I have been perusing other blogs of late, and drawing some personal conclusions about the nature of many blogs, including my own. Some of my favourite blogs publish articles of great import, sparingly posted. They are usually sumptuously illustrated, or have accompanying photographs, generally of high quality. Although they do not appear that often, the response from their audience is always immediate, and in great numbers. These bloggers are at the high end of this pastime, the careful craftsmen in our blogging community. They have experimented, worked hard and meticulously, and achieved something enduring, with work to be proud of. I think of them as the Guild Bloggers, masters of the art.
Then there are the Niche Bloggers, predominantly photographers, poets, or writers of published works. They post only about their subject of interest. We might see something of their travels, or their personal developments in their chosen field, but we know little of their life, or background. They avoid the daily reports, the ‘I did this’, or the ‘I think this’. They blog in packs, embracing themes, projects, and tasks. Often, their work is wonderful. Unusual, or well-rendered photos grace their attractive blogs, and are pleasing to both the eye and mind. Interesting novels or heartfelt poems make us think, and admire the skill of those wordsmiths.
Next, we have the Re-Bloggers. They save us the effort of excessive trawling, by bringing the posts of many others to our attention that we would almost certainly not have discovered otherwise. Some re-blog in specific areas, or on one subject. Others find work similar to their own, and present it for comparison. A few have even been kind enough to re-blog some of my own articles, and I am always careful to thank them for this favour. These re-bloggers do us all a great service. They work hard to find interesting and relevant posts, and sometimes turn up real gems from the ‘sunken wrecks’ of the millions of blogs out there. More power to them, and well done all of you.
There are also lots of blogs that I would rather not happen across. Posing as one thing, they are most definitely another. Religious mania is rife; preaching to the unconverted, who will remain that way after seeing this stuff. Bigotry, uninformed and unintelligent opinion, it is all there, unfortunately. I never cease to be amazed at how hard someone will work to be objectionable, nasty, or downright offensive. Despite championing the freedom offered by the very concept of blogging, part of me wishes that these individuals could be made to exit this otherwise well-intentioned community. Luckily, they are generally easy to avoid, as long as you don’t get caught by the bloggers wearing a different face to the one you find in their articles. I would have to call these the Disturbing Bloggers.
The Happy Bloggers are those who just want to have fun on the blog, and tell us about what they feel at any given time. They post about days out, what they ate in a restaurant, and what they said to their friends. They might tell us about their last holiday, their favourite film or book, and whether or not they got held up by public transport on their way into work. These harmless diarists are doing nothing wrong. After all, we can choose not to read what they post, if it is not to our taste. However, I suggest that this category of blogger is the most important of all. They are the chroniclers of the age; and in centuries to come, the descriptions of the minutiae of every day life in the 21st century will be of enormous value to historians and social commentators. Please keep going with these. They will be the Pepys diaries of the next millennium.
On to the Sad Bloggers. So many people use the world of blogging to express their emotions, sometimes it all becomes too much to take in. Depression is a familiar subject, as are marriage break-ups, relationship failures, and feelings of loneliness. Some also document illnesses, both physical and mental, and can often be distressing to read. This is where blogging can really help someone. They can connect with others who feel the same, or are suffering in the same way. Their stories can give inspiration to many who thought they would never see a good day again, and just writing about it all can help the blogger in so many ways imaginable. Despite the apparent sadness associated with these blogs, I actually see them as incredibly positive, in that they give voice to the worries and innermost fears of the writers, and in so doing, start them on the road to recovery.
This leads me to my own blog. How would I sum up this personal journey into the outside world?
What of this blog, that has numerous categories; and covers subjects as diverse as dressing gowns, dog-walking, and World Cinema? Over 600 posts about everything and anything; from my personal history in great detail, failed marriages, songs that I have a connection with, and recollections of old holidays, through to adapting to a new life in a rural location, and not being able to enjoy driving without street-lights. As I sit here with my glass of Barbera, contemplating my three years of blogging, I think I have found a way to describe it. In a world of blogs where some are written with surgical precision, others presented with great care, and aplomb, I have used a simple approach.
It is like a shotgun. I load my blog with lots of posts, written frequently, and posted almost daily. I then metaphorically fire it out in a wide spread pattern, hoping to hit something somewhere.