Skip to main content

What is a blog?

Well, what is a blog?  And why am I asking the question now, after seven years of writing one?  You'd think I might have worked out the answer already.  But there's nothing like meeting hundreds of other bloggers to start you wondering again...

Of course, the first shock is that there actually are hundreds of other bloggers.  And that they make so much NOISE!  As I descended the escalator to the venue for Mumsnet Blogfest 2015, the clamour of dozens of voices rose up to meet me.  There was no one in the crowded hall that I knew; but although many others had also come alone, you couldn't have told it from the level of conversation.

Panel session with live link to Margaret Atwood

It quietened down once we had drunk our coffee and entered the auditorium.  The speakers covered a wide range of the writing world; from authors to agents, columnists to comedians, and brand experts to bloggers.  Every discussion was very entertaining, with plenty of humour and some thoughtful comments.  But when it came to summing up what I'd actually learnt from the day, I found myself struggling.  Had anything changed the way I thought about blogging?

The Blogfest venue from Regent's Canal

Scanning my notes again, I realised that the different sessions reflected some very different ways of thinking about a blog.  For some, it was a creative outlet - an expression of themselves that may be influenced by parenthood, but isn't necessarily defined by it.  Others were driven by the delight of writing, and dreamed of translating their blogging into publishing contracts and full-length novels.

From a more mercenary viewpoint, you can regard your blog as a brand, and focus on harnessing the power of social media to provide valued content to your target market.  With all the buzzwords.  Blogging can be big business; companies are keen to get their products recommended, and the community provided by a blog can be the ideal way to make that happen.

Alternatively, several people I met had started a blog purely to provide information - often about nutrition, for some reason - or to campaign for change.  For them, a blog was less about the writing, and more of a platform to connect with others and raise awareness for their cause.

Finally, the cutting-edge bloggers are active on fifteen different types of social media and have jumped gleefully into vlogging; about which I know virtually nothing except that it is, basically, blogging by video.  When somebody mentioned Periscope I had to look it up later, but was somewhat reassured to discover that it's a video app that was only released in May this year.  So I'm not that out of date.  Well, I am.  But not in this case.

Two people talking and one person running away

You may have realised I am firmly in the creative outlet camp.  Moreover, I have an outstanding talent for doing my own thing and entirely ignoring the rest of the world, which accounts for me joining Twitter approximately five years after everyone else in civilisation.  So once in a while, I try to pull my head out of the sand and realise that there are a lot of other people out there doing very interesting things and asking very interesting questions.  (And to be fair, a whole lot of noise, too.)

What is a blog?  All of the above.  And then some.

Comments

Yes, blogging seems to me so much for some many people does it not? For me it is both creative and about the writing but I love the fact that it can be used in so many ways. I also had to look up Periscope ha ha :)

Popular posts from this blog

Dove Valley Walk: Going round the bend

Somewhere between Marchington and Uttoxeter, the wiggles of the River Dove stop wiggling west to east, and start wiggling north to south. If it went in straight lines, it would make a right-angled bend. As I'm following the river upstream, this was my last section walking west. After this it's north to the Peak District and Dovedale. here the Dove swings north The main walk of this section was all on the south side of the river. But I also did a separate, shorter walk, to explore the village of Doveridge, and the old Dove Bridge which is tantalisingly glimpsed from the A50. Walk 1: Marchington to Uttoxeter I liked Marchington even more as I arrived there for the second time. I parked opposite the village shop - noting the "ice cream" sign outside for later - and near the brick-built St Peter's Church, with a war memorial built in above the door.  A few streets took me to the other side of the village, where I found a path alongside a stream, then across some hay m

San Antonio

San Antonio is towards the south of Texas and feels very much more Mexican than American. The balmy evenings, the colourful Mexican market, the architecture of the buildings, and the number of people speaking Spanish around us all added to the impression. The city, in fact, grew out of a Spanish mission and presidio (fort), built in 1718 as part of Spain's attempt to colonize and secure what was then the northern frontier of the colony of Mexico. Texas was then a buffer zone between Mexico and the French-held Louisiana, and Spain was keen to cement her hold on the area by introducing settlers and converting the natives to Catholicism and loyalty to the Spanish government. The missions in general had no great effect, but the San Antonio area was the exception to the rule, growing into an important city with five missions strung out along the San Antonio river. The first of these, San Antonio de Valero, later became well-known as the Alamo, where 182 Texans died in 1836

Lots of cooking

This week, I have mostly been creating enormous piles of washing up. I thought you'd prefer to see the clean stuff. Occasionally something edible escaped from the mounds of mess and made it to the table. I don't know why it turned into such a cooking week; we haven't been entertaining, and I didn't think I'd added too many new dishes to my weekly menu.  The main problem was that I made several things in advance, which spread out the cooking - and hence the washing up - across a much greater time and area. The star of the menu was undoubtedly the barbeque ribs.  I don't believe I've ever cooked ribs before, but I followed the recipe from Jamie Oliver's Save with Jamie , and they turned out - well, just like ribs should!  Soft and tender, and coated generously with a sweet and tangy glaze.  It's not in any way a difficult recipe - but like I said, it kind of spreeeaaads, until you feel like you've been dealing with these ribs for a very