Blog Manifesto 2015

evening_lamplightI have a photography as well as a photoart blog but here I write posts, in short or longer form. As such it is the one blog that requires the most guidelines and as a rather verbose ‘About’ page, I am shining a little light on the (until now) unwritten manifesto behind this blog.

1a. Stick with the taboos: Brought up to avoid the topics of sex, religion and politics in company, I maintain this principle in my blog posts. After all I do not want to be sententious, offensive, or to claim the moral high ground which is by inference what happens when we espouse our thoughts so candidly. If what we say might cause offence or disagreement then it impels commenters to either be silent or to break the polite rules of blogging and raise contradiction. Without the face to face language of the body, virtual debate can soon turn unpleasant.

1b. Bite my tongue: Debate is of course quite healthy but there is a tendency in all social media to rain down abuse on those who break ranks from the herd view. It is this hegemony of consensus which makes me want to shout but I prefer to bite my tongue although at times I might feel like biting the writer of posts who assume that all sane thinking, rational and reasonable people will naturally share their view. If a troll sows discord in discussion, what is someone who plants contentiousness with smug righteousness?

2. Shun statistics: WordPress have just issued us with our blog’s annual statistics amidst virtual fireworks and hullabaloo. Initially I took these seriously but soon observed that stat watching is akin to navel gazing, with a negative attention-seeking effect and a moulding of when and what to write about. After being featured on WordPress, this blog was inundated with followers, barely any of which have bothered to return. It don’t mean a thing in short, and I’ve come to value even more the regular exhanges with fewer, fellow travellers.

The psychologist Skinner observed that laboratory pigeons more readily learnt and repeated a behaviour when rewarded intermittently rather than each and every time. This same kind of reinforcement applies to page rank and blog hits and so by ignoring these, I save myself all sorts of anxieties and superstitious behaviours.

3.Go slow slow quick quick slow: Though we mostly work alone, blogging is a social endeavour and joining in with themes and challenges is often the spark that ignites ideas. But a prompt is not a prod and no one perishes at the deadline so I’m re-asserting to myself the right to post as and when it happens, in line with the slow blog manifesto

4. Considerations: In short, I post irregularly, mostly sticking to lightweight topics and following others who do the same, making a point of returning the compliment of a comment without the tit-for-tat reflex:-

I blog to the rhythm of a foxtrot
as and when the spirit stirs,
for myself, for fun and whatnot.
with a nod to the world and all others.

And speaking of others, I’m mindful of the discrepancy that whilst I light-heartedly post about trivia, there are days when human tragedies of epic proportions are occurring. Uttering the cliché of ‘thoughts and prayers are with the family’ is insufficient but neither can I blog on regardless, so I’ve set up a roll call of remembrance page: Considerations. It’s not maudlin, for a minute’s silent thought can punch a hole in the hot air of the blogosphere and let a touch of reality be glimpsed.

On that solemn note, I wish you all a Happy New Year – let the games begin!


10 thoughts on “Blog Manifesto 2015

  1. Lucy Corrander

    It’s interesting to learn about the kinds of approaches we each have to blogging and the internet. Because I write about wild plants the issues you mention are unlikely to arise often. . . but I do like it too when people take a stance even if it’s one I don’t agree with. On Twitter I certainly make use of the freedom to be more political. So . . . although I appreciate your gentle (though simultaneously rigorous!) approach to blogging, if ever you were to post about sex, politics or religion from time to time – I’d probably be fascinated.
    Your ‘Considerations Page’ is an interesting solution to the problem of recognising that the world is serious out there – and sometimes quite heavy.


  2. Thanks for your honesty, Laura. I don’t really keep track of blog stats. I check them occasionally just out of curiousity, but as my blog is written for fun and learning, I don’t chase the numbers. That would be too much like work, and there’s enough “work” to do elsewhere. The “considerations” page is a good idea.


    1. remembering the fun motive is important so that our blog behaviour does not become ‘shaped’ by visitor chasing. Good to still be in touch with bloggers from our Blotanist days!!! thank you Beth


  3. Happy New Year Laura and thank you, as ever, for this thoughtful piece. I don’t watch the stats either- for me blogging is about the journey and the people I meet on the way. It’s good to have fellow travellers but I’m not a crowds kind if woman and fully agree with your points 3 and 4.
    All that said, I’m glad to share glimpses of your world with you and equally pleased you share mine.


  4. I concur that blog stats are not to be taken too seriously and I love your thoughts here about the taboos especially. I find it too negative to even try and get in the fray…and I love your slow blog manifesto as well as the Considerations page….and I especially wish you a very special New Year and thank you for all your support!


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