The Meme About Blogging
In this case, Janie got the meme from Judd Corizan over at the Sunday Stealing blog. Each Sunday, they “rip off” a meme from another blogger, giving full credit and a link back to the original site. This meme is The Meme About Blogging from Momma at Momma Blogs A Lot.
- How long have you been blogging?
Good question. When my family got an ntlworld internet account, it came with webhosting, and I built myself a very, very basic site. On this site I would post regular rants and meandering thoughts – essentially a blog, but everything was done manually on its own HTML page, and an RSS feed was something unheard of! This would have been about 2000.
In 2003 I got a .Mac account, with webhosting, and the iBlog software, which allowed me to create the first proper blog I had. This lasted for about 5 posts. I then created one when I came down to London to study, on a blogger account, but didn’t seriously start blogging until Apple released the iWeb software, and I created two blogs in 2005. So, I’ve been seriously blogging for three years, but doing things that resemble it for eight years.
- Any advice to beginners?
Think about your audience. If you want to be famous, and have a huge readership, try to be original. The blogosphere is crowded enough. But if you’re writing just for friends, family, keep it sounding like you. They won’t appreciate reading something that sounds nothing like you if they are your audience.Oh, and pick a blog template that’s easy to read, and don’t overpopulate it with widgets. That’s really off-putting (says the guy who failed to follow those points…)
- What are the good things blogging has brought to your life?
An outlet for things I want to say, and a means to help discover my voice, and my creativity. It has brought me a lot of new friends, from all walks of life, which is fantastic.
- What would you consider the pitfalls?
Think about what you’re about to say. Think before you hit publish. Think, think, think. Be careful what you’re going to commit in writing to your blog. Think. Think. Think. Then think again. Because your words can come back to haunt you.
- Tell us about your blog name. Ever think of changing it? If so, to what? Why?
My blogs have had many different names over the years. The overall name for this site, Once Upon a Time in the West of London (which used to be Project Ex-Lex), is actually the name of the first blog I had on Blogger!
This writing blog is called Clamouring to become visible… and is from a quote by Vladimir Nabikov: “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible”. That neatly sums up my attitude to writing and the reasons for starting the blog. The podcast blog, when I set it up, adopted this name, but changed “visible” to “audible”.
My personal blog is called On with my life… and that name comes from a line in a Keith Urban song called You’ll Think of Me. When I refounded these blogs (moving from personal & law to personal & writing), my life was going through a major change. I had turned my back on a legal career, focused on a writing career. And so I was going to get “on with my life”.
- Knowing what you know now, was starting a blog a good thing for you? Why or why not?
I’d say yes it was. I’d rather have done it than not have done it. Sure, there are some blog entries I wish I’d never made, but that’s life. You make mistakes, and you learn from them.
- How do you think blogging, bloggers, or the blogosphere has changed since you started?
It’s grown exponentially. It was already huge by the time I got into it regularly. Web 2.0 had already begun. It was still quite simple and text based though, but all the tracking options, maps, counters, interactive widgets and ranking systems have just exploded. And of course the variety of ways your reader can choose to get your blog content.
One thing I would say though, the ranking systems are too numerous. What does it really mean? Nothing at all. So, I’m 281 on this rank, but 177 on this one? That means nothing. Many bloggers are too fixated on where they rank, what their Technorati authority is, what their Feedburner feedcount is. Popularity? Possibly. But there’s also blind linking, link farming and all kinds of ways of skewing the statistics. Did you honestly get into blogging to pick up lots of reciprocal linklove? Or did you actually have something to say?
- Ultimately, what would you like your blog to accomplish for you or others?
For my personal blog, I’m just looking for an outlet to voice my opinions. Agree, or disagree, as you will. It’s my own little space.For the writing blog? I want to be able to get my voice and my words out there, to create a readership, and see if that translates into something more. It may, it may not. But it’ll be fun to try.
Over to you now!