I have been 'blogging' since April 2008. I'm not sure exactly why I started, but as I said at the time, probably ego came into it. Who doesn't like to hear the sound of their own voice! Plus it was all new to me and I like challenges. Only there are few people in the Western world that are so technically inept as myself; its a genetic thing I reckon, plus an age thing, plus a condition known as TGA which did my mental capabilities, never exceptional any favours at all.
Various people, including my son in law Jeff helped me out, I adopted the name grumpyoldken and off I went.
On the 16th April I wrote a blog entitled In the Beginning. I blogged regularly, more than weekly, only vaguely knowing what I was doing. Various people helped me out and I discovered a whole new world and some lovely people. I remember the thrill of receiving my first comments. Both, like Lord Lucan vanished in mysterious circumstances. Lindsey and Kyozan, where are you now, my friends? I remember too the shock and indignation at receiving a sarcastic, uncalled for comment when I pointed out, totally innocently that I didn't even know the derivation of the word 'blog'. Welcome to the world of blogging! The same pompous, self important twerp later sent me another dismissive missive (at least he was consistent.) I wondered about this 'blogging lark' Fortunately such idiots are in the minority. As a matter of fact over four years later I have never had a further negative comment; an extraordinary testament to the warm brother and sisterhood out there who regularly blog.
My blogs are heartfelt I hope, if unexceptional; I marvel at the blogs that are out there. Erudite individuals who put me to shame. Bloggers Bernard and Eddie Bluelights spring to mind, learned gentlemen whose computer skills put me to shame, technical experts who dwarf my puny efforts. Plus advancing years seem no barrier to some. .
Around December 2010 my blog somehow appeared on an American site, something to do with Blogger I believe. Over a seven day period I had over 12,000 'hits' if memory serves me right, attracted over 1,000 'followers' and at the peak of my 'success' once had over 100 comments per post. I suddenly had visitors from all over the world; America, Korea, Japan, India, South America. Even Finland, how the heck did someone in Finland know of my existence!
The whole situation was embarrassing, surreal, unmanageable. Part of the embarrassment lay in the fact that no way can you personally acknowledge so many visitors. In fact one of the downsides of blogging is that individual personal circumstances mean we often fail to acknowledge others. In doing so we appear 'rude and disrespectful', a fact that has always filled me with feelings of guilt. (We are 'what we are' and I was always taught to be respectful to others. Ah the joys of a chapel upbringing!)
The 'fame' passed; imperceptibly over a period of time my followers drifted away; and away; and away; to an alarming degree. Perhaps it's the Andy Warhol 'fifteen minutes of fame' syndrome. I remember bloggers from the past who were highly successful but who have vanished, often without trace. Some have, in four years consciously 'withdrawn'; others have sadly passed away. I strongly suspect blogging is a somewhat ephemeral pursuit, am I right? Yet there are still bloggers who attract wide audiences and masses of comments.
I try to blog weekly. no fixed agenda but after over four years I find it difficult.
I consciously avoid topical subjects in the main thereby adding to my problems. Pressures elsewhere also add to my difficulties. I published, with technical help an e-book entitled 'A Childhood Revisited'. The technical side is mind bending. Completion due only to the skills and patience of my mentor Russell.
The buzz word in the e-book world seems to be 'marketing'; I have even jointed Twitter! (Who said I was always a bit of a twit!) My feeble brain is overstretched but life goes on. I will probably carry on blogging, hopefully until I am down to my last 'follower.' Thanks to everyone reads my attempts to amuse, educate, inform. how does it go 'You've made an old man very happy'.
In the Beginning My first ever blog
Hooray we're away. Watch this space. As the old man used to say, 'softly, softly, catchee monkey.' A saying incidentally that one of my daughters finds incredibly naff. After several attempts this blog is finally off the ground, courtesy of a good friend, Chris who has the most incredible knowledge of how computers work. Thanks Chris, I feel as if I've now fully entered the 21st century. So 'What's it all about, Alfie?'
I suppose firstly, in a way it's an ego trip, hopefully allowed at my age. Secondly having had various health problems, nothing new at my age, I need to keep what's left of the old brain going. Thirdly, I write regularly, make little out of it but need an audience (the old ego trip again). So off we go and let's see what develops. But firstly, after all the excitement I need a lie down!