Friday, 22 July 2011

Er… is this thing on?

Sometimes - especially in the summer months - you find newspaper columnists writing about how difficult it is to come up with something about which to write (or 'something to write about', given that most of them never listen to what they type).

Being a blogger, I don't have that pressure. Nobody's paying me to write. Well, actually a university is paying me to write research papers, but the less said about that, the better. But Plashing Vole is simply me ranting into the void. It did start as a tool for teaching some MA students about social media, and in that respect, it failed miserably. They'd never heard of blogging, didn't want to know about it, and certainly weren't going to try it, which torpedoed the second half of that particular day. No doubt it would all be very different now.

So I'm in the happy position of not having to blog if I don't want to. Or am I? After all, I have a readership of sorts. Some of you I know personally. Some have washed up here after being misdirected by friends. Others have followed links from social or even official media. Most of you are passing through, having clicked a link on a search engine. You wanted cars/sex/music/LOLZ and you got me, for which I can only apologise.

You're a disparate bunch, which makes you a tricky audience. I can't - like a radio or TV station - offer something for everyone and assume that you'll tune in to the bits you like. I have to balance the kinds of thing I offer in the hope that some of you will come back for more, driven by my magnetic personality and unique take, even if you're not interested in the source material. I'd quite like this to be one of those beautiful, cool, intellectual and literate sites like Tales from the Reading Room, or this one, or any of these. But I can't. Mainly because I'm a dumbs with the concentration skills of a brain-damaged gnat, partly because I just don't know enough and keep reading fun books rather than Improving Tomes, and partly because most of you guys would close-tab at high speed. (And I buy far more books than I read).

What else do I blog about? Politics, you say. OK, I do occasionally venture into that field, perhaps a little too enthusiastically at times. Winding up Paul Uppal MP (his newsletter is full of pictures of him posing as a volunteer, but doesn't find space to mention his cheerful votes to cut benefits, punish the poor, privatise higher education, enrich the banks, bomb more brown people, privatise the NHS and abolish libraries) is a public service, but I might just be losing some of you when I put up the 13th politics post of the day. What can I say? I'm a boring and obsessive man.

Then there's fencing: I'm a minority voice in a minority sport. You should all try it - it's fantastic, exhilarating and exhausting. But I understand that it's not to all tastes. Which brings me to my taste in music and other culture. It feels downright rude to bring to your attention all the wonderful artefacts that are better than the ones you're already familiar with. The Field Mice. Beefheart. Tiffany.

Finally, I put up photographs. Flowers, fencers, hills, silly signs, urban decay.

So: of what would you like more, and less?


Ewarwoowar said...

Interesting blog post.

In my opinion you're looking at this the wrong way. Nobody forces a person to read any blog, so if someone keeps coming back it's because they're enjoying what you write/put up.

Instead of asking us what we want more of, what we want less of, what could be better etc, just simply carry on doing your own thing. I'm a firm believer that your blog is YOUR blog - what I mean by that is that you shouldn't be swayed too much by other peoples opinions. If they don't like it, they can lump it.

I don't really dally on your music posts, or your fencing pictures, because they aren't my thing, but who gives a shit about what I think? You certainly shouldn't. Do what you like, I say.

David Wells said...

I read your blog because I find it funny and enlightening. I'm not too bothered on the subject matter.

Benjamin Judge said...

I could not agree more. It should be up to you what is on t'blog.

Although perhaps less arguing the toss between 'about which to write' and 'write about'. It had been twelve years since the last time anyone had said 'about which to write', and then you come along, with your correctness.

ed said...

I agree with the above three comments. Do what ya like, like what ya do.

(Though, more obscure indie with which I can impress/bemuse my friends would be great...)

Grumpy Bob said...

More 10,000 Maniacs CDs, please!

Emma said...

Bring back the Friday Conundrum please

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ewarwoowar that it is your blog, your thoughts and your reactions to items that get your juices flowing so please don't change.
However I will say that I am particularly partial to the Hegemon references - I am also one of their wage slaves.

The Plashing Vole said...

OK, so more of the same. And I will endeavour to resume the Friday Conundrum.

No doubt there's plenty more 10,000 Maniacs to come.

And I'm going to continue to resist the rabble's unthinking placement of pronouns at the end of sentences. It's ugly. I also intend to revive the use of 'whom' and 'whomsoever'. Because I can.

litlove said...

Seeing as you have just called me cool and I have NEVER in my life had that distinction before, you can do what you want and it will be just marvellous in my eyes. Do feel free to keep slamming politicians. There just can't be enough of that.

Sinéad said...

re: appropriate use of pronouns...

#1: Knock, knock
#2: Who's there?
#1: To
#2: To who?
#1: Don't you mean, 'to whom'?