I woke up this morning thinking: “Today! Today is the day I will break the inertia, not just break it, smash it to smithereens! Fantastic word, ‘smithereens’, why is not part of my daily vocabulary?”
Then after lying in bed contemplating the word smithereens until my thoughts started blending Mr Smithers and the Smithsonian, and idly wondering if there were any jobs in the world I could do lying down without getting dressed, other than life drawing model, I got back to the important business of breaking my inertia.
“Today is the day I shall commit to blogging once more! I have been doing this for twelve years, it is time to withdraw index digit from rectum.”
Following this stirring battle speech, I sat down at my computer and what do you know? I could think of nothing about which I wanted to write. So I pondered the nature of blogging and came to the following conclusion.
There are different types of blogs, but I think for the most part you could put them under two headings: professional and personal blogs.
A professional blog is a slick affair with articles aimed purposefully at a target audience, with the intent to sell some sort of service: from assisting the reader make material purchases; to investment choices; to medical self-help. It is likely to have a range of contributors, or it may pertain specifically to either a digital or analogue business, existing merely as one page in a larger website.
The personal blog is started by one or two people. It may be written on a regular basis, or it may be frustratingly sporadic (ahem, sorry). For the most part they do not provide the main bread and butter income of the blogger. They can cover a range of topics, from the eclectic mix of ramblings revealing the brain of a person who can’t keep a personal journal without cringing and tearing the pages of her fancy Barnes and Noble leather bound parchment style paper to shreds before giving them a burial by flush and sewer; to a singular focus on a hobby or area of interest such as cooking, surfing, quantum physics, reviewing The Bachelorette, photo-journalism, travel writing.
Perhaps at this point you are thinking, “Hold on, I write a travel blog/ cooking blog/ beer brewing blog/ how to make sock puppets blog, and it’s my business. I make money from it. And what about Rick Steves? He’s a travel blogger and he’s loaded! You are wrong Rambling Ro, wrong I tell you!”
Perhaps in your head you’ve just slapped me with a limp, ornately embroidered, leather glove… certainly it’s what happened in my head, and in my head you are also sporting a thin, three musketeers style moustache and goatee, with doublet and hose, and gargantuan puffy sleeves.
Well firstly if Rick Steves set up his blog all on his lonesome – without any help on the arduous coding – in his spare time between sight seeing and leaping onto trains, we should all be rather concerned because it is incontrovertible proof that time lords exist and live amongst us. His is a professional blog, it markets services, and is merely one branch off a business which includes television shows, books, and branded travel merchandise (his maps are really good by the way).
A personal blog is not necessarily a non-professional blog. It is not necessarily a blog which makes little or no money. Although be honest, are you really paying your mortgage, health insurance, car payments, travel costs, food bill, and still having a social life…or raising a family, just from those clicks on google ads?
A personal blog is one which is personal to the writer. That doesn’t mean that the blog is about the writer’s personal life, but it is important to them. A personal blog brings the writer peace of mind just by creating it. It indirectly reveals facets of the writer’s personality: are they left-wing, right wing, funny, passionate, depressed. There is a treasure trove of knowledge to be gleaned from all the posts.
If you’re getting to know someone who’s mentioned that they blog, sit down and read everything they’ve ever posted. Obviously you’ll supplement it with stalking them on facebook, but people find it flattering when you’ve read their blog, as opposed to downright creepy when you make it obvious you’ve spent five hours looking at every single photo and post.
Ooh, on a completely unrelated topic, let’s give a polite round of applause to China. (Not something they often get because they’re a big scary superpower …no doubt they feel same way about the USA.) Their uniform worn during the opening ceremony of the Olympics did something very special: it acknowledged the host country.
Did everyone spot this, were you perhaps fortunate enough to be watching a channel where the commentators were doing a top notch job perhaps, instead of erring on the side of talking drivel?
The Chinese uniforms have come in for some flak with people calling them fried egg and tomato, yellow blazers for the ladies, red for the gentlemen. BUT, all of them wore cravats that incorporated the colours of the Brazilian flag (and if memory serves I think the athletes walked the arena carrying small Brazilian flags, instead of, or possibly as well as, the Chinese flag).
I do love the ethos of the Olympics, that sports should be something pure, beyond politics, beyond drugs and enhancements. (Why the hell are professional athletes now being permitted to compete? That’s so unfair…and a rant for another post at a later time.) Maybe China’s design wasn’t the one that stuck in your head, the shiny Tongan flag barer won that accolade, but what an elegant way to show respect and gratitude to your host.