Do you read these things? The ubiquitous blogger with their garrulous outpourings. Words to fill the silence, sentences to rattle in the air, verbiage to occupy every last empty corner of cyberspace. No good event goes by in 2010 without a resident blogger getting themselves attached to tell the connected world just how the thing is. During this year’s Guardian Hay Literature Festival Simon Mundy, a self-confessed total newbie, was installed as resident blog man. He was given the task of reporting daily (or more frequently if he chose and he sometimes did) on the doings of the world’s greatest literary festival. Simon Mundy’s Festival Frolics gave the inside story and did so in style.
With a certain prescience Mundy observed that blogs get consumed backwards. The reader alights on the latest instalment and then, if sufficiently roused, scrolls backwards through ever earlier entries until they reach the first. And it’s usually in this one that bloggers set out their stalls and explain what they are doing and why. Mundy’s blog was thoroughly entertaining, as one might expect. And it’s still there, out in cyber wonderland, where nothing ever gets finally erased. Bloggers take care, what you say won’t go away.
Poet Mike Jenkins with space before him now that his teaching has finished, regularly expands his observations on the world with a pretty readable blog. The state of life in Merthyr with special reference to writing. The town has changed its name, he blogged recently, this place used to be
In the new 2011 edition of A&C Black’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, one of the two essential author’s handbooks, there’s a pretty informative section on writing and the online world. This includes an analysis of the ebook market (67% American with 65% of world product devoted to fiction and only 8.2% to business - which differs considerably from the predictions of futurologists), descriptions of how to launch a website, and an essay on writing a blog.
Blogs, of course, don’t cost anything to set up or to visit. Out there are loads covering just about every interest area there is. How much time do you want to waste following them? Select with care.
A version of this posting appeared as The Insider in the Western Mail of Saturday, 14th August, 2010. #160