AK Haart was referring to blogging and I wrote a response, to which some replied. Tom Paine once said that he didn’t like posts about blogging itself and I agree but think that if there’s something which has happened – new blog etc., there can be some leeway for a time.
I’m putting a date of Feb23 as the end date for my major changes. That date was always the launch date I gave. I’ve been getting flak from readers, co-authors etc. for a few days and this one floored me, from Russia [LOL]:
What the heck is going on with your country ( flooding, Scotland, you name it) and , most importantly, with your site? I have just visited it and saw some strangely arranged pieces rather than your traditionally solid blog.
That’s more or less what a most displeased JD [co-author at our place] said and rather than me take umbrage, it indicates that readers have expectations and demand those expectations to be met or else they’ll move on. There’s a message in there to every little blogger and you can call this next quote ego or you can see it as the power of the little person. It’s Agatha Christie’s Mr. Satterthwaite, to a potential suicidee and methinks it can also mean blog suicidees:
“You say your life is your own,” went on Mr Satterthwaite to her, “But can you dare to ignore the chance that you are taking part in a gigantic drama under the orders of a Divine Producer? You, as you, may not matter to anyone in the world but you as a person in a particular place and a particular context may matter unimaginably.” [from Mr. Quin]
There’s sci-fi in that. In turn, all those small blogs we visit are like Churchill’s wartime broadcasts – they must go on. They have to go on. As you, if you’re one of those little blogs, one by one disappear, the world becomes poorer for your loss. You might not be able to imagine anyone caring what happens to your blog and perhaps they don’t as they have their own issues in life but they want to know you’re still there – it’s a sort of occasional touchstone which reassures. Right now, I’m thinking of visiting Prodicus again and don’t know what I’ll find. oh dear: “Permission denied.” Ho hum.
The importance of the theme and colours
Spurious concern, worrying about colours, for goodness sake?!
Well no, I’ve found out the hard way, from miffed comments from readers, that it very much does matter. People have expectations and people’s opinions do count. I don’t give a stuff what anyone thinks of me personally but I very much care what people expect of all our little blogs combined.
I’ve been gifted my new [old] site from a kindly chappy [hope he doesn’t mind me calling him the friendly curmudgeon] and it really was the only theme which was going to do the job, including responsiveness to mobiles etc. The issue now is the front page and how it looks. The other things are all in place – it’s the cosmetics now which are proving the stumbling block.
Your theme needs to reflect your persona. If you’re a neanderthal curmudgeon type, going for the jugular, you can’t really have a front page background which is pretty watercolour pastels and petunias blowing in the breeze, with the feel of a child’s blog about it. OoL is black, brown and white and will stay that way – no plans for anything to change in the near future, Julia and I are happy with it, I’m writing less here, which is good.
Some readers said they can’t stand the black background blogs which are depressing to visit and try to read, however smart they may look. On the other hand, masses of white on white is boring, minimalist is boring. If your personality has any colour to it, then you need some sort of colour in there. Or else you want to show you’re not into all that arty-farty stuff, in which case minimalist suits you.
To say it’s unimportant though is not right. You watch Julia, Bucko [new version here], Captain Ranty etc. and you’ll see they’ve changed their front pages over time. Admittedly I change mine too much but that says “responsive” to me. However, Feb 23 is when mine settles on its new form.
Point of this post?
It’s to say to any small bloggers out there who are thinking of stopping – don’t. Make the blog accessible, without that horrible Google Blogger captcha rubbish, and all is well. Keep posting your apoplexy, don’t give it away. Don’t believe this c*** about blogs dying – they won’t die if you keep going. Simples.
Look, we have big troubles coming up in this land. Let me finish with a comment by one Steve W, directed at me at OoL:
Just to add, I generally find your posts on here to be amongst my least favourite and amongst those I agree with least, however, that shouldn’t stop one reading them.
This post, however … had I been amongst those who just ignore posts by those with whom I disagree I would be diminished by that wilful ignorance. Keep it up James, like I said, even though I largely disagree, that in no way diminishes the value you get from writing or I get from reading your posts.
Please, people – keep writing .