To Blog Or Not To Blog? That Is The Question

The nature of ‘blogging’ has been quite throughly explored of late; but here is the humble observation of a person who is actually trying to do it, and to find a new way of sharing ideas into the bargain.
Having now completed 150 entries over a period of six month on this Weblog, I hope I’m beginning to get the hang of it.
I read recently that a new Blog is created somewhere every second of every day, but that half of them fold within three months. Frankly, I’m not surprised. I expect that for quite a lot of people it’s bit like writing a Diary, and after a while Life takes over….
More a Journal than a Diary
For me, however, this exercise has become defined in my head as ‘journalistic’, in the sense of examining the events and ideas of the moment – or perhaps sometimes those which are distinctly against the grain of that moment?
And in that too I’m not alone. Both The Economist and The Guardian, for instance, are currently engaged in what might be called meta-analysis of the ‘meaning’ of contemporary journalism; and both have concluded that a lot of it will in future involve direct engagement with the reader.
What is a blog?
Indeed, The Economist‘s Survey of new media, published this week, addresses the issues very clearly: A blog, argues Dave Winer who pioneered weblog software, is ‘the unedited voice of a single person’, preferably amateur and, in The Economist‘s words, having ‘a raw, unpolished authenticity and individuality’. This, it seems to be agreed, is what distinguishes blogs from formal newspapers; just as blogs must in the view of readers be accessible and personal in a way that organisational productions often cannot be.
Well, obviously, I couldn’t possibly comment in this particular context; but I do feel that approaching my Blog Journal over quite a time now has changed my understanding of what it’s all about. To start with I was quite nervous of sharing these ideas, and then I began to feel more confident that readers would understand the spirit in which they are offered – as indeed has always been the case.
More direct and better linked?
And I suspect that I now write more directly than I did to begin with. It’s quite a challenge to move away from ‘academic speak’ whilst still trying to stick to the established rules of evidenced-based commentary. But what I’ve lost in third party style has perhaps been compensated for by my better grasp now of how to link / reference my pieces to other writers’ work, directly through the internet. It’s a challenge always to find the right links to illustrate a given point, but I’m coming to think that even partial connection is better than none.
What next?
So what next? Well, discussions with Nick Prior, who designs this website for me, have taken me to thinking we need photographs! This will not make the weblog a newspaper, but it may help to add interest and show you more about what’s what, especially when I write about events and places I know. My first assignment of this photographic sort was therefore today, in Sefton Park.
And maybe I shall try some more ideas as well… an educational or musical ‘column’, or something special about Liverpool, perhaps? Who knows? Or perhaps by Entry No. 200 we shall all know?
Thank you as ever for joining with us in this adventure.

Posted on April 24, 2006, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Equality, Diversity And Inclusion, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, The Journal, Who Is Hilary?. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Richard S. Drake

    This is one of the more ambitious websites I have seen. Kudos!
    I always think I’ve worked hard if I get a few paragraphs out a day; this is quite a feat.
    AND it’s easy to move around, too – more than one can say for many sites. Keep up the good work.
    [Thank you, Richard! and all the best.
    Hilary]

  2. Keep it up! I love the diversity of your interests, commentary and opinion.

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