• The Forgotten Blogger

    01 January 2012

    Happy New Year, everybody! And welcome to my first blog of 2012 -- and, if my recent blogging schedule is anything to go by, it will quite possibly be one of a rare breed this year!! I'm well aware that my blogging entries have dipped alarmingly over the last year or so. I used to blog very regularly, almost every day, but now my blogs have become something of a rarity. In fact it's been more than a month since my last one! There are various reasons for this. One is that I used to address issues related to writing in many of my blogs. But when I'd said almost everything that I felt I needed to say about that, I collected my blogs together into the WRITING TIPS section on my site, and since then I haven't offered many blogs about that side of my life, since I think it would be repetitive.

    But also, the world of the web is constantly changing, and I have changed with it over the years. When I first launched my web site, I corresponded with fans through my message board and via the Shanville Monthly. While I've kept both of those lines of communication open, I don't attract the same sort of traffic with them as I once did, because the young have turned to new types of social networking sites. I've always been careful about making social networking sites part of my public, online world, as I sensed from early on that they would come and go on the winds of change -- as we've seen happen with MySpace. That site was one an important link between me and my fans, but now it has become something of a ghost site. The same happened with Bebo and lots of other similar sites, and while it seems hard to imagine it now, Twitter and Facebook will almost surely be replaced in the not too distant future. That's just the way of the web.

    Having said that, I found that if you don't pin your colours to any mast at all, you risk alienating many of your online fans. For me, an author's website is enough. I'm not really interested in tweets from my favourite authors, or following them on Facebook. If I like a writer and want to find out more about them, I'll visit their site -- for me, that's enough. But that's probably because I didn't grow up with social networking sites. I don't want to become a grumbling old codger who moans about the world not being as good as it was in my youth. As I said above, the world of the web is always changing, and so is the world itself, and I think that's a good thing. I also think that oldies like me shouldn't be too snobbish about the newer, younger generations. I hope I'll always be gracious enough to accept that new ways are at least just as good as the old, even if I find myself out of touch with them. e.g. I don't think that bands of my youth were better than more modern bands -- I could simply connect with them more engagingly when I was a teenager than I can with bands who are now speaking to the sort of person that I used to be 20 or 25 years ago.

    Anyway, I'm not SO out of touch that I ignore the trends of the web completely. Like I said, I used to use MySpace, and now I use Twitter. While MySpace didn't really interfere with my blogging, Twitter has had more of an impact. The thing with Twitter is that it's more immediate, and it allows me to make quick comments about more topics than I would ever have been able to blog about. For a long time I couldn't see the point of Twitter, but now I do -- it lets people remark on all sorts of things that they otherwise would never flag up. It's quick and instant, and whils it's also incredibly dispensable, that's not a bad thing -- posterity is vastly over-rated! In the past, many creators were very concerned about creating a legacy with everything they did. I'm of that mindset, to a certain extent, but I'm starting to move on in many ways. For instance, I used to think a lot about my blogs, the same sort of way that I think about my books, as if they were going to be an important part of my body of work (the way my blogs about writing were). Now, when it comes to chatting about my day-to-day life, I'm happy just to go with the flow, throw out little observations here and there, and let them be forgotten within a day or two.

    That's not to say I'm going to give up blogging entirely -- this rather lengthy blog is proof enough of that!! But I'll only blog when I feel there's a genuine need to do so, if there's something I want to talk about in substance which I don't think I can cover through Twitter or Facebook. In short, don't expect TOO many blogs from me over the next twelve months -- but rest assured, I'll be constantly active on Twitter and Facebook and whatever new kid might come along to knock them off their perch a bit further down the road!! The world of the web is always changing, and while I doubt I'll ever be at the cutting edge of those changes, I'll try not to lag TOO far behind... well, not until I'm another decade or two older, at least!!!!!

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