With 423 posts and counting, this blog is beginning to get a bit out of hand. Trying to go back and check posts, restore lost You Tube clips, and answer previously unseen comments, is becoming an almost impossible task. I try to put some time aside for this each week, but it doesn’t always happen that often. New posts, and life in general, just gets in the way.
This blog has changed remarkably, from the original idea of a country diary, something to look back on in years to come, and serve as a record of my move to Norfolk. I did not anticipate ‘followers’, or all the (much-desired) comments. I really just expected that a few friends and family might drop in occasionally, simply to see what we were up to. I had no idea that I would become part of a unique blogging community, one that follows each other around the select circle of some very different blogs.
I’m not complaining. The blog has become my voice to the world, and the community is as close to me as electronic companionship can possibly provide. I have even managed to cross that divide, and met actual people, known from the blog. I just never counted on it taking me over to the extent that it has. I worry about the ‘lost’ posts. Some of my (for me) best stuff, so far down the line now, that it is never read by fresh eyes. Let’s face it, who ever looks back over a couple of years, when you discover a blog that you like? My solution, strange as it will seem, is to read them myself. Not only randomly selecting posts from my own back catalogue, but looking at what others cherry-pick to read on occasion, and re-reading it personally.
Many people manage their blogs well, and with systems and plans. WordPress Advice will suggest that you delete old comments, un-follow flat and tired blogs, and use moderation to allow only certain comments. They also suggest that you might consider deleting older posts, and those that have never been read, commented on, or liked. I thought about this, but ultimately, it felt like being asked to choose which child you loved best. It’s just not possible. Even the first few hesitant posts, devoid of literary merit, lacking entertainment value or any opinion worth broadcasting, they are still dear to me. Like my first driving licence, or a baby’s shoes, they seem to need to be kept forever. From them, I can see the development, chart the progress, and discover what has changed, to make me more confident as a blogger, as well as getting re-blogs, and articles published on other websites.
One thing that I have discovered, is that little has changed. Some of the posts that I consider to be my best work, were written soon after starting out. I do find the whole process easier now. I use notes less and less, and I am able to write most posts completely off-the-cuff, as soon as the idea or inspiration occurs to me. I tend not to write posts in draft so much, something I used to do a lot. Start them, save them as a draft, and go back and work on them, over and over. I have more or less abandoned this now, and just write, check, and publish immediately. I do use video clips for film and music posts these days. They give the reader an idea of what I am on about, and save them the chore of finding the right film, or song, themselves. Still no photos. That will never happen now. I have set my mind on a photo-free blog, for many reasons already discussed at length.
Perhaps I should manage my output. Not less posts, as I once promised, and failed to deliver. I took the suggestions that less is more; quality, not quantity should be my desire. I thought about it for a while, then something came to mind, and I wrote yet another post. It happens that way, and try as I might, I just can’t stop it. What I feel that I should consider more, is variety. I am aware that my posts tend to be published in cycles. Lots of Ambulance Stories were followed by lots of film and cinema posts, then in turn by many vignettes of my life in Norfolk. Just lately, the Significant Songs section is overwhelming me, and also the blog. I will endeavour to arrange the posts in a more varied fashion, so as not to alienate my much-valued regular readers. No promises though.
So, what about Blog Management; what have I managed to glean from my couple of hours sorting through all my stuff? Well, if you want to ‘prune’ something, get a rose bush. If you feel it is OK to delete old comments, why ask for them in the first place? If you thought something was good enough, or relevant in some way, that you pressed the ‘Publish’ button, why delete it now? Live with what you have done, accept the weight of your blog, and above all, don’t stop blogging. Oh, and don’t even think about ‘Managing’ it.