Why Do I Blog? A Sobering RecapitulationMonday, March 21, 2011
|Alex in much simpler times in his youth|
I have been blogging since January 2006 and I have written (by my internal search engine count) four “Why do I blog?” blogs. I have chosen not to reprise (although I probably will without actively knowing so) those previous four blogs today Monday. Today Monday (but in actuality today Friday, March 26) I knew that I would be going to Saltspring Island on Wednesday March 24 to give a slide lecture to the island’s garden club. I was much too busy (or should I write and fake it?), preparing for Wednesday to write a blog for today. By Tuesday I knew that I would not be writing any until Friday when I would (and I did) come back. Which accounts for this one, at least.
There is one big change from my approach to blogging since I first started. In that year first year (2006) I fully equated a blog to an actual written diary in which I would write about what I wanted to write on that day’s events, that day and before midnight. I failed a few times when I had server problems or computer down times. By the time Rosemary, Rebecca (my now much older granddaughter of my two, the other one is called Lauren) and I went of vacations to Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico or I traveled, on my own to Texas I relied on the technique of either writing blogs that I thought I would write and storing them online as drafts or I stored possible photographs to illustrate them on line pictures sites like Photobucket. I would then rely on internet cafes for computer access. In some of the hotels we stayed in Mexico they had computer rooms for guests. I always seemed to manage.
Of late (perhaps the last two years) when I have had computer problems (mostly issues with Blogger) or differences of opinion (on how to pay) with my Net Nation domain hosting (where they would pull the plug on my web page and ancillary blog) I would post blogs for the days missed. As far as I can tell I am not missing one day.
I could lazily say that this blog will take the place not only for today Monday but for the rest of the week. But I still have my standards. That would simply not do. I will try to be up to date by this Sunday.
In the last couple of years I have been trying to be more careful about what pictures I post of my daughters and I check and make sure I do not disclose where they go to school, etc. Rebecca, who is now 13, objected in the past when I would reveal such secrets that she might have a boyfriend or mention her performance in school. I see now that she was right so I make sure before I post something that it would pass muster with her. In short I am a bit more secretive of family goings on.
Perhaps the one issue that haunts me a couple of times per year is when I get an email from some person mentioned or (most often) featured in a blog who tells me, ”Alex, I really love those pictures you took of me back then and even though you have cropped them to reveal a lot less that I showed I would like you to remove that day’s post. I am now in a serious job as a dental assistant (or similar job) and I would not want anybody to know about my past life.”
I have two solutions to the above quandary. The first one is to remove the person’s surname or perhaps remove one (and only one if there are more) of the pictures. The second solution is to inform the person that my blog is like my personal written diary and I should not be expected to cross out passages or tear out pages from it. If this second solution does not work I tell the person to hire a lawyer. Touch wood, I have been free of litigation problems until now. There have been a few blogs that before I have posted them I have consulted with my friend, a prominent Vancouver lawyer. Up until now his advice has been, “Don’t worry about this one.” Here and here are two blogs I passed by my lawyer friend before I posted.
As I read the terrible comment letters (the on line ones) to local (Vancouver) dailies or even to the more national Globe & Mail I feel no regret in never having been tempted to allow comments to my blogs.
One person was able to find my email address through other means and sent me an extensive complaint on how bullfights were not fights at all, when I praised a couple of classical and superb Spanish bullfighters I had seen in my youth. The purpose of my original blog was to compare Canadian ballerina Evelyn Hart to Manolete and how both would have been labeled fenómenos by the Spanish press.
About half a year ago Blogger inserted in my blog program something called Stats. I have never been interested in finding out how many hits I had per day. But I made the mistake of looking into these stats one day and I was overwhelmed by the level of information. I knew what percentage of those who read or say my blog used this or that operating computer system or from what country they were based. The stats gave me hits for the now, the day, the week and the month. The stats also revealed what search engines where used, And worst of all I found out that many of the hits came from image searches which even when random (such as women over 50) would hit on a semi nude portrait I had posted in the past and it appeared right next to images of Helen Mirren!
A few years ago I persuaded the then Vancouver weather gal, Tamara Taggart to pose (clothed) with her new husband in their bed. I had been assigned by Vancouver Magazine to take her portrait. My blog is called Tamara Taggart In Bed. This blog is found (hit on) every day as I see it in my personal stats. I also see pictures of my granddaughters when there are image searches for Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carol and (scary) Sally Mann. It tells me that sex really rules the world and that I do well to not accept comments. There are many nuts out there with lots of time in their hands.
But all in all I don’t think I have changed the look or the feel of my blog. One possible change might be that my blogs are longer. This is because like those nuts who write nasty comments to newspaper on line sites I have lots of time in my hands. And this blog, of this I am absolutely sure, helps to keep me from becoming one of them..
Why do I Blog ?
Why Do I Blog? II
Why Do I Blog? III
Why Do I Blog? IV