Blogisfear

So, I’m now five whole posts in to this blog experiment and I’ve suddenly realised that I am stumbling over a whole host of questions about what I should and should not blog about.

I want this blog to be my blog, to write about things I care for. But I’m also conscious that I have, on occasions, to be careful with how I do that.

Take today for example: I was reading an article on The Stirrer website, suggesting that all the “grunts” at P&M were more concerned about their £300 payout than they were about the sale.

Now, I can’t speak for anyone else but me. But this blog, if anywhere, is where I should be able to respond to something like that. 

Several times today I’ve had my finger over the button wanting to let rip about that story and to say that, for me personally, the £300 is not the be all and end all. I understand why Mr Goldberg wrote it, but surely there are more important things to be thinking about here?

But despite feeling passionate about it, I never pressed the publish key (!), because it feels uncomfortable.

Why should that be the case? Well, there are a number of reasons. One I have already mentioned in my previous post. Another is that I don’t want this blog to get involved in pointless political wranglings.

This last reason, I think, leads on to the more pressing fact that I haven’t come to any firm conclusion about what this blog is actually supposed to achieve.

Blogging is so different to writing for a newspaper. For a newspaper you are required to develop a certain style of writing and a knowledge of what is ‘newsworthy’. This provides some structure within which to work. 

But with blogging the rules are much more fluid and suddenly everything is up for grabs. I am in the dark and unguided. I think I’m feeling the fear.

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10 Responses to “Blogisfear”


  1. 1 Pete Ashton October 4, 2007 at 2:02 am

    If in doubt, save as a draft and re-read after a night’s sleep. Works every time.

    (You should have seen some of the nonsense I’ve never published…)

  2. 2 Stef Lewandowski October 4, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Hey Jo, I know how you feel! I’ve been halving my posting rate recently because the backlash you get for a few comments on a personal blog can really take up your headspace. There are a bunch of very silly things happening at the moment I’d love to comment on but I’m far too busy….

    Anyway = A good start might be an e-book or two? (or ten?)

    http://mashable.com/2007/10/02/blogging-ebooks/

  3. 3 bounder October 4, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Honestly don’t worry, we all have things that we can’t say due to work or other commitments.

    My experience has lead me to the conclusion that it’s almost impossible to write blog posts that skirt round a topic you care about. People will always pick up on the smallest point.

    Keep at it, you’re ahead of the vast majority of bloggers because: you can write and spell, and you have experience in knowing what makes a subject interesting.

    Don’t get hung up on blogging technique tho’, some of the most entertaining online reads break every rule of internet writing I’ve ever hear espoused.

  4. 4 bounder October 4, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Oh, and post more pictures of cats, people like pictures of cats.

  5. 5 Charlotte Carey October 4, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Joanna

    I have exactly the same problem. Also if I want to make an observation that might be a bit of a piss-take, a funny anecdote or nick name I have for someone I have to stop myself as attached to said comment is my pic and name (not to mention my employers). I thought up some corkers while having a swim this morning but just cant be used.

    Another issue I have as someone who also spends alot of there working life writing (and please bear in mind I have a fine art degree so spelling, grammer etc were never my strong suit(?),). Is that while mostly I find blogging offers a less uptight and non-academic environment for me to lay down some ideas there are times when I just cant be arsed to type anymore. Hey I might start a podcast.

    The thing about this blogging business is that while you might only have a handful of readers (or that could just be me), like an email sent in haste, you just never know when something vaguely offensive of critical is going to ‘catch fire’. So I would agree with Pete, if in doubt sleep on it. Alternatly go annonymous (could be much more fun).

    You’re getting plenty of comments so must be doing something right.

    C

  6. 6 joannageary October 5, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Pete, Stef, Bounder, Charlotte: Thank you all! You’ve certainly helped me feel I’m not alone with these issues.

    I will now be adopting the “sleep on it” approach with some of my wilder ramblings! I will also browse some e-books at the weekend.

    Bounder: Thanks for the tip! Am I going in the right direction with this?

  7. 7 Nick Booth October 17, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Blogging isn’t about completeness in the same way a newspaper article may be. In fact you can offer half finished ideas on your blog and your readers will elaborate/finish them for you.

  8. 8 joannageary October 17, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Hi Nick!

    I read you post on Cory Doctorow the other day and it’s been giving me food for thought ever since!

    The idea that I would willfully leave thoughts and work incomplete for a reason other than laziness was completely alien to me. But, when you think about it, it really shouldn’t be!

    There seems to be a general fear in some circles that you can not go public with anything if it is only half “finished”. Yet, it seems obvious that one person can only ever take someting so far before their circle of expertise or ability is exceeded.

    Perhaps blogging is one of the only arenas that can shake that fear off and try and get people working collaboratively to build on unfininshed ideas. I wonder how that could work for local government projects? Or how it might work for news organisations?


  1. 1 Going mainstream | jon bounds Trackback on February 29, 2008 at 4:34 pm
  2. 2 » Shared in Google Reader: Going mainstream South By South West Midlands Trackback on February 29, 2008 at 5:31 pm

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