Taking Stock

… or, what my blog is, and at least half a dozen things it isn’t.

After several years of happy blogging – joyfully meandering off at tangents about this and that, insouciant of any rules or etiquette – I started to understand the potential …and the ramifications… of such a means of communicating, Social Networking saw to that. It was time to take stock, establish the purpose of the blog and decide where I wanted to take it.

So, after some thought, and for once keeping it short and to the point, here follows a modus operandi, a list of “Is” & “Isn’ts”, of how this Blog works and why.

First and foremost, here’s a list of what this blog “Isn’t”

It’s not another blog from another armchair “expert” offering his or her opinion or addressing issues, social or otherwise; it’s not me sitting on a fence or in ivory tower, as has been said; It’s not about looking for approbation; it isn’t a “Dear Diary” Blog; it’s not about positions and it’s not about analyzing or criticizing, although I do have a favourite “Tête de Turc”… the French SNCF.
(This blog isn’t open for commenting. I intentionally disabled the comments function after the first gratuitous remark. I decided I’d rather learn, and improve, by reading the blogs of others, often better, than waste time reading 2 cent quips and responding to wantonly spiteful or profane remarks from people who fail to grasp what it’s about. )

And now the “Is” list

It’s about me telling stories and writing about things I see that impact my life and those I cherish; it’s about relating to things; it’s a personal and subjective account of my world; It’s a living environment, I often go back and edit recent posts.

Having established a Modus Operandi the next thing to establish was the origin (and purpose) of the Blog.

Blog versus Website.

Following a trip somewhere, a few years ago, a friend, noting my aptitude to tell a story, suggested that I write about my trips, and so I did… in 2 different ways, first in a website, then in a Blog.

I think it was back in 2003, just after a memorable trip to New Orleans , I started by writing about my trips in my website Albatross133. Since then stories of trips – some business, all pleasure – to Japan, Shanghai, Spain, Martinique, Kyrgyzstan, Houston, to name but some, found their way into the Website. It was fun writing up on the tales, it also gave me the chance to pay tribute to people who helped make some of the trips possible.

After a while, having learnt a little more about the platform I was using, and after having defined some personal orientations – Stay focused; not take myself too seriously but be objective; not to seek appraisal or feedback – I went about relating my trips, learning to refine the visual side of the presentation – i.e. by viewing and reviewing, correcting syntax or styling errors; using the subtleties of HTML to improve the end result, as I went along.

So why a Blog?

Well, actually, I find they’re complimentary but having ultimately got the hang of the basics of Webmastering, and so realizing my technical limits, I wanted to concentrate on storytelling, but without the technical constraints of the classical website environment. With its technical and hosting constraints the website was showing its limits so I decided to go for it and start a blog, it being, I had heard, a far more user-friendly environment.

Very early on, and while respecting certain of the orientations I had established for my Website, I realized that my self-imposed rule of not (overtly) criticizing was being flouted, so be it. I was getting, and I still do, a certain satisfaction in pointing out certain absurdities in my posts, it’s hard not to when they’ve had a direct and immediate impact on you.

And so it was I gradually came to realize that even the most “unknown”, below the radar, type of blog has the capacity to transmit a message to anyone out in the blogosphere who might just chance upon and read the posts and as such I understood that if you are going to write a blog, do it right.

But even with this thought in mind I still don’t wish to invite or incite direct commenting about the substance or style of my blog, people who know me can pass on their feedback if they want but generally they don’t because they know me and take the stories at face value, for what they are, amusing, reader friendly observations.


About nickrichards38

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