Friday, September 14, 2007

Now tell me about your blog...

Recently I had the rare pleasure of coming across a meme full of nosey questions that I REALLY REALLY want to put to other people. So much so, that I have taken it on, despite not being named and shamed, via Charlotte's Web.


1. Do you promote your blog?

I am uncharacteristically shy about telling real-life people that I blog. To many non-bloggers I suspect it sounds ridiculously self-indulgent and a total waste of time. We, the enlightened, know differently of course, but I don't often feel like defending the benefits of blogging.
My husband, on the other hand, has an annoying habit of 'outing' me to people. My in-laws, his work colleagues, goodness only knows who else.
Other than that, my Flickr photos often link back to my blog, but I'm not part of any blog rings or suchlike.


2. How often do you check hits?

More often than I care to admit. I'm obsessed with knowing where people come to visit me from. Some of the google search criteria that lead to me are understandable (too many cobwebs in house), some are tenuous (bad bunny pics) and some are downright bizarre (alpaca cbc chem profile). In my imagination, there is some poor student of veterinary medicine still scratching his head over that one.


3. Do you stick to one topic?

Me me me me me me. Isn't that the core of any blog? No, but seriously, domesticity I guess. For me that's a bit of craft, a bit of cooking, and a slice of family life.


4. Who knows that you have a blog?

A few friends, my family, the folks at my local bookshop and in my book group and all of you of course. Sadly, no people wanting to do magazine spreads on my home, ask my advice on cooking or give me free review copies of craft books seem to have noticed yet.


5. How many blogs do you read?

Far far far too many. I'm trying to cut down, but I'm plagued with guilt about removing a blog from my bloglines subscription (currently standing at 283 feeds). I remember the first time I noticed that the number of subscribers to mine had gone down. I was mortified - what had I said? Was I offensive or just plain dull and untalented? Cue extreme paranoia. So now I fudge the issue by putting blogs I'm not loving quite so much into a 'sacrificed' folder which I try very hard not to read. I am also implementing a little rule of thumb which says that for each new blog I subscribe to an older subscription has to be sacrificed. It's hard - I'm not naturally ruthless.


6. Are you a fast reader?

Yes, thank goodness, given the 283 feed situation. So one of my pet peeves is the folks who have set their feeds up so I only get the first few lines of a post. I then have to click over to the blog to read the post. I hate this, it wastes time. Time I really need to read all my bloody feeds. So have a heart peeps and don't do it!


7. Do you customise your blog or do anything technical?

I can just about manage to crop a photo, make a button work or do a manual link. But I just use a standard template. I figure there are a lot of folks much better at this stuff than I am, so why not take advantage of their expertise! I have wondered about changing my template to something else though. Do you hate the dots? Be honest.


8. Do you blog anonymously?

No. Real name, photos of the kids, the lot. I'm really not worried about child snatchers. If they took Mark, they'd be on the doorstep within the hour begging me to take him back! But in all seriousness, I feel that there is no more danger from my blog than there is from some nutter watching my the boys in the playground. Perhaps if something negative happened to my photos, I'd feel differently, but for now, open it is.


9. To what extent do you censor yourself?

Hugely!! I try to follow the 'If you can't say anything nice...' principle. So consequently, there is plenty I don't say. I'm not sure crafty blogland is really the place to be controversial (although I am intrigued by the soap opera quality of the occasional spats I have followed elsewhere).
I do find though, that purposefully concealing something big from my blog leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. If the blog is not a fairly honest reflection of my life, it feels a bit of a sham. So you do get the 'ugly' sometimes, even if I only tell you to give you a laugh.


10. The best thing about blogging?

There are so many great things: finding like minded chums, always finding someone who can answer a little question I might have, inspiration, making me appreciate the small things more, the fact that I have a record of the last couple of years of my little family's life. But the best is the fact that I watch a lot less crap telly than I used to.


I am uncharacteristically keen to tag people for this. I really really want to know the answers to these questions. Whenever I have had the pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger in real life, these topics always seem to come up in conversation. So, Alicia, Manda, Lynn, Laura, Zoe, Angela, Beki, Simmy, Sally and any other blogger I have ever read (all 283 of you) - I am fascinated to know, so go on, indulge my curiosity.

38 comments:

kirsty said...

Oh man, I laughed at your husband 'outing ' you and your blog! My husband does exactly the same thing. We bought a new car recently and when I went to the dealer to get it - you guessed it - the staff had read my blog! He TOLD THE CAR DEALERS about it.

Junie Moon said...

This was very interesting and I learned a lot from it--about you but also about blogging. Thank you for sharing this information.

Diane said...

Geeze - I am such a beginner at this!!! I have only just begun to blog, and hardly know how to start! The only ones that read mine are my two grown kids! How do you get more people to read your blog? And I only have a million questions, and need to find a book somewhere about "Blogging for Dummies", but haven't found one so far!

But, I do do A LOT of lurking, and spend many hours each day looking at them all too! Maybe I don't do enough crafts (how about any?) So how do you learn how to blog? Do you just start each one with what you did that day? ..... Anyway, I do enjoy your blog very much - and hope you have a great day!

Diane

Megan said...

My husband barely notices I have a blog. And where's my tag? Now I know you don't really love me after all.

We are a bit of a navel gazing breed, aren't we? For we, read me.

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Hi Ali,
Yep, I could just copy and paste your answers to my blog...I do it for all the same reasons. I'm very reluctant to tell anyone in the real world about my blog, because it's the real me writing and that's different to the Gill they know(either as a boss or friend or neighbour or family member). I'm not sure I want them to know so much about me!
Great post, isn't it good being part of the enlightened bloggers society?!

sarah said...

I loved reading this post, really fascinating stuff. I have no idea what a feed is though, and now I'm worried that I'm annoying people by not having set up my feed properly!

Kristy said...

I get really unnerved when I know that someone has read my blog because I know they know me better than I know them.I also worry I'll be outed as a fraud!My sister is the worst for outing me.I remember going to a birthday party and someone getting very excited to meet 'Vintage Pleasure' she'd read every single post and kept saying 'I loved it when you said ..' or' That was so nice' etc.It was a little unnerving! My hubby however has zero interest in my blog apart from how much the swaps cost him!
I think I'm matching you one the bloglines subscriptions and have the same peeve about the first line only ones!
I really want to start selling my wares again so will need to promote my blog and etsy but somehow it feels cheeky.

meg said...

great meme! my husband outs me, too, and i hate it!

kat said...

what is it about husbands?
My husband tells people about my blog all the time :) I agree,it's hard to explain blogging to non-blogging people.

Thanks for sharing :) it was fun to read.

French Knots said...

I think it's great that so many of us feel the same. I thought I had a lot on bloglines with 144 but feel positively modest now! I like the dots, they give an interesting background without overpowering your pictures.

kirsten said...

wow, so sorry that i'm annoying you with my bloglines habits! i like people to come to my actual blog, though, as many times bloglines makes photos completely wonky (or HUGE) and screws with your post. Also, i'm sure more people comment if they come to your actual site - so come on, right click! open in a new tab - don't you have 17 tabs open at a time like me? Totally efficient.

Angel Jem said...

Just cut and paste, basically. except I have told my sister in law that I blog and now she looks at me weird (Her daughter thinks it's cool, though. I am on the same wavelength as an 11 year old girl. Actually, I think she's older than me.)

Jox said...

cut and paste for me too.
I'm outed all the time by my partner, yet he's very offhand about it to me.
I have told a few people about my blog, but it can get a bit odd when you realise that some one has read it all and makes a reference to something that you know that you have only referred to in your blog.
Might have to tag myself! how sad and bloggy!!

linda said...

Oh the bloglines thing. I had to cut down. I just had to. It was to the point where blogging was losing it's fun. My bloglines subscription is much lower now and I feel more free because of it. :o)

Victoria May Plum said...

Ha ha, so funny, great post.
I haven't told anyone that I blog - too weird!
I still can't believe that anyone would want to read my blog!

Oh well,
I love to hear more about the bloggers behind the blogs, so it was so good to read this post.

Victoria x

Kat-in-a-flap. said...

I'm so with you on the honesty thing,what if someone you knew read it ?????
Thanks for visiting me,
Kat xxx

Kate said...

I feel a bit more normal after reading your answers - I think I'd answer most questions like you did. I have another of those husbands that even tells people he's just met about my blog.

monique(moki) said...

interesting topic for a meme! I'm not taking it on though LOL!

Alicia A. said...

fascinating... I'm on it. ;)

samantha said...

I too felt I would just be able to use some of your answers - and I censor myself because Mum reads it, and even at 37 I'm still afraid I might upset her! My husband does out me, but most of my own inner circle of friends now blog that it doesn't feel so bad. When I worked at the market with Aunty Cookie recently, it was really weird when people knew who I was from my picture on my blog (I have since removed it, because one lady told me I look nothing like my photo and I got all paranoid). I recently culled my bloglines down to 120 which I am kind of keeping managed, but I felt guilty about every unsubscription, and tried to reason that they weren't reading my blog anyway, so they wouldn't really know that I'd gone, but well really I'm still feeling guilty! you are right though, it does help for less time in front of the tv, however, I've had to start doing most of blog reading during the day so Mr Whizzme doesn't really know just how much time I spend at the computer!!

Amy said...

You always crack me up. There are too many "me toos" to even comment on them here. Does my blogs feed only give a few lines? If so, I'm sorry. I don't do bloglines so I have no idea how that all works. If it is bad I can try to learn to fix it.

capello said...

i'm so all over this!

and i heart your answers!

Thimbleanna said...

What an interesting meme! Thanks for the comment about the bloglines feed -- I'd been thinking about changing mine to that format, cause like Kirsten said, I hate the way bloglines makes the pictures huge. Oh well...I guess I'll live with it. And if you figure out how to easily pare down your subscriptions -- do tell. I could put them in different folders like you do, but I'm too afraid I'll miss something fantastic from someone. I'm currently at 269 and it's really more than I can manage....

amandajean said...

my husband outs me and my blog, too. at first I was pretty embarassed about it, but I finally got used to it. This is a fun meme...i liked reading your answers.

Kloth & Bolt said...

wow, amazing i think you've captured so well how so many blogger feel. you've articluated so well exactly how i feel! -kb

beki said...

I like this one, I've been thinking about all weekend. I plan to participate sometime this week (after I catch up on my huge backlog of unread blogs and unanswered emails!) Thanks for the tag ;-)

jojo* said...

ditto, ditto and ditto to everything you said. I also censor myself. I've had to squelch the urge to write snide things to one person in real life who reads my blog and uses it to talk about me behind my back. RUDE!

tiel said...

that was fun to read. but what about the question..how long will you think you will continue to blog? I mean will you be a blogging granny one day? I often think about this. Not you, I mean me.

Lucy said...

I like the dots and I really don't like it when I find another blogger using them - I consider this template to be yours! I think I must be a bit odd.

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks Ali for such an interesting blog. It's fascinating finding out the thought processes that lie behind our blogs. I haven't told anyone about my blog (apart from husband and kids and a best friend), it makes me feel freer and less self-conscious, however I am still trying to work on that self-conscious bit! I also didn't realise that there was so much technical stuff you can do with a blog - (eg what is a blog feed? does it tell you who visits etc?).
Anyway, thanks for the birthday wishes and lovely comments
Kim x

paula said...

This was really interesting! (Er, I'm still waiting for no. 4 myself.) I read a lot of blogs, too, but I do it the old fashioned click-the-links way and have no idea if my feed looks annoying. I should start bloglines...I have a bad memory and can neglect some blogs I like for a couple of weeks before I remember to read them.

Censorship does seem to be where it's at. I get kinda depressed by other bloggers' perfect lives sometimes and have to remind myself that they censored out all the spills and dog hair and clutter on the kitchen table. And that, while I don't want to spill everything on the internet, neither do I want everybody to think that I have this amazingly perfect life.

cloth.paper.string said...

great post, ali! i must say, you've inspired me to change my feeds to show the entire post!

Poshyarns said...

My husband is just like yours!! I am shy about telling people around me, (after all, I might want to write about them one day...)but my husband cannot stop telling people! I loved reading your answers to this, very interesting and so pleased to hear that someone else confesses to reading to many blogs, of course I haven't even managed to work out how to use bloglines so mine are all in a rather large bookmark folder!

lazylol said...

Great post!

I am so relieved to hear you have 283 feeds...I have always wondered how many people have and do I have too many. I have a similiar number to you so I can relax now -lol

Joanna Butchart said...

fantastic post

mrsnesbitt said...

Would love to know how to organise the "feeds" thingy! I am not technical at all!

alice c said...

Thank you for writing this - it is a very interesting perspective on blogging for me because I am still quite newish.

I was particularly interested in the fact that you do not visit blogs but only read bloglines - my own blog is completely photo orientated and so I have not linked to bloglines. I suspect that this may be a limiting factor!

Kate said...

Wow, now I don't feel so bad about my 153 feeds...

Every time I find a new blog, I end up adding at least 10 feeds, because they always link to different blogs.

Last week, I was reading a blog I hadn't been to for a while and I was like 'wait, when did she get a six month old baby? Wasn't she pregnant last time I...' I hadn't read her blog for SIX MONTHS, even though she was one of my favourites. Seriously, if your blog wasn't high in the alphabet, I wouldn't get here as often!