There are a lot of similarities between Blogging and Owning a Pet. To start with, the decision to start a blog is similar to picking the animal. You can agonize over it for months on end, or you can pick one up on a whim this afternoon. Next, a blog needs a Home just like an animal does, and this can be a simple spartan place or an elaborate one, depending on what you like. Blogs and animals have Personalities and these can be modified to a great degree or no degree, depending on what you want to do.
The aspect that gets the least consideration, but is the most time consuming, is the Care that blogs and pets need in order to thrive. But while pets need regular and consistent care, blogs are much more forgiving if attention is sporadic. That is not to say that a blog will thrive if it isn’t exercised regularly. But blogs are more resilient than pets, and are able to sustain long periods of neglect and bounce back after an apparent death.
The Demise of a blog is much less traumatic than the demise of a pet. A Blog owner simply erases all the content and walks away. What blog owners fail to realize, however, is that the blog will have an Afterlife. This is as a result of the way Search Engines, such as Google, cache pages. Each blog page gets photographed by the Google Search Engine if a search spider happens to crawl over it. These snapshots are what Google looks at to decide if it has found a good search match. When the search engine returns the search results, it offers to take you to the actual page the snapshot refers to, but it will also offer to take you to the cached page. (It is an interesting exercise to Google some of your own pages and see what is in the cache.) This cached page is updated each time the Google spider crawls the web and comes to your blog to update the index. Bing and Yahoo also cache pages in a similar manner.
Many pet owners take their animals out with them when they go Visiting. (Just remember that I don’t want your Rover on my sofa any more than you want my cat sprawling on your bed…) Visiting exists in the blogging world too, except the host has all the control over who gets to stay over, and for how long. They do this with things called Links. All mighty neighborly, and a great way of making sure that no blog gets left behind.
I’m sure you can think of other similarities between Pets and Blogs. And a few dissimilarities – blogs don’t poop on the carpet…