Tuesday, 30 December 2014

HAVE YOU GOT A BLOG? WHY?



Looking through my sidebar's Blog List, I'm reminded that I've
occasionally deleted some sites which don't regularly feature new
entries or have much in the way of previous posts  - 'though I've kept
ones which 'retired' two or three years back if they contain a wealth
of archived material worth preserving a link to.  However, there are
some blogs whose existence is a bit of a mystery to me - you know,
ones which post about once a year, and then only to wish readers
a Happy New Year before returning to a dormant state for
another twelve months.

Now, obviously I'm not talking about ones where posting is
sparse because illness has rendered the owner incapable of regular
blogging, but those which seemingly exist for no discernible reason
(that I can see).  It made me wonder why those people have blogs to
begin with, and that led me to thinking that some of you are perhaps
pondering the same thing about moi.  If so, good question.  There
may not be a good answer, but that's never stopped me before
from trying to squeeze out a post based on the most tenuous
of excuses reasons.

I first posted on January 31st 2010 because someone (I
forget who) suggested that I start a blog.  I promptly lost interest
because I couldn't think of anything to write about, and abandoned
the blog for almost six months until July 17th, until I felt compelled to
confront what I perceived to be an injustice committed against me by
another blogger whose site I used to visit.  We had gotten involved in
a discussion on a particular subject, and he had resorted to mocking
me and being, frankly, a bit too cheeky.  No need to go over every
single detail (again) as long-time regular readers will be only
too well-aware (and bored) of them anyway.

Suffice to say, I wasn't prepared to ignore continual digs
in his blog's comments section (and elsewhere) so I revived my
own neglected organ in order to redress the balance.  Whenever I
felt he was having a go at me, I had one right back.  This led to him
accusing me of being 'bitter, frustrated, and jealous' of him - ironic
coming from one who claims to have no ego.  If I were going to be
jealous of anyone working in British comics today, he'd be just
one amongst many who wouldn't even make that list.

Having dealt with the situation, I then turned my thoughts to
the original motivation for creating the blog, which was mainly to
feature comics, although I very soon added collectable toys and
other items of nostalgic interest (books, records, and the like).

So, there you have it!  If you're no longer in my Blog List,
now you know why.  If you've ever wondered why I began a blog
(and continue it), the answer has been furnished unto you.  There
have now been close to 1,800* posts, and I sincerely trust that,
amongst the inevitable dross, you've found at least a few posts
which have been of some interest to you.

So let me ask you this if you're a blog owner - what got
you started and what keeps you going?  If you find that a bit
too difficult to answer, just leave a comment saying why you
think me and my blog are so wonderful - he (half) joked.

******

*I originally typed 18,000.  Who am I kidding?  Meant to
  type 1,800.  The former might come true one day 'though.

27 comments:

Andrew May said...

I started my blog just under 4 years ago, in January 2011, almost completely by accident. A few months earlier someone had suggested that a potentially lucrative hobby would be creating iPhone or Android apps, which were just taking off at the time. So that was going to be my New Year's resolution. I went to some large bookshops in London to browse through various "how to" books on the subject, and very quickly realized that app-writing was much too close to hard work to be of any interest to me. But I didn't want to go away empty handed, so I bought a much friendlier-looking book called "Blogging for Dummies" instead.

The book made it sound like great fun, so I thought I'd give it a quick try-out (which I only expected to last a month or two). I wasn't sure what to write about, but I've always been a fan of Fortean Times magazine - which has a pretty wide remit of "anything unusual" - so I called it Forteana Blog. After a while I realised I was always writing about the past, though, so now it's a slightly more specific "Retro-Forteana". Unlike you I just do one post a week. As much as anything it's for my own benefit, as a kind of weekly diary to keep track of what I've been doing or reading about.

As for why I like reading your blog - not surprisingly it's a matter of sinking myself nostalgia. Since we're pretty much the same age, almost everything you write about recalls happy memories from the 60s and 70s that I'd almost forgotten about. As I said, one post a week is easily enough for me, so I'm really impressed by the amount of time and effort you must put in. I'm not sure that readers who don't have a blog of their own will realise that it can sometimes take several hours to put one of these posts together.

Kid said...

Interesting, Andrew, to see that your blog came about almost by accident. If you'd pursued your original intent, we may have all been the poorer for it.

The most time-consuming aspect is, I find, digging through boxes and cupboards, etc., to find comics to scan - the writing part doesn't take me too long because I seldom go into depth on a subject, unlike yourself, whose topics must require a fair bit of study.

Anyone who hasn't seen Andrew's excellent blog should pay it a visit. Click on his blue name above to find directions right to it. (Or see the link in my sidebar.)

Andrew May said...

Thanks for the endorsement, Kid. I suspect that other people's blog posts often look like more work than they actually were, because you imagine all the research you would have to do yourself, whereas the person who wrote it probably had it pretty clear in their mind to start with. A couple of years ago I did go through a phase of putting in a lot of effort carefully researching blog posts, but these days I generally write about something I've just been reading about - hence the result is usually less work than it looks!

Kid said...

Don't worry, Andrew - it'll be our secret. (Nobody reads this blog anyway. McScotty, CJ and JP are all aliases of mine. In fact, aren't you, too?)

Norman Boyd said...

OK Kid, you've done it again....drawn me into the discussion!
I started mine to just let people know what I had updated, changed and deleted from my website listing on Frank Bellamy's work. It soon morphed into more than that and I promised myself that I would blog at least once a month and that has been more or less what I've done!
It's great when I get mail about it as that encourages - and thus I'm joining you today to say, I really enjoy your blog - even those trips down Nostalgia Lane - and even those on Glasgow - never been myself. But when I do I shall expect the whole tour ;-)
Oh, and I'm glad to see I haven't been bumped off your blogroll yet!
Norman
P.S. Did you know I have a Raymond Sheppard blog too? And i've only ever one comment on it and I still love doing that one!

Kid said...

Good to hear from you again, Norman, as always. As for you being bumped off the blogroll - hardly likely as you post regularly and there's just far too much good stuff in your archives. I'll definitely be visiting (and commenting on) your RS blog soon

Colin Jones said...

Wow Kid, I didn't know you'd done 18,000 posts, that's amazing. I click on those little windows when they appear but I must have only read a fraction of them. I'm always amazed how many people seem to have a blog, there are about six of us left in the universe who don't have one. For me the two things I like to see in a blog are 1) regular posts (at least once a week) and 2) the comments answered and your blog comes up trumps on both those counts. Out of curiosity I like to go back to the very first post on the blogs I follow so I'd noticed that you had that six month gap between your first and second posts - that means we have to be grateful to L or you'd never have continued...?

Kid said...

Oops! That was a misprint - it should read almost 1,800. Fixed it. What a plonker am I, CJ!

Maybe it means you have him to BLAME for inflicting me on the blogging world? I'd have returned to it eventually, I reckon, but 'attending to business' was certainly the impetus for an earlier-than-likely return.

Glad you enjoy the blog. You'll perhaps have noticed that I changed the title of 'followers' to 'members' in my sidebar, as I feel that there's a suggestion of messianic delusion on the blogger's part in the former.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I think, I've one comment I've posted to a blogger that was, while not strictly a dig was a bit hostile. He was having a go at Charlie Chan, I couldn't take the succession of fatuous and cliche bromide he used to libel the legacy of that character. I didn't call him names or anything but I explained my views in manner that might infer an absence of respect. I kinda regret that comment now, cos it's a bit intrusive to attempt to wake up people with that kind of slap around the kisser and it never works anyway. Of course, that's my assessment of the legacy of my comments, others might disagree, especially since I have tendency to towards dissent and polemical view. I know it's the Internet and it has this curious facility for preserving the pettiness of banal interpersonal differences and rivalries, that would be lost on the wind in the course of verbal intercourse, which seems to exacerbate conflict but it's always been a bit of a puzzle to me, how quickly, some (some? I think it might be a lot, actually) find reason to issue, insult and baseless accusation. The rule, I've adopted is that if I can summarise my objections to another view, to short axiom or single word, -jealousy- and -envy- would qualify but also the vocabulary of nouveau righteousness, racist, homophobe, then I should probably keep my gob shut. Probably a rule, I've not always adheared to as strictly as I should've.

I'm not really sure for the reason I started my blog, it wasn't really an entertainment thing, more a kind of journal really, preserving some things that would ordinarily be lost as everyday ephemera. So I put doodles and poems in there and the occasional thoughts on things I may've read or watched.

Graham said...

I'm a blues music fan and there were others at work who also enjoyed the music, so I started out sending emails to those people with mp3 song files attached for their listening pleasure every Friday morning. Soon, I started including little facts about the songs or artists performing them. After about two years, I had about forty or fifty people who were participating.

Soon, the call came down from the higher-ups that emails with large non-work-related attachments needed to be curtailed, so I had to stop doing that. One of my friends suggested that I start a blog. To be honest, I had never even looked at a blog about blues music, so I basically started one that I thought I would be interested in reading or watching or hearing. I played around with a format for several months before actually launching it.

Since then, I have discovered other blues music blogs and I really haven't seen any like mine, so I guess mine must have filled a niche of some kind.

I only post once a week, on Fridays, and it takes me several hours/days to put a post together. I'm amazed at all of you bloggers who are able to do multiple posts in a week.

Kid said...

I always find your comments thoughtful and well-considered, DSE, even when you don't necessarily agree with my point of view. I have no problem with people having a different outlook to my own; what I object to is when they mock, insult, and misrepresent my opinions and my reasons for expressing them. I've found that some people simply express an opinion on their blogs in order that others might validate it by agreeing with it. They often get a bit shirty with people who don't fall into the category of flattering their intellect.

******

I think, Graham, that to you must go the distinction of having a truly unique blog if there are no others which cover your interest. My blog is just one amongst many others, 'though I do try to make it distinctive by writing my posts from a personal-history angle. Anyone who's into 'the Blues' can access Graham's site by clicking on his blue name (above) or the link in my sidebar.

Rip Jagger said...

I began my blog over five years ago as a place where I could indulge my love of comic book covers. That spread to re-posting a slew of Charlton articles I'd posted at other venues over the years and then eventually settled into the brew I currently have of new reviews and recommendations, old comics reports, and assorted cantankerous behavior. I still love comic book covers and search always to find new ways to make them feel fresh and new.

Rip Off

Colin Jones said...

Kid, 1800 is still a helluva lot and I've read nowhere near all of them. I forgot to say how much I appreciate the effort that goes into yours and all blogs. I've looked at the sidebar and I know some of your regular commenters have blogs but the problem is finding the time to read them all so it's easier just to stick to a handful.

Kid said...

And your search is worth it, Rip, because you always succeed in making your posts fresh, new AND interesting. Here's to many more years of blogging for you.

*******

Even I can't find the time to visit all the blogs in my sidebar as often as I'd like, so no need to beat yourself up over it. I see that Rip's blog is one of those that you do visit, so wise choice there, CJ.

John Pitt said...

I have toyed with the idea of blogging. It's so giving what bloggers do and must be so rewarding. But I can't think of ANYTHING original to blog about, so I am better off leavimg it to you who can. Plus it gives more time to get enjoyment from them at my end!

Kid said...

I'd hardly say that I blog about anything original, JP, so never say never.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Think I started it because it just seemed like something to do, and I was having mildly paranoid thoughts of there being no trace of me on the planet where I to step outside and get hit by a bus one day. So I started it, initially doing "nostalgia" bits like millions of other blogs - pictures of toys I'd bought, YouTube links to cartoons and so on, scans of old books from my childhood...

Not sure how it happened but all of a sudden I found myself writing about the British comics that no-one else was writing about, and the more I did this, the more of the people that MADE those comics started getting in touch.

Have to say, some days knowing I have a blog is one of the only things keeping me going, and I'm even considering maybe, perhaps, starting doing my own comics again, gosh!

Meanwhile, 1,800 posts? Wow. Since the middle of 2012 I've done 161 (and some of those don't really count). I happened across your blog by accident, as I'd heard there was a bit of a "fight" breaking out over the 2010 Dandy relaunch, and I was curious to see what it was about so found the blogs of yourself and Mr. Turnock by Googling "Dandy disaster" or something. Think it may have been the blogs of yourself and Lee's that made me want to start up in the first place, possibly.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I would love to do a Blog and have checked Blogger etc but to be honest I haven’t a clue what you do to technically to get the thing on the web , let alone know what to write about. I’m always amazed at some blogs (like your own) that regularly come up with some really good and interesting topics.

I also find it strange that some folk, once they have gone to the trouble of setting up a Blog seem to leave it for months (and in a couple of cases years) on end only to come back with a blog and then another long pause. My biggest “turn off” on some blogs is the constant misrepresentation of what people say or mean , and super geeks taking people to task over not knowing who drew page 3 of the 1953 instalment of Harold Hare etc (no doubt someone will tell me Harold Hare was not published in 1953 now, ofr who actually drew it if it was published!) .


Despite all the Bogs on comics etc there are only a handful I really enjoy, yours being one of them (I won’t mention others as I may offend those I leave off) . As to why I visit “Crivens” well it’s the mix of nostalgia with some deeper blogs added in for good measure and that is always interesting (as is your choice of music – I will say no more on that subject!) . Plus as we’re around the same age (as are a lot of your regulars), from the same area and we have (mostly) the same likes it’s always interesting to read about thing I may have forgotten about from my childhood (the recent Batman figures) or shared experiences (“Johnny’s” shop in Rutherglen) and comic stuff from our era ( Odhams comics, UK Marvel, art of Neal Adams, Leo Baxendale, Ken Reid etc) and of course the “Babe of the day” has its err charms – of course your demure attitude to life is always interesting!!!



Kid said...

Well, although it honestly gives me no pleasure to say so, THB, events proved that Lee and myself were right about The Dandy. Also, and not at all in a gloating way, the fact that a certain artist was removed from a strip in The Beano because it wasn't popular enough with readers vindicates us there, as well. (Hopefully he got work elsewhere where his style was more suited, but it just seemed out of place to me in a DCT comic. Glad to see that you decided to keep your blog going after your recent doubts.

******

It's easy enough to set up a blog, McScotty - if I can do it then any idiot can (although I don't suppose that's much of a recommendation). I think you'd be an ideal person to set up a blog as you always make interesting comments that could be blog posts in themselves. If, like Norman, you decided to post something only once a month (at least), then that shouldn't tax your time too much.

And what are you implying about my taste in music, ya bam! You're chibbed. (Ooer, there's that 'passive/aggressive' side that someone once accused me of having.) Chortle. Actually, I've got a wide taste in music, but JR suits the nostalgia aspect of the blog - my more current tastes can be found just about anywhere else, which is why I tend not to link to them here.

There's a cracking Babe coming this way tomorrow, McScotty - keep your eyes peeled.

Mike said...

I started my blog with a specific purpose in mind, but by the fifth post I'd already begun to meander towards the weird animal it has now become. Originally conceived as a place to describe my more unusual photographic adventures it was when I wandered into bizarre childhood memories and unusual historical events that my viewing public sat up and took notice. It's hard to keep up the momentum and I can go for a couple of weeks without having anything to say, so don't. I'm having one of those days today, I have an idea but can't spit it out, hence the web surfing!

Kid said...

The variety is what makes your blog all the more interesting, Mike. I'm seldom without something to say, but that's only because I don't mind reiterating what I've said before in previous posts. Hopefully, however, I bring something fresh when I do revisit a topic - I try to at least.

Arfon Jones said...

I started my blog back in September 2009 the very same week I joined numerous other social networking sites for the simple fact that I am self representing artist and I needed to “get my work out there”. Many of those other accounts have long been deleted (the ones who’s passwords I can remember anyway) but I continued to come back to Blogger as I liked the layout and how (fairly) easy it was to upload content to the site. Being an artist I sometimes create things that require a little back story/explanation to aid the viewer into understanding the work and Blogger lets me do just that.
I too had noticed the above point you made about users that post about once a year I found that to be impersonal and vowed to not fall into that trap, setting myself a one upload a month challenge, a little “we are still open” sign if you will. During quiet periods (working on a ongoing projects) I found myself reporting on other matters influences, nostalgia and trips away but trying to keep faithful to the main subject… art/creating. I set out to have a ‘main’ site for my work and actually commissioned someone to create one for me, as soon as it was completed it was out of date. I lacked the time or capability to update it myself so last year I scraped the whole notion and made my blog the ‘main’ arfon.net site (with facebook being the page for chatting) and I am pleased that I did. I have been called a ‘Blogger’ and I am happy with that (I have been called far worse over the years) I enjoy writing these posts, and interacting with people such as your good self and I am truly humbled when someone takes the time to read my ramblings!

Kid said...

Fascinating stuff, AF. It's been interesting (I feel) to read about what first motivated Bloggers to start their sites and keep them going. I suppose that some Bloggers who (like you) use their sites to promote their work are in a 'catch 22' type situation: if that approach works, they then become too busy to update their blogs, which perhaps then become somewhat redundant. However, it's always best to keep them going, I suppose, because you never know when that 'dry spell' is just around the corner. Glad to see you keep yours going regardless. (And it goes without saying that I hope you're getting lots of work at the moment.)

Arfon Jones said...

Reading back over that I hope my last comment didn’t seem as though I was shrugging my reason for blogging as ‘just business’ as its not! It’s a pleasant by-product of what I do. I have followed the blogs of writers and performers in the past who’s work I admire and I am often irked by a sudden jolt of activity when they have a book or dvd on sale and so try to steer away from that. Yes, I too am effectively selling and that might have been the original reason for creating the blog BUT to be honest I enjoy writing it.
I have never really felt that the blog is in anyway a 'catch' as busy or not (I am thanks!) I will create some content and at times write a post that has the loosest of relevance to my art/creating ‘theme’ often starting with me apologising for veering off topic (the post I wrote about my pet tortoise springs to mind…). I am yet to be too busy to update (a few close calls) but if that where to happen I hope to continue to write something for it as I like writing, and this is the only excuse I have to do so.
Is this answering your question Kid or am I just rambling now? The only real theme that runs through my blog! ;)

Kid said...

Don't worry, AF, I didn't think that was the only reason - you did mention that you do it because you enjoy it. It's just that, in trying to keep my response short, I merely focussed on one aspect of what you'd said because it seemed particularly pertinent to why some other Bloggers blog.

Gene Gonzales said...

First time poster, long time reader. I started my blog in the last few days of 2007. Those first posts were my way of figuring out the way it all works. On January 1, 2008, I started a daily post. A challenge to myself to create and post artwork everyday for one year. When I accomplished that goal I figured why not see how long I could go. I pulled the plug at the 5 year mark of posting everyday. I still use blogger and have over 2000 posts. I also have a blog on my website.

Kid said...

Took a quick look at one of your sites, Gene - great art. I'll grab a look at the other two first chance I get, and I'll add them to my blog list. Now that you've lost your commenting cherry, don't be a stranger. And a Happy New Year to you.

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