I’ve been blogging away for a couple of years now, and, as regular readers will know, I tend to home in on food (CAKES!), languages and travel, liberally interspersed with assorted frustrations and bemusements thrown up by the daily grind.
Most of us, given the time constraints imposed by daily life, are selective readers, who are little inclined to read or comment negatively on posts that deal with topics we don’t much care for. What’s the point of pissing on somebody’s bonfire, unless you’re one of those deranged individuals who gets a kick out of trolling, right?
Now, I do receive “complaints”. My comment section is replete with reproaches like these: “too many flowers”, “not enough Don Quijote”, “I can’t stand sweet stuff”, “all cats are evil”, “not another bloody food picture!” etc. My blogging buddies just love giving me stick. It’s my absolute favourite part of blogging ;-) As for any serious discord of the abusive type, I’ve been mercifully spared so far.
Anyway, this is the train of thought that got me thinking about the kinds of posts/blogs that don’t particularly float my boat, and which I tend to skip. Here we go:
I’ll probably be pelted with rotten eggs for this, but I’m one of these troglodytic heathens who finds the sticky heart sap of other people’s sentimental anguish packaged up into overwrought verse unpalatable. There, I’ve said it.
HOWEVER, if a poem bounds up to me dressed in the frilly knickers of humour, I’m more than willing to give it a shot. Anything for a good chuckle. But, on the whole, poetry – meh!
I should probably confess at this point that I have written poetry myself. When I’m grappling with troublesome life stuff, I find that it helps my processing. I’m aware, though, that the words I choose are powerful to me, and to me only, as the specific associations between words and feelings are unique to my tumultuous emotional landscape. The concept of putting my wretched outpourings up on a blog strikes me as being equal to masturbating in public. The activity may be highly gratifying for the perpetrator, but for the bystanders… not so much.
Oh, I do so relish reading fiction – it’s my favourite pastime. But I like to get my daily fiction fix from books (or my e-reader), not from the blogosphere. It’s just a personal preference, I totally get why somebody may want to publish the fruits of their creative writing in blog format. However, I personally turn to blogs because they give me a whiff of real life, as it happens to real people in different parts of the world.
To me, the idea of reading fiction on a blog is like going to the theatre to enjoy a live performance, and then being shown a film instead. Even if Viggo Mortensen happened to be pirouetting naked in this flick, it’s just not what I came out to see in that type of venue.
“I’ve made a commitment to post every day until the sun burns out”
OK. Let me be brutal: Nobody bloody cares. Whether you post every single day. Or once a month. Or thrice a year. Really. Not one iota.
What I do care about is informative posts, funny posts, pictures of luscious cheese I can drool over… you get the idea.
Blogging is not an obligation. It’s a hobby (unless you’re paid to do it). And although it can be very social, it’s not a team sport. You’re NOT letting people down when you don’t show up for a few days.
There’s no sacred covenant a blogger signs with their readers. Despite what some bloggers might think, people don’t leap out of bed in the morning, desperate to read what KoreanHausfrauInRwanda rustled up for dinner last night, and then cry into their coffee when there’s – shock horror! – not a single word from the treacherous tease.
“She went off to have some baby and then didn’t post for THREE full weeks…!” [Taken at the Crocodile Cafe, Muswell Hill, London, if anyone's interested]
If the WP Reader says 2,000+ words, count me out. To be honest, for anything over 1,300, I have to be seriously into the blogger and/or the topic.
While I appreciate a few sentences of illuminating background explanation, where appropriate, is there really a need to copy & paste eight paras of historical eventage? Instead of data dumping, maybe we could… you know… insert a link to one of the hundreds of pages which already give that information? Just a thought. The internet is nifty like that.
What I relish reading about is how much someone detested the yowly flamenco performance they saw last weekend in Granada, not a dry, dull (and ultimately, safe) rendition of the musical genre’s hundreds-of-years of stomping, twirling, castanet-clacking history.
So, some lucky blogster decides to abscond for a couple of weeks to go wild water rafting down the wifi-bereft Yukon, and, in what can either be interpreted as a bizarre act of misguided altruism or an existential fear of losing their entire readership, they squeeze the last remaining dregs of energy into cranking out a batch of posts in advance, to be released by the iCloud elves at three-day intervals.
Now, what’s the point of that?! The lights are on, but nobody’s home…?
You see, I like the banter, the comment ping-pong, the irreverent feedback, the hilarity that ensues after posting. Reading and commenting on a ghost-posted piece is like being invited over for dinner by a dear friend, and, just as I arrive on their doorstep, being told: “Hey, I’ve cooked up some fabulous nosh, it’s on the table, enjoy, but I’m off now for an evening of line dancing with the Nashvillains. Cheerio!”
Erm… as much as I love great food, I was actually looking forward to the company even more.
OK, that’s it from me*.
So, what about you? Any blog-related turn-offs you’d like to vent? The more irrational and difficult-to-justify, the better. Now’s your chance, get it off your chest ;-)
I realise this post will cost me 90% of my readership…
[*I do harbour a number of more commonly-shared irritations, such as people never responding to comments, paragraphs that run on for 20+ lines, and, of course, my ex-ed/proofer's innards contort when exposed to posts littered with heinous spelling and grammar violations, but there's already a zillion posts about these types of foibles, so I thought I'd spare you. In fact, this sentence is so long, that it would probably annoy me on someone else's blog...]