The whole idea of blogging seemed ridiculous to me a couple of years ago, and, honestly, sometimes I still find myself wondering what the hell I'm doing (I think this in part has to do w/ my lack of platform, but that's a discussion for a different day or one of my colleagues who actually has a handle on the topic -- SD and MD both have a great sense of this, IMO).
For the longest time, I'd comment on a few agent blogs, but never actually had my own. In the few months I've been running mine and visiting others, these are the pros and cons of blog social networking as I see it:
- Greater exposure to and involvement with the writing community at large
- Online presence for agent, publisher, consumer exposure
- An impetus to consider industry, craft, etc. elements that might otherwise be outside one's purview
- Time, Time, Time
- Possible foot in mouth syndrome if you sometimes lack a filter (yeah, this is a mirror statement right here :)
Despite my reticence toward blogging, I can happily say that it's provided me more benefit than detriment. I've had great interaction w/ fellow writers (from Betaing to people suggesting specific agents to me who they've heard are looking for what I write) because of my blog and I've had an agent contact me b/c of a blog post (which I wasn't expecting at all). And perhaps the biggest benefit for me has been the empathy from fellow writers who suffer through the solitary persistence of rejection, revision, and madness (thank you).
All that being said, I don't think one needs to blog, twitter, or facebook. Heck, even if you're a classic INTJ like me who hides behind an esoteric moniker and an icon, you can still network w/o any of these by commenting on agent/writer blogs and/or participating in the various anon writing contests (e.g., Miss Snark's first victim monthly Secret Agent contest, Mary Kole over at Kidlit runs contests and workshops every so often).
Ultimately, it's important to sift through all the stochastic noise out there to figure out which frequency(ies) best suit you, if any.
Given my limited experience, I'm sure I'm missing many of the pros (and maybe a few of the cons) of the blogging epidemic. What have you learned from blogging (or not blogging)?