Friday, 23 January 2009

On Blasts from the Past.

I have been blogging a mere nine months. An interesting, enjoyable past time and I have never stopped learning, in part due to many bloggers I hope I can call friends. There are some clever people out there, in the main unsung who often deserve a wider audience. And it occurs to me, a novice indeed that blogging is an imperfect media. I can immediately almost smell the distaste that some regulars, die hard bloggers who have been churning them, out, often daily from time immemorial will experience at the suggestion that a newcomer might have anything to contribute to their noble elevated pastime. Tough, I never was one to succumb to browbeating.
I recently went to a fellow bloggers entry of many moons ago, in fact the first blog the lady in question ever wrote. It was excellent in the extreme and set me thinking. This blog, once written was, after the shortest period of time, cast into eternal darkness, doomed to lie unloved, in future unread. Yet it deserved a wider audience. One weakness of blogging is suggested by virtue of its very nature. It is an immediate media, living only in the presence. Thus blogs are destined to have the shortest of lives, read by the tiniest of audiences, irrespective of the time spent in the cultivation of many a little gem. True, many a blog is born at breakneck speed, posted and thought of no more; the next blog, and the next and the next becomes the focus. But even the most prolific of bloggers occasionally write blogs that merit a second glance, that create warmer than average glows of satisfaction, if only in their creators eyes. In which case why should they be buried forever. There are surely no rules concerning blogging other than civility and good manners, unwritten but adhered to by the majority. New bloggers come along all the time. Few trawl back in any depth, it is time consuming in an ever busy world. Everyone deserves a second chance in life; blogs are no exception. With these reflections in mind I have decided to repeat one blog a month, on the first of the month. A 'Blast from the Past' so to speak.
A blog that is a personal favourite or one that I think deserves a second glance, so to speak. Sounds arrogant in cold print but it's not meant to be. New readers will hopefully read them. Regular readers will find something better to do. But if they gain a couple of new readers (it would be dozens no doubt if I were a whizz kid of the blogging world) I shall be delighted. Some if not all of these blogs will have vanished without trace, unloved and in the main unread. (Plus it appears to me there is room here for guest blogs, though this novice blogger is capable of advancing only one step at a time.) And there you are. No doubt not an original idea, but there again, 'What's New Pussycat'. If it amuses me and makes me re-read blogs its achieved something. As it says on the package, this old blogger 'looks back as well as forward'.
Friday evening. A very late thought, after a somewhat disappointing result at a football match. I need cheering up!
This blog was published, several days prior to the first of the month, earlier today. I have been pleasantly surprised at the positive response. May I make a suggestion. Anyone who wishes to join me in a 'Blast from the Past' is very welcome. Shall we, as an experiment, all do it on the same day, ie the First of February. No rules, no compulsion, the only proviso being, you state why you picked your particular blog. Any takers?


Mean Mom said...

I know exactly what you mean. It is sad that a lot of good writing gets buried in blogland. It's not like putting your heart and soul into a book, which could then be read by loads of people and passed down to other generations.

I think that there is a business opportunity, here, which some enterprising person could take advantage of. I don't mean publishing and highlighting just one blogger's work, I mean publishing a selection. Perhaps it's been done and I just didn't hear about it.

I will look forward to reading your recycled posts!

Gill - That British Woman said...

you know what, that is indeed a great I had mulled over a while back, but thought I had better not. I used a photo on a post the other day that I used way back in time. I was frightened that some one might actually point the finger at me for already using it before, but no one said nothing......"quel surprise!!!"

So I too am looking forward to your February 1st entry too......only because I am too lazy to look in your archives!!!

Gill in Canada

Gill - That British Woman said...

......though do you really want strange women and men looking in your archives.......I am attempting a bit of wit here!!

Gill in Canada

VioletSky said...

Ken, this is YOUR blog - you can do whatever you want, whenever you want!!

And a good post is definitely worth a re-read, there's always someone new around and the rest of us forget stuff. You can even change it a little if you think of a differrent perspective, no-one will hold it against you.

Dumdad said...


Firstly, thanks for visiting my humble domain. And now it's my turn to have a look around your blog.

Some interesting thoughts here about blogposts and past blogposts. I've been blogging about a year and a half so I'm relatively new to the game. I use my blog to write whatever the hell I want, be it about poetry, what I ate today, the weather etc.

I have written several "series" about my life - my years in local journalism, my life in Fleet Street etc - and they can be readily accessed in my right-hand column. If anyone cares! It's always pleasing that people read my blog but I write my blog firstly for myself, then my family, then anyone I meet along the way. I detect you have that attitude too, although I don't presume.

I wrote about various apsects of my past because I figured if I didn't get certain memories down in print then I'd never do it. And there is an audience, albeit a non-paying one. And, again, one day my children might be interested in knowing what their old dad got up to.

I've just looked up your very first blog. I like the phrase 'softly, softly, catchee monkey'!

ADDY said...

Good idea.

Anonymous said...

You're quite right - and my husband. Mr Yellow Swordfish, puts a 'from the archives' link up on his most recent blog, just to keep them in the public eye. At the moment he links to one, two and three years ago for that day.

I think it's a great idea ... though I haven't yet done it myself!

Thanks for visiting my blog, and they nice comment! I only started in Feb last year. :)

Troy said...

Just this morning I was wondering, if at some time in the future I repeat an old blog, whether any readers would notice. But as I've only been blogging since May '08 I was going to leave it awhile before I tried it.

Lane Mathias said...

Hi, I've come a visiting. Thanks for dropping past mine.

I've been blogging for almost two years and write about whatever takes my fancy. Ponderings, dogs, books, my efforts at writing, trivia. Nothing grand but I like the 'conversation'.

No one can expect a reader to trawl through archives so if you want to recycle - go for it. As Violet Sky says -It's your blog:-)

I see you list Tuesdays With Morrie as a favourite book on your profile page. Loved that book.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Ken,
This is a wonderful idea! I love the idea of "Blast From The Past"! I think you could start a fashion indeed!
I have also often thought that: that many "little gems" lay undiscovered in that little link on the left of the blog that just says "2008" - all those posts that I had written in the beginning, pouring my heart onto the page before I had many visitors to my blog... and as you say I guess nobody looks at the old stuff... everyone just wants to read the latest post!
All the best and I look forward to your Blasts from the past! and is it wrong to be thinking about stealing your idea too?!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Yep. Ken...fantastic idea. I've not trawled through all your posts but this has to be the best one for a mile. For me anyway. I agree with you...good writing gets buried.

I also liked what Dumdad had wriiten to you. Then again I am biased - I'm a big fan of his.

I'd like to write more in blogland but I just don't have the time. I'm actually thinking of giving it up because I have other stuff to do (which I must do and keep putting it off).

I think there is absolutely no harm in recycling...think it is a brill, brill idea.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

"written" I hate typos.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Being a novice blogger and a wrinklie Ram to boot, your terminology is in need of revision!
Listen and learn...
A blog is an online diary or "web-log" as in Captain Kirk's log on The Enterprise. So the whole online phenomenon called "Grumpy Old Ken" is a blog.

When Grumpy Old Ken settles down at the keyboard with his mug of Ovaltine and his fig roll he is creating a blogpost or a blog entry. If he was producing a blog each time he hit the keyboard then the worldwide web would be awash with websites emanating from his humble Derbyshire village... "Randy Old Ken", "Hungry Old Ken", "Knackered Old Ken" and "Rams-Supporting Old Ken" etc. etc. ad infinitum...

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hello Ken - have wandered over here via Hadriana's blog. I think it may be my first visit although your name is certainly familiar to me. Think your idea is a good one and it will be interesting to read "archive" material from fellow boggers. May even give it a go myself. A

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mean Mom, Gill, Violetsky,Dumdad, rosiero, Jay, Troy, Lane, The Brit, Hadriana, Jane Anne.

See addition at end of blog. Thanks for your positive, pleasant unassuming advice and words of encouragement. You could all come the great 'I am' to this novice geriatric. That you don't tells me everything. Thanks once again.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The ommision of my name in your follow up comment indicates that I may have offended you. That wasn't my intention. Metaphorically speaking, I was just poking you in the ribs.Sorry.

MikeH said...

Great idea, Ken. There is a lot of good writing out there that gets buried very quickly.

fizzycat said...

Great idea, I have only recently discovered this blog and would happily look at posts from before.


Hello Ken
I enjoyed your post when i find a blog i like i always go back to the very start and read it all.
But im not sure if many people do that,sometimes if the blog is a few years old i could be reading it for a week lol

Kitty said...

That's a great idea Ken - more power to your elbow. When I find a new blog and feel a 'connection' to the writer, I do tend to delve about in said writer's archives - it's often extremely illuminating.

I don't know how people blog every day - if I did that, it'd be so boring. I try to do it once or twice and week and hope to keep the 'standard' up.

Did you know there are some sites out there (Blurb is the most well known) which allow you to turn your blog into a book - so future generations can read it? I'm currently part way through turning my first 6 months into 'Volume 1'.

Take care :-) x

VioletSky said...

Your first theme! You are no longer a novice, Ken.

Actually, there have been a few blogs I so enjoyed that I have read every post from the beginning. Sometimes I just scroll back a bit to get a 'feel' for the writer.

French Fancy... said...

Hello, I got here via Hadriana having mentioned this post in her 'farewell' entry. You've got a real point but what I've noticed occasionally is that people sometimes put their 'greatest hits' or 'best entries' in a list down the sidebar. However one blogger's 'best' is another blogger's 'dull as ditchwater'. so how can one ever judge what other people find stimulating and interesting.

I love blogging and often trawl back through people's archives trying to discover more about them. When I find a new blog I like I will also usually check out their very first post.

It's an interesting blog you have and I shall return to delve deep.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mike H and fizzycat. Thanks both for kind words.
I love France
Hi its a fair point concerning time available.
Do you realise you were one of a few to influence me for which I am grateful.
French Fancy
Hi, welcome. Good points, a lot of it is to do with time available otherwise blogging takes over.

Very interesting. I had never come across Blurb. Will you let me know how you go on, please. Have self published a book in the past but its all come on since then. Any advice would be useful.

and so to Pudding.
Yes you did offend me but are big enough to say sorry. I can almost see you waggling a finger at me at times. The first time I think you ever contacted me you lectured me on the use of practice and practise. How would you like it if I made a big thing of the spelling of omission!!! I wouldn't dream of it, teacher or not. Hate animosity and did not even realise it existed in the blogging world. Good luck to you.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Thanks for replying. I wish to assure you that on my part there was never an ounce of animosity. Not one iota. Just playfulness and I am disappointed that you didn't recognise that.
Mr Pudding said...

I often ask myself why I write a blog. On a bad day I think it's just plain silly, on a good day I think its a good discipline.

If I haven't written for a few days friends and family ask me why and say they miss it, so that encourages me to continue.

What you propose sounds like a very good idea and great fun.

Suburbia said...

Just come from Hadriannas, great idea:)

D..J. Kirkby said...

I don't think mine deserve recycling but I look forward to reading yours. xo

Linda said...

Why not add a category for the most read postings? I've done this on my news blog and it offers new and old readers the chance to re-read something that is buried in the archives.

It works!

Grumpy Old Ken said...


Retired and Crazy
Blogging is fine as long as it does not take over and become obsessional.


You are too modest. Of course yours too are worth recycling.

Darwen Reporter
Thanks. Have just e mailed you re suggestions.

CG said...

What an interesting idea. If I remember (and my memory is terrible!) I'll give it go.

sherry_yao said...

Great post!! I'm a newbie on blog writing. I hope i can keep on doing this and you have inspire me a lot.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

It will be interesting as to what happens from here. Some of course see it as an up to date news bulletin of life. Nothing wrong with that but if you are not that type some blogs deserve to last longer.

travel with love
Keep going, you have made a good start.
ps Dont feel you have to blog EVERY day.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I've only been blogging for a couple of months - I don't have much 'past' to blast! :) But I do sometimes link back to one of my earlier posts if I think people might be interested (since I know I had about zero readers for the first month)

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Its interesting I did 100 previous blogs. I'm going to reurrect one a month at the beginning of each month.