Tag Archives: blog

The Blog that Broke the Camel’s Back

The other day I had an exchange with another blogger here on WordPress, during which he told me that there are some 600 million blogs in the world.

Later on, I read a recent survey that put the total number of blogs at WordPress alone at close to 74 million. FYI Tumblr hosts over 100 million blogs, as well.

It’s mind-boggling, really. Or should that be mind-blogging? Boggling and blogging are, after all, anagrams of each other, aren’t they?

Anyway, whether the initial figure of 600 million blogs is accurate or not, I did some rough calculations about how long it would take to visit every single blog in existence. As part of this equation I allowed 10 seconds per blog view and the number I got was 190 years.

In fact, to be honest, I actually got 19 years, but now I’ve re-done the sums I think the answer should have been 190 years. If it is actually the latter, then this would be proof enough it’s in no way humanly possible to see every other blog in the blogosphere.

Who cares? I hear you cry out in despair at my lack of a discernible point.

To which I reply, all right already! Be patient! For here is my point. Are you ready? OK. Let me ask you this, how is it out of the literally hundreds of millions of other blogs (that are just blogging around out there) you ended up here, reading this?

Think about it…Life’s short, and it would take you somewhere between 19 and 190 years (trust me, math is not my strongest suit) to visit every blog in existence. And yet here you are reading this.

Is it fate or kismet or synchronicity, perhaps? Pure chance, maybe? What is it that makes us visit and follow the blogs that we do? I’m sure, most of us would like to think we exercise the power of choice in such matters. But I’m not so sure.

My primary criteria in selecting blogs to follow is a perceived sense of like-mindedness. That and curiosity. By which I mean, if a blog diverts me from my habitual preoccupations, in some interesting or unexpected way, for long enough, I might also give it a go.

Whatever. What I’m really trying to get around to saying is that what we’re seeing with this whole blogging phenomenon is actually the next evolution in writing. For in many ways we are currently witnessing the end of the novel and other more traditional forms of the written word.

And so, ultimately, I believe, the next big shift in writing will be towards a more collective approach. And that’s exactly what I would argue is taking place right now within blog-writing communities more generally. People are aligning with each other and forming small collectives, whereby they can freely exchange comments and feedback, almost immediately after a piece of written work is posted.

In the past a new idea would find expression through the writing of a single individual, be it the societally critical insights of a Charles Dickens’ novel or even the evilly distorted vision of something like Mein Kampf, for that matter.

But is it possible that maybe humanity is now moving towards a point where new ideas will find their expression through the kind of “writing collectives” that blog-writing communities naturally engender?

So put another way, are we really choosing the blogs we follow? Or is there a larger purpose bringing us all together? Because, sure, while it might prove to be an extremely long and gradual process, it’s entirely possible there are certain yet to be formalized ideas actively seeking new modes of expression through our various collective on-line groupings. Just what those ideas might be is only limited by the extent of our imaginations.

It’s either that, I guess. Or that instead of 600 million blogs, there’ll soon be 6 billion and not a single one of them will be read by another individual because we’ll all be too busy blogging ourselves into oblivion.

Makes you think, though, doesn’t it? 600 million blogs…

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Coming Back for Seconds — Why I Just Can’t Get Enough of the Whole Blogging Thing

Blogging Heroes

Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m still new to this whole blogging business, but what has really blown me away the most is the instant sense of community I have felt since starting my blog.

As a writer, a lot of the time, I feel kinda marginalized by society. I don’t want to sound like a victim in all of this, believe me. But it’s rare that I openly tell people I’m a writer or that I’ve written a novel. Mostly, I suppose, because I worry people will think I’ve got tickets on myself or that I’m being pretentious.

But it’s more than just me that’s the problem. I’m sure of it. Really, it’s about jealousy, I think, ultimately. People can’t stand to hear about someone else who is actively following their dreams, especially when they themselves are locked into 9-to-5 wage slavery. Because even when I have told friends and such, in the past, about my writing, they have usually feigned complete indifference.

Hell, even my own family have in no way got behind me in this respect. It took me seven years to write my first novel, and do you think I could find a single family member willing to give up the seven hours necessary to read it? Nope. Not bloody likely!

But that’s enough about what’s bad in my life as a writer. Now I want to focus on what’s good. And, at the moment, that’s blogging. And by blogging I really mean everything about blogs generally. The writing and the posting I do on my own blog, sure, are a big part of what I’m talking about, and yet, you know, what’s really got me excited is knowing all you guys are out there doing your blogs as well. Finally, I don’t feel so all alone! Yay!

I didn’t use to know why people joined blogging communities. Until I joined one myself. Because the operative word “community” had apparently been completely lost on me. Now I know differently. There are hundreds, no, thousands (tens of thousands, even 100s of thousands)  of you out there all obsessing over the same literary quandaries I myself am beset with. Hallelujah! I’m not a freak…well…

Anyway, let me tell you about one of my current favorite blogs to visit. The site belongs to a guy called Cristian Mihai. And here is some info I copied from his About page: Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania.

Now, like I said, I’m new to blogging, so I still don’t know how to link my blog to other people’s blogs and all that technical stuff. But, whatever, I just really like what Cristian writes about. To be honest, I actually just really like the way he writes period. He’s only 23, but he is filled with such incredible ambition. I gather he wrote two novels last year, and (wait for it) this year, 2013, he plans to write three more! Holy writer’s block, not! Prolific, much?!

So, look, he doesn’t really have any idea who I am. But yesterday I posted a comment on one of his articles about how inspiring both his attitude and output are. Along with that, I also added how it took me seven years to write my first novel and how I was in no way keen about embarking on writing a second.

Then, early this morning, something completely shifted within me. On remembering my comment of yesterday, I came to realize that I can do this. I’m ready to give it a go. And God help me, for saying so, but I’m going to embark on that hellish journey I have practically sworn I would never embark on again. I’m going to write that second novel that’s been taunting me ever since I finished my first. Moreover, I reckon I’m going to write a third as well to round out a proposed trilogy. Nuts! Totally. Come on, bring it on!

“So, why?” you ask, “What has given you this incredible change of heart?”

To which I reply, “You. All of you out there who I know are just like me and Cristian. Because you, too, are aspiring novelists, budding screenwriters, gifted poets, genius photographers, funny fringe journalists and kick-arse comedic talents, more generally.”

And how do I know this about you all? Because I’ve seen your blogs. And you know what, I absolutely LOVE what I’m seeing! So keep it up guys, let’s change the world. Together.


The Daily Dilemma — “What Should I Be Feeding My Pet Blog?”

Gremlins

Gremlins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sure, blogs are like pie-holes — everybody’s got one. Right? But, the thing is, I’m sorta new to this whole blogging thing, and so I’m not so sure what I should be feeding mine.

My blog, not my pie-hole! You see, I’m talking about what my blog needs to help it thrive and grow strong. I’m trying desperately here to discover the equivalent of the daily food pyramid for blogs. Really, what is the ultimate blog diet?

As a kind of sidebar, let me just say that when I think about my blog having a diet at all, the first thing that comes to mind is those words of caution from the movie Gremlins about not feeding them after midnight. Gremlins, that is. Whereupon I next find myself compulsively substituting the concept of a ravenous blog for the concept of a hungry pack of gremlins, just because. It’s automatic.

Anyway, ultimately, then, I guess, the problem is that I fear what’s going to happen if I get it wrong. I can already see the headline now, in fact…When Blogs Go Bad! Because I fear that’s exactly where my blog will end up going. Firstly, it’ll slowly wither and die, And, then, secondly, it’ll turn into a zombie blog and go on a brain-eating rampage. Nobody’s blog will be safe! Least of all yours, dear reader…

Which again leads me to my asking you for your advice. Really, just what is the ultimate blog diet? But wait, before you answer, let me tell you what I’ve already been feeding mine. That way you can let me know if I’m on the right track.

So far, I’ve fed my blog some “Top 10 list”-type posts and a bit of flash fiction, along with some blog posts about blogging and a handful of poems. But it still doesn’t seem like enough. I mean, does it?

The trouble is that I’m not pretty or handsome enough for posting a whole lot of selfies, and I’m not really all that big on having travelled to interesting places, either. Well, I suppose, I could have a go at writing a few…oh my gosh! Is that really the time? I’ve just realised that I’ve only gone and broken the only cardinal rule of blogging…

Help, what have I done? God, forgive us all, I’ve gone and fed my blog after midnight! Aieee!!!

The End

PS Any thoughts, people? 🙂


“I’m Yours!” — The Top 10 Reasons Why I Will Follow Your Blog

  1. Team Follow BackYou’re so funny! If you can make me laugh in the first 30 seconds, I’m yours! NB I don’t mean fake, FaceBook lol funny, but rather witty, cleverly sarcastic or can tell a rude joke without resorting to potty humor.
  2. You’re so cute/hot! Hey, I’m only human, what?! Seriously, if your profile photo makes my eyes water “coz you ugly!”, sorry sister/brother I ain’t following you, no how! 😉
  3. You’re so talented! Look, everyone with a blog thinks they are the next Oscar Wilde/Orson Welles/Dorothy Parker/Tom Wolfe/Groucho Marx/Anais Nin. But let me tell you something: you’re just not! If, however, you have a unique and quirky writing style and something new and original to say…guess what, I’m yours!
  4. You’re Somebody High Up in the Biz! I’m a writer, see; so if I think you might be a big player in the print/publishing racket, I’ll suck up to you in the hope of finally getting my big break. Go ahead, take your percentage, I’m yours!
  5. Your Blog Got Freshly Pressed! I hate you already, how did you manage it? Maybe if I like and comment, like crazy, all over your blog I can share some increased popularity too? Nah, I know, that’ll never happen, so I’ll just follow you instead. I’m yours! (till tomorrow anyway…)
  6. You Followed My Blog First! I am the absolute Boss at #teamfollowback, believe me! Go on, let me prove it to you, follow my blog and you’ll see I’m not speaking with no forked tongue here: I’m yours!
  7. You Have Lots of Top 10 Lists Posted! Yup, you guessed it, I am just another one of the legion of fans of the good old Top 10 list. Heck, they’re easy to digest and don’t add more than an inch to the waistline. Post a Top 5 list and I’m not so excited, make it a Top 10 list and I’m yours!
  8. You Can Write a Catchy Headline! Just so you know, The Seasonal Habits of Ecuadorian Bed Bug Farmers is not what I consider to be an example of a catchy headline. But if you do manage to hook me with a couple of good headlines on your blog, it’s a fair bet I’ll soon be saying, “I’m yours!”.
  9. You Posted a Comment Somewhere I Liked! Truth be told, my following you is going to be about a 1,000 times more likely if the comment of yours I liked was left somewhere on my blog. Because, chances are that’s when I’m more likely to respond by telling you, “I’m yours!”
  10. You Just Plain Got Lucky, Punk! Hey, I hit the wrong button and somehow ended up at your blog?! Well, whaddaya know, I kinda agree with whatever it is you stand for? What a fluke, huh? You know what, punk, it’s your lucky day, because, guess what, I’m yours!Keep Calm