Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One of those tedious posts about blogging . . .


Yes - look away now if you can't take another self-indulgent post about "Why I blog".

In sensible society I think that bloggers are regarded as slightly odd - perhaps we have far to much time on our hands, perhaps we have no friends. I try to blog every day so I am even odder.

And I do think it is a peculiar thing to do. I blog every day as I find it is a good discipline - and to be honest I only have 2 speeds - I can either do something immediately or not at all. If I aimed a blog a couple of times a week I would never do it at all.

I have had this site since 2005, a time when there were fewer people with weblogs, and I read 60 or so sites on a more or less weekly basis. These were mainly American sites about gardening, self sufficiency, marketing and eating.

Now the British blogging scene has exploded and it is impossible to keep up. Yesterday Cherry at Tales from Pixie Wood was beating herself up for being behind in individually answering all the people who comment on her site. I must say that I don't personally e-mail many commenters, I tend to try to reply on my posting but I am aware that that is flawed as I know that I often forget exactly where I have posted a comment and rarely go back to see if there is a reply. I do visit commenters sites and if someone e-mails me I will reply.

One of the great things to happen recently is the Country Living Rebel bloggers. As you know, Country Living had a blogging competition to find a new columnist. It was handled very badly - I think as no-one in charge of the site had an idea about the community aspect of blogging. To make blogging competitive sort of misses the point. Then the site was very slow, difficult to upload photographs, and, as more bloggers joined, posts often only appeared on the main site for a couple of minutes before disappearing into the archives.

The thing that was beneficial though was that it encouraged people to begin blogging and many of them are fantastic writers - approaching blogging from a thoughtful, literary angle which makes for a lovely read.

The CL competition shortlist was again handled rather badly, it turned out to be people who had really submitted short articles rather than consistent blogging. This annoyed the regular committed contributors so much that they jumped ship. I am really glad as it makes it much easier to access the blogs without having to go through the rigmarole of the CL site - they can all be found at Children, Chocolate and Wine.

18 comments:

sally's chateau said...

Well now I cannot resist saying Hello !!

Suffolkmum said...

Well put, Jane, and thanks for the plug! It's been really exciting blogging in the 'real' blogging world, I'm beginning to discover many other sites and great blogs, am managing to keep up for now, it's like discovering a whole new world!!

toady said...

Ignoring the competition I think we should all say a big thank you to CL. If it wasn't for their lousy attitude we would not be here now on this lovely site being serious or silly but being ourselves. I'm still gobsmacked by how quickly it all came together, and for one I'm happy.

elizabethm said...

have not found you before but love your photos and am very pleased, like suffolkmum, to be out in the wider world of blogging! think you have represented it very fairly.

The Country Craft Angel said...

I think your comments are well balanced jane.

I love to read your blogs. (And seeing your photos etc bring you to life so much more than on the 'other site')

I for one am very glad to be hear amongst 'proper friends.

warm wishes
x

Milla said...

not misrepresented at all. Thank you for writing about us as one who wasn't part of that ghastly, messy scene. Great hat ...!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Thank you. In an odd way CL did us a huge favour - because we have all realised that by being together on Purplecoo we have something special. I am so proud to be a part of it.

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

I htink you forgot to mention we ar slightly batty adn a trifledangerous!

I have to blog everyday otherwise I know I would never write a thing.

Inthemud said...

Yes CL did us a favour I would never have started blogging without them and now I'm addicted !
Thanks for highlighting us! CCW

Inthemud said...

Rabbit behaving like a rooster, oh not good! Bet the hens are happier now! And he probably is really, Castration takes away that urge and must leave them more tranquil and contented.

DevonLife said...

yes let's say thanks to CL, and thanks to this new world of blogs. CHeers Jane

Alice said...

Food for thought here. I do not blog but get great pleasure from reading those talented and interesting people who do. Thank you, Jane, for the effort and time that you put into Snapdragon's Garden. As a visitor-only I assume that bloggers want people like me as well as other bloggers to read their work. I find that the problem with blog rings is that it can feel as though you have blundered into a coffee morning uninvited. Surrounded by cosy chat and in-jokes you make your excuses and leave. Now this may not matter in the short term to the members of the blog ring but my observation is that it can become a bit inward looking and stale after a while. I am not suggesting this will happen to you Jane because you have been writing so consistently and have such a strong personal style and I think that you value your visitors - whatever their perspective. However, if you are new to blogging I guess you have to decide who your target audience is.
Alice

Jane said...

Alice I think that you make a very good point - though I don't think that it is only formal blog rings that appear exclusive from the outside.

I find that my commenters seem to take it turn and turn about - one "group" of connected bloggers one day, a completely different "group" another. I can only assume that people self select.

I know myself that I don't comment on blogs if there are in-jokes in the comments as I feel that I am intruding, or don't quite "get-it".

I want my blog to be read, and commented on by a wide variety of people - it began as a blog for local customers, explaining the back story and letting them see what is flowering, and many customers still read it, but rarely, rarely comment.

I am glad that the blogging ring for the CL rebels exists as it gives me a way of finding them again.bylkmc

Blossomcottage said...

Well written, I for one would never have started putting together a whole load of stories that I had been meaning to write for as long as I can remember, so yes, CL have done us all a favour in more ways than one.
Blossom

annakarenin said...

It is a lot easier in the real blogging world as Suffolk says. Also seeing all the photos is fab.

I was given a hat from my sister-in-law very simular to yours but I have rather a lot of hair making it look like a cushion on my head,very scary I looked. I gave it to my childrens snowman and conveniently forgot about it.

Gigibird said...

What is a blog ring?

Pondside said...

Hi Jane - you have it pretty bang-on. I didn't blog until CL, so I guess I'm thankful for the introduction.

Jane said...

Lynn - Chocolate, Children and Wine acts as a kind of group page, a point of access for the individual sites with information about who has blogged on a specific day and short posts of general interest. There are a lot of sites connected to it - maybe 60ish - other rings could have only 3 or 4.
As many blog rings are made by a group with connected interests and a shared history there is a danger of them appearing cliquey from the outside, though my suspicion is that this an illusion.
J
x