I just gave myself a week off. I haven’t posted on the blog since 30th April. (OK, I know nobody noticed)
Save for one post on my ‘other’ blog last week, I have been deliberately abstaining from blog writing. I did this mainly because I feel that I often saturate my blog with posts, and they become so frequent, that they overwhelm regular readers, and induce alienation in others. I was additionally interested in what else I would do, with the hours that I usually spend writing this blog.
So, what did I do?
I read other blogs. Those that I follow, I refreshed myself on, and commented on recent posts. I read some new ones, and even followed one. I wrote one post on the other blog, as I have mentioned; a ‘worthy’ piece, requiring some research and careful editing. That took a little while. I did some routine housework, and some jobs outside, aided by the improvement in the weather. As it was a Bank Holiday here, we also visited relatives in Hertfordshire, and Julie and I had a day out at the beach with Ollie. I managed to clean all my windows, using my wonderful Karcher Window Vac. (No, they are not paying me.) Then of course, there was the usual 2-3 hours a day walking Ollie over the meadows, and Hoe Rough. Not very exciting, admittedly. To be honest, I did not really feel that I had a lot of extra time. This is strange, considering I normally spend anything up to 10-14 hours a week, writing or preparing blog posts. It is a bit like the situation with money. If you stop spending something on a regular basis, like a magazine subscription, or a membership to something, you never seem to find that money has accumulated anywhere later.
Reading the other blogs was interesting. I went over many who had liked a post, or followed my blog, and read them in some detail. As well as the usual ‘buy my book’ efforts, so many are depressingly religious. Every other line is ‘God this’, or Jesus that’, banging on about how they feel that they speak to ‘The Lord’. I will state here, for the record. Please do not send me religious posts, or contacts to religious blogs. I am really not interested.
Now I have got that off my chest, what about the other ones, those that are not primarily religious? Photos, Graphics, Pictures. That is what they all mostly contain. Nothing wrong with that. I know that I don’t add pictures (deliberately) but they often spruce up a post, and on occasion, can be better than the words. I noted how many blogs revolve around failed relationships, and how they are blogging to recover. I hope it works for them. Then there are the travellers. It is all a bit ‘look at me, see where I have been, and how well-travelled I am. Oh, and here is a photo of me in that fantastic place, just to make sure you know I was there’. Some sour grapes from me perhaps, but I often read on, only to discover that they are actually selling holidays, travel experiences, or empowerment plans. Selling again. The Blog as Commerce.
I checked out a lot of political comment blogs, and found some to be amazingly well-informed, meticulously researched and credited, and actually entertaining to read. That was a nice surprise. Then there are the deliberately controversial, and downright offensive blogs. I found many amusing, some relevant, others pointless. The problem with all of them, is that they are a one-trick pony, going on and on about a subject every time they post, apparently seeking to find someone to offend. It gets tiring after a while. I looked into cartoon blogs, amusing ones especially. Many are of such quality, it is frankly baffling that they have not found a regular outlet in the mainstream.
After all this, I came to much the same conclusions as before. Too many are selling. A few are patently mad. Graphics and photos get an audience. Liking and following thousands of other blogs gets you huge viewing figures, and (presumably) potential income. Some people must blog for at least eight hours a day, on a full-time basis, to produce such huge outputs. I do not fit into any of those categories.
In the ‘pond’ that is Blogging, I am merely frog spawn amid the minnows, toads, and huge goldfish. I am happy enough though.