Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 - the year of the blog

Before I post a review of the year in the next couple of days from a reading perspective it seemed like a good moment to look back on the experience of blogging, which started back in July, and has been something that has really been a big part of the second half of 2006 for me.

Why blog?
I started blogging because quite simply the technology available made it simple and I had a rough idea of what I wanted to write about. In terms of generating posts, that was an initial challenge I didn’t think too much about, and came across that particular hurdle afterwards which continues to keep the grey cells working. But the main reason for starting Inside Books is that what really appeals to me is the transparency of the web and the blog gives me a chance to show that I do read and write a fair bit about classic literature. Before then it was a conversation starter but it always finished quite quickly when someone asked you if you had read their favourite book and when you answered in the negative they switched off. Now however I can bore them to the edge of reason by talking about the blog and have something that very happily fills my daily one and a half hour commute.

The returns?
The great thing about blogging is that as a reader it provides discipline because it makes sure that you keep going even when the books are difficult or not too enjoyable, plus when you find a gem it provides a platform to shout about it. There are also the comments and feedback you get from other lit bloggers and visitors, which have a tremendous impact, a bit like someone patting you on the back. Finally it makes you a player, albeit a very minor one, in the web 2.0 world and that is a good thing because let’s face it this is the future and it shows that you can move with the times.

The future?
More posting, more intelligent content hopefully and more of a structured direction. When I read history books in the past for both pleasure and studying there was the expectation you would ‘read around a subject’ sticking with a theme and I hope to do that with fiction more in 2007 including a return to my favourite - Russian literature. Please keep reading and commenting because the future of all of this also depends on that to some extent because it would be terribly lonely posting away into a void. Thanks for reading.

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