lot of this stuff, and it took a long time just to save a portion of it. I did a word count and discovered that there was at least 15000 words. That was about a quarter of the entire blog.
Considering that a novel is 40000 words or more, that meant I had quite a thick book's worth of material there. And that was just one blog. I have written several of them over the years!
I don't know what I will do with that material. It was very topical, and so is now out of date. However, I can certainly rewrite a lot of it to make the observations more timeless, or rejig them with contemporary references. I might be able to sell this stuff offline as a book of essays or, more likely, use it as the raw material of articles to submit to directories and build traffic to this site and others.
And one thing's for sure: There's no way I would have amassed all that material had I not been blogging. Logging onto the internet, scouring Google News and other sites for things to write about and then venting via my blog became an almost daily ritual that I couldn't do without (and still can't).
And whatever I ultimately decide to do I'm really glad I amassed that material. It's the first draft for something - even if I'm not quite sure what!