To blog or not to blog?

A friend recently wrote an email questioning the purpose of blogging, who it served and whether to do so had any worth. Hum?

Blog. A web log, I have just learned, was first introduced as an online journal in the late 1990s, thus the origin of the word ‘blog. Joe Bloggs, on the other hand, is British slang for an ordinary person, an unnamed typical man, most probably working class. Earlier in the mid 19th century, ‘blog’ meant a servant boy in one of the college houses and was possibly derived from ‘bloke’. 

I have a certain discomfort in writing a diary entry that someone else might read or be thought to want to read. ‘Blogging’ is an ugly word in my view, close to ‘blagging’ in sound; to blag meaning to get by clever persuasion or lying. Or even ‘blah’ the adjective which is defined as dull, boring, yawn inducing. ‘Blab’ has negative connotations as well and … Enough! This is where I ought to stop. 

Except I don’t have to think in terms of writing with the expectation of anyone reading this, even if I feel encouraged to want to share ideas. Looking through another lens at an issue, which my friend cited as a reason to blog, can only be good, reflecting on what you know, perhaps wrestling with another way of seeing. Sharing insights and ideas is important, as long as you’re not forcing them down someone’s throat. Hah! That’s better.

The Blogger online publishing service was launched in 1999. I only came to this idea of being a blogger a few years ago when setting up my website to discuss my writing and about books generally. 

I enjoy listening to ‘A Point of View’ on BBC Radio 4, a regular ten minute slot when a huge range of subjects are explored by different people. Needless to say, the selection of speakers is limited and I sometimes find myself in disagreement with views expressed. However I have the option to switch off the podcast, which is how I usually consume the programme, or merely talk back at the speaker, unbeknownst. 

Does it matter that we’re preaching to like-minded people? It would do if that were our purpose, which is not what my friend meant, I’m sure. Yes, it would be pleasing to know if someone had read and found interesting a particular article, blog. Even given feedback to further the ideas. And that is what I will do right now. 

My friend is Di Collins who writes about the outdoors, her travel and research, with wonderful pictures posted as she is a gifted photographer. I have just read, or rather admired the photos of her journey to Canada, and listened to her talking about that trip.

The person who set up my website and encouraged me to blog, is Drew Westcott He blogs on completely different issues related to the world of apps. and programming. This, also, is fascinating even if it isn’t a subject I understand. But the encouragement to find someone else writing / discussing their area of expertise is most enjoyable.

So next time, dear readers, I’ll be back with a subject that’s been roaming the airwaves for the last month; difficult books.


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