web analytics

BBC Manchester Bloggers Meeting – Second Time Lucky!

Like many other people in Manchester tonight, I’ve just returned from the BBC Blogging Workshop. No winds could stop us this time, but no winds were blowing, anyway.

The goal of the workshop was to bring together the Mancunian bloggers of all degrees of proficiency and to cover a variety of topics, from choosing the right platform to making money with your blog. The BBC Editorial Guidelines were also briefly looked at, and the meeting was led by Robin Hamman, with participation of Richard Fair and Craig McGinty. I also did a bit of talking.

……………………………………………………..Robin Hamman & Richard Fair in the BBC Club Bar

After the workshop some of us headed to Lass o’Gowrie, an Irish pub up the street from the BBC in Oxford Road, where we took this photo:

Back row, left to right: Thomas McEldowney, Robin Hamman; front row, left to right: Paul Griffiths, Craig McGinty, and Andrew (who is not a blogger yet, but will certainly have become one after he leaves the pub tonight).

The recurrent topic, which I can’t help finally picking upon, is: what blogs are for, and who reads them. As Richard Fair likes saying, one absolutely must have a degree of arrogance to send their thoughts *into space*, expecting that someone somewhere will read those musings. But, methinks, arrogance is supported on this occasion by such simple fact that on this planet, inhabited by several billions of human beings, there WILL always be someone who stumbles into your writing. Add to this the fact that blogging allows you to develop your own editorial guidelines and house styles, and voila! you no longer depend on a prospective publisher. You simply publish a post, it becomes instantly available, and who knows what happens next? You may be read by millions of people all over the planet Earth.

My very first post on this blog was exactly on this topic. After months of indifference and several weeks of intense research and thinking of what I’d write about had I become a blogger, I created Los Cuadernos. And I still vividly remember staring at the screen for ten minutes, having no idea of what to say. Eventually I said it.

Blogging used to be understood as either a journo’s platform, or a personal diary. This is how I also understood it, until I looked at various blogs and realised that your content is by no means restricted by those two types of writing. Still, blogging is associated with journalism, just like writing is associated with “serious” literature. When one considers becoming a writer, they don’t want to be unknown writers. They want to belong to the same league, as Tolstoy, Joyce, etc. Same for bloggers. The very thought of sending your musings into the same virtual space, where Nick Robinson publishes his texts, must be scary, as well as exhilirating.

And that’s the thing about blogging. It’s purely virtual, yet the effect it has on your life and the life of your readers is quite tangible. Once you realise that your content is interesting, you strive to maintain the level or even to raise it. In terms of writing and research, this has never been a problem to me. But I was conscious that I wanted to use as many opportunities of the Internet as possible, including uploading or embedding videos, audios and images. And in just half a year after I started Los Cuadernos I’ve learnt technical skills that I thought I’d never need.

Why is this necessary? Because, as we know, scientia potentia est (knowledge is power). In the end, you’re not obliged to publish on the web under your real name, in which case you’ve got unlimited opportunities to explore the audience’s reaction to various styles, topics, etc. And if you don’t enjoy it, you can always stop. But if you’re totally new to internet and blogging, you’ll pick up a plenty of new skills, which can be used for many purposes. And if you know that you’re being read, and when you hear people telling you that they enjoy your content, you feel that those late hours you’d spent typing a post *for nobody* haven’t been in vain.

And to finish it all off, I’ve just subscribed to Richard Fair’s Mind, which I enjoy reading and have been reading for some time (as Richard knows from my comments). But – which is exactly relevant to tonight’s meeting – Richard hasn’t got that flashy orange icon that signals to everyone that they can subscribe to his blog. I always used to type Mind’s address directly into the browser. Luckily, tonight I remembered that those icons often appear on the right side of one’s browser window. Richard’s icon was there, and from now on I will be reading him in Google Reader.

error: Sorry, no copying !!