While planting a row of azaleas to make a hedge at the top of our Hogsback garden, I found myself musing about blogging. The word blog; its appeal; why I have taken to being a blog writer; the protocol of blogging; the blogging friends I have made; the things I have learnt and shared — these were some of my thoughts as I dug holes and then planted self-layered azaleas from mother shrubs.
Then I thought, I could write a post about this! (Not about how to plant azaleas and why they grow so easily on this misty mountain, but about blogging itself.)
The photograph shoot was, however, a perfect excuse to show off our lovely large dog, Huxley. This is to give you an idea of the scale of the azalea bushes.
Back to those thoughts about blogging as I was planting. There is no denying that blogs and blogging are a contemporary phenomenon. Google the word blog and you will learn all sorts of things. Apparently there are 500 million blogs on the internet and a new blog is published every 0.5 seconds (https://99firms.com/blog/blogging-statistics/). Even if these statistics are taken with a pinch of salt, it is obvious that blogging is extremely popular.
The word itself has an ugly ring to it, and makes me think of a combination of “blah” and “bog”. (Should I admit to this while writing a blog post?) According to Wikipedia, “blog” is a contraction of the word weblog, which was invented by Jorn Burger in 1997. Blogging is said to have evolved from the online diary and the first of these was created by Justin Hall in 1994, and was called a personal homepage. In 1999 the word blog was coined by Peter Merholz.
When I first heard about blogging some years ago I wondered why anyone would want to be a blogger and write personal stuff and then broadcast it via the internet. I am still reticent about the personal aspect of blogging, and at first tried to write around the use of the first person singular. But it is nigh impossible not to say “I” when you are the subject and you are writing about matters close to the heart — like quilting. (Further, someone who has just posted a photograph of her dog cannot claim to be objective.) I have gotten over my reticence about the subjectivity of blog writing. More than this, I have found that I enjoy the writing of the posts and the results they bring. I suspect that readers only make positive comments and this is good for one’s self-esteeem.
Fame and fortune are possibly what lie at the root of the appeal of blogging. Speaking for myself, there is a surge of excitement each time my posts get a like or a comment, and the cherry on the top is the notification of a new follower. Yes, I do check that graph of statistics which tells me how many “hits” a particular post has received (thank you WordPress). Is there a blogger who doesn’t do this, I wonder.
It’s been over a year since I started blogging and WordPress tells me I have written 84 posts. No one is more surprised than I am. It is not only the affirmation that I enjoy, but also the like-minded friends I have made and the things I have learnt from my fellow quilters and bloggers. This is the last — but not the least — of my observations on the appeal of blogging. Thank you for reading and following my musings.