I was struck by this little comment from Paul Evans, where I think he comes close to understanding why bloggers find it hard to sustain their activity especially when it is subject to constant attack by those - from all sides and with a range of motivations. With the compulsory (for left-wing bloggers) snide sideswipe at Nadine Dorries, Paul says:
Tom H, Nadine and Iain have distinguished themselves by being more-active-than-average online. None of them have been able to do the useful things that social media allows them to do - at least in part -because the personal engagement crowds out the political / policy conversation (though I suspect Nadine would just be a little puzzled by the concept in the first place). If you place yourself in full view online, you leave yourself open to disruption. Keep quiet and you don't.
The question for those in the 'public eye' is whether to take the risk of conversation - the whole point of social media - or remain aloof. Most politicians and political celebrities do not engage with the process - they give their opinion (very carefully) and refuse to engage beyond that point. Blogging allows the conversation to take place but, as I often point out about this blog, politicians cannot take the risk of allowing a conversational free-for-all since your comment on my blog is as likely to offend, upset or be exploited as my own thoughts.
To be quite honest we do this for selfish - rather preening - reasons. As a politician I am opinionated - indeed an unopinionated politician would be decidedly oxymoronic. Blogging and social media provide a platform for me to get my opinion across - whether that opinion's about the national debt, the clearing of snow or the winner of X-Factor. More importantly, having an opinion is what I'm good at - it is my special talent and the world is better for everyone to have the chance to hear my opinion. Or maybe I'm just an arrogant git with a big mouth!
What I do know is that something may come along that grabs my attention, engages my interests, even excites...and then, like all those others who have quit blogging, I'll be off. Until then I afraid you'll have to put up with me!