Monday, 17 September 2012

'Fame', here lies a Cautionary Tale.

    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!


Valerie said...

Well I hope you continue blogging, Ken, because you write entertainingly and informatively.

I have learned a lot from blogging and have embraced new technology like a starving child. I was definitely born in the wrong age, yet my advancing years (more than yours, I might add) don't appear to have held me back.

As for bloggers themselves, I have got to know some wonderful people and wouldn't have missed that for the world.

Happy a happy week, Ken.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Blimey, Valerie, that was quick. Modern technology and all that! So you are older than me, I would never have guessed.

Andy said...

Keep it going Ken, I find your posts informative and amusing.

If it helps, I have been blogging for almost 3 years now and it does seem to get harder. A lot of mine is rubbish and the rest isn't as good as that but I still enjoy it and that is the main thing!

Do what you want at your pace, no pressure.

By the way, have you started on the next one yet?

365-daysofgray said...

Hi Ken,

I think that I could be your son. I have just started to "Blog", under instructions from my good lady. Apparently I moan about lots of things on a daily basis, and I havn't even noticed that I am doing it. Ooops. Even my two teenage sons have said that I should blog it. So like your goodself, I have taken the brave and bewildering step of having a go at sharing my talent for being grumpy.

I have enjoyed reading your blog, and even though followers and exciting things like that are far from my mind, it is very enjoyable to actually get the brain doing something other than the 9 to 5 daily routine.

Thank you Ken, I shall keep reading, Cheers.

the fly in the web said...

I do enjoy your blog but don't always comment...usually someone has said it first!

More power to your typing elbow.

Ruth said...

I love your blog, Ken, and read every post, even if I don't comment. You are an amusing guy and always make me laugh, and sometimes even nostalgic. So keep it up!

Nota Bene said...

I can't believe you didn't know the origin of 'blog'...err what is it? I have no idea!

Julie said...

I love your blog Ken, as I loved your ebook. It was a fascinating mix of facts and your own early life. A good read for anyone who likes 'real life' rather than just biographies of the rich and famous.

I also started blogging in 2008, I was, ahem, relatively young but even I had to look up 'blogging' and I was meant to be computer savvy.

Sometimes when I'm short of ideas I think I'm going to give up whinging and moaning on my blog, then three or four 'annoyances' turn up together for me to write about.

I've had a few nasty comments, like you only from one person. I ended up telling them that they weren't forced to read my blog and suggested they bog off ;)

Richard G. Crockett said...

Hello Sir Ken,

I rarely comment on many blogs I read on a regular basis. In the case of your blog, I subscribe via RSS. To me, your witty and sympathetic writing style reminds me of a feature one might have seen in a local paper, back in the days when local papers were popular and viable.

So you may have more readers than you think!

I keep hearing about the "demise of blogging," but I'm not convinced. It looks like two things have happened. First, Facebook and Twitter have given even more people a voice. Second, blogs have tended to "go pro" or die.

I decided, for example, to start a new WordPress blog with my fiction, my own domain, and a fancy theme. I'm not pitching that here. See? Not even a link. I'm just saying that we are evolving. But my blogspot blog is dead.

I would hate see your special voice grow silent. Keep on doing what you are doing, please.


Star said...

Lovely post, thank you, I do lov'em all. (heh heh heh, " least he was consistent...")

Troy said...

You've certainly had more than 15 minutes of fame.
Although we've never met, you always come to mind now whenever I see Derby County's football results!

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