Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So What's This Blogging Thing Then?


I am sure we are all well used to the question. "What's all this blogging thing then?" The questioner normally has  a slightly incredulous look about them, unsure as to why you should list blogging as a pastime rather than some more suitable distraction such as dried flower arranging or amateur oxyacetylene welding. Blogging is often perceived as a form of latent exhibitionism for the functionally challenged, involving little else other than a list of what people might have had for their breakfast or what TV soaps they might be watching. Over the last 48 hours or so I have tried to explain the appeal of blogging to a couple of friends but I feel that I have fallen short of doing it justice. I have tried to enthuse about the variety of subjects and views you are exposed to and the variety of forms blogging can take. I have explained how some bloggers will use prose others poetry, some art, others photography. I have suggested that a blog is more like a self-published magazine than a catalogue of daily diary entries. I have tried to convey the richness and diversity of the world of blogging but have been left with the fear that my listeners still see blogging as a symptom of having too much time on your hands. It is a pity that I can't seem to get over the seriousness of blogging and the fact that it is up there with lace doily making as an art form. Had the technology been available, Shakespeare would probably have blogged rather than written all those plays. In many ways, Dickens did blog even though the technology wasn't available. We bloggers are at the cutting edge of a creative and artistic tsunami and it is just a shame that other people don't recognise this.

Well, having got that out of the way, let me tell you what I was doing yesterday. I had half a croissant and some Frosties for breakfast and then took a friend to Wakefield Station to catch her train. Then I had lunch with the Marsden Mafia Dining Club and washed the rather fine rump steak down with a pint or two-and-a-half of Black Sheep bitter. After that I had a lie down before watching the latest episodes of Coronation Street. ......

23 comments:

  1. I sympathise with your 'questioning' friends, I'm not sure of my own motives especially as I have ardently avoided other social networking like Twitter and Facebook; enrolled with both and quickly dropped them as I obviously didn't 'get it'.

    Anyway, thoroughly approve of Black Sheep as a pint of choice.

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  2. the photo of the diary cracks me up!!

    I gave up trying to explain blogging a while ago - other than simply say it's just another avenue of folks creativity!

    your remark about shakespeare reminds me of a cartoon i think i saved a while back, hope i can find it if so will email it too you!

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  3. Yep, I get the incredulous eye when I mention that I have a blog, too. Heh, heh! I remember about 11 or so years ago when I told a friend I had a website, and she said, "Why? You don't have a business." The attitude was that if you weren't online selling something then having a website was just a narcissistic indulgence by somebody who needed to get a life. Blogging has inherited that dubious attitude. They don't know what they're missing!

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  4. Oh great post!

    Hear, hear.

    I often feel I have to defend blogging, that it is perceived as a time-waster. Well, we can comfort ourselves that we know better!!!

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  5. It really is like publishing our own little magazines, isn't it? And the wonderful community is an added bonus. Non-bloggers just don't understand. Sigh.

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  6. “The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.”
    -Arthur Koestler

    We are leaders of that artistic tsunami you mentioned, and I prefer to think of us all as unique and bravely going where writing has yet to go before! :)

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  7. Well put Alan. I guess it's just another case of horses for courses. I enjoy a healthy exchange of emails with people across the globe, but I hardly ever send a text. Blogging has been a revelation to me, yet I have no desire to enrol with Twitter of Facebook.

    I agree with Willow. The sense of community you get with blogging is wonderful. So many nice people and so much talent.

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  8. I too agree with willow, it's like having our own little magazine, a place to gather thoughts, save pictures, and in my case, document some of my heritage so that the grandchildren can have a little insight into the why's and wherefore's of nan's outlook on life.
    We get a peek into each other's world, and travel without baggage, at least in our heads ;)

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  9. Excellently put! And that photo is hilarious.

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  10. I have yet to meet a non-blogger who was impressed with my blogging! LOL!

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  11. Most of the people I tell about my blogging efforts understand, thankfully. A few years back, a friend said, "I don't know any details about your personal life; I don't read your blog like [his wife] does." I replied, "Obviously... or you would know you don't learn much about my personal life on my blog. It's not an online confessional."

    Great post!

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  12. Good post. Love the last paragraph especially with its special touch of intellectual eclecticism.

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  13. I love your calendar!

    I can't help but feel a certain guilt about blogging. I probably underestimate how much time I spend on it and would try to hide it from friends and family. In short, it's kind of similar to a drinking problem.

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  14. The photo of your diary gave me quite a chuckle, as did your post!

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  15. Very, very, funny post. Loved the last paragraph.

    Ah, the mysteries of the blogging world, exposed. And now I shall eat some honey oat crunch cereal (Sainsbury's own) and after that have a shower, and oh, my hair needs a wash...

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  16. The cutting edge of an artistic tsunami -- I like that! And the sense of community is wonderful.

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  17. We are a clan, a group of people who really enjoy each others company. We also are sponges who like to absorb information from all over the world.
    I really speak of it with respect and people look at me oddly and say, is it like facebook? I just smile and move on. They won't understand until they belong.
    I really enjoyed your entire read today and smiled at the crochet comparison. Have a great day.

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  18. I haven't watched Corry St. for a couple of weeks now. I love that show!
    I know it has been a while, but I have to say, that I still miss Fred.

    "I have suggested that a blog is more like a self-published magazine than a catalogue of daily diary entries."
    I love your suggestion.

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  19. Very few people know i blog and of those I have some tell me it is "Evil" and warn me of the dangers f it, tracking my every word, etc. I prefer now to not even talk about it. Personally, I find it a great source of creative outlet to both give and receive. I love people so it s a natural connection. I also have no interest in Facebook though or anything else.

    Nice post here, Alan, btw. Keep n blogging! :) You add a lot to our community and am so glad you take the time to do it. only wish i got here more often.

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  20. Alan dear, plays *were* the blogs of Shakespeare's day. Social commentary on a variety of subjects, infused with the writer's personality or alter ego. A rant here, a laugh there. Whatever it took to entertain or engage an audience (followers).

    That said, I've given up trying to explain blogging to non-bloggers. Blogging allows wallflowers to bloom as they never can in the "real" world, as well as interact with people they'd never meet otherwise.

    I do have a Facebook page to stay in touch with friends and family members who don't/won't blog and rarely email. But I'll never "get" Twitter and have serious doubts about the attention span of those who do! Same for texting.

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  21. Haha is Coronation Street still on? I know exactly what you mean. My friends think I'm internet dating half the weekend. I guess I spend quite a lot of time online but never enough. There are so many good blogs, bad blogs, fun blogs and honestly, I learn more from them than I would spending the same amount of time watching TV. And Dickens would definitely have blogged had he the means!

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  22. Hi Alan, I came over from Larrys to check you out..this was a wonderful spot to stop today. I had to laugh.. My Mother said to me the other day " Are you still doing that worthless blogging activity? " LOL..Yes!! because I have the opportunity to connect with and visit people from all over the world..it is a blast! :)

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  23. ah, yes! my friends cant understand it either. when i say that my best friends are bloggers they look at me as if i have lost the plot (or maybe they are just insulted:)
    the other accusation leveled at me is that it's for narcissists and exhibitionists and "who are you to imagine anybody out there is interested in what you say?"

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