Friday, 24 August 2012

Benefits of blogging.

The Inland Waterways can be very enjoyable but not knowing where you will be mooring next week, next month, or even tonight can be difficult to maintain friendships and family contacts. Therefore in this context social networking can have a positive benefit in breaking down the isolation between families and friendships. For me blogging is good fun. It also allows our families and friends to see where we are. To keep an eye on us and to pay us the odd surprise visit that we enjoy.

The blog also reflects much of the bloggers individual persona. A place for the blogger to share an opinion with an largely unknown audience made up from the most part by people with similar interests. The measure of the success of a blog is by the number of return visitors. It can take years for a blog to gain general acceptance and to then become one with a regular reading clientèle.

A boating blog that consist of we were here and then we moved to there is by its own nature going to be self limiting. So the content of an interesting  blog has to be varied and entertaining. It should include information, anecdotes and observations of life on the canals and rivers. I also try and provide an aside to the boating theme and pass comment on different aspects of life in general.

An interesting issue here is that like "Farcebook friends" we actually gain an audience of followers and visitors. Followers who can publicly associate themselves and contribute by adding their own comments.

Some people might have something they feel is worthwhile to write about and in that case it would be something interesting for others to read. Some people have a diary that they like to keep. The Memsahib keeps a boating diary. I look upon my blogging activities as a form of diary keeping for voyeurs. The voyeurs being you who are looking over my shoulder to read. The reasons for having a blog are as varied as the people who feel the need to write them. But, if it gives you an interest and some pleasure is gained, why not blog!

One important characteristic of blogging is the capability to reach small specialist or large general audiences.  A blog post has the potential to reach millions of people. Theoretically, anyone with a blog can reach everyone in the connected world. The reach and accessibility of any blog is a global audience. There is no time lag and is virtually instantaneous and can be updated almost instantaneously. The one certainty is that nothing can be guaranteed. You can take steps to make your blog interesting and attractive but you cant force people to come. Not without going viral! Viral or meme has become a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population.

Blogs and the people who write them are so very different. I tend to rush the text together intending to add something to this blog each day. Often with little or no post publication editing. Other bloggers offer the occasional submission that has been carefully thought out and scripted. Others are pictures with an explanatory piece of text slotted in between. The look and feel of different blogs can be varied. Long may the differences continue.

Bloggers and their readership become in a way members of cliques and have a tendency to have and share more homogeneous opinions. Blog followers who also share an interest in blogging also seem to share many common traits. This is what is often referred to as "the strength of weak ties."

Social media around boating may take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, podcasts and social bookmarking. Not forgetting speciality forums such as Usenet, Yahoo groups and others that have boating sections. Add to this common interest group activities on Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging, Google+, Bebo, The Sphere, Nexopia, Hi5, Hyves, Tuenti, Tagged, XING, Badoo, Skyrock, Mixi, Orkut, Wretch, Renren, Cyworld, LinkedIn and Pinterest which are all very popular social networking sites. Then there are the by invitation only boating forums such as Circles which are closed and only open to invited members. A sort of masonic group for boaters.  

But then I would not know my Boaz from my elbow!


1 comment:

  1. Aloha! And.. Meerkats can mark their territory for other meerkats to read..



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