Sunday 18 October 2015

In which I take my crate to Speakers' Corner

Having written about "good books bloggers" and found that I do not belong to this category; having written about the E.M. Forster Syndrome of which  I suffer; I have looked at me and wondered what I could do with myself. But as I am not a nombrilist, I looked also at other bloggers and read the news of the week.

There were the "good book reviews" focused on the one book that had been read, not rambling and diverging or divagating. There were proposals for read-alongs of one writer for a year or less, with blogs reports. There were proposals of "challenges": read as many books as you can within a thematic group.There was even a proposal for a readathon where you read as many books as possible in  a twenty-four hours span and report in a blog (or various blog entries - but this is less of an overview and less impressive).

And I thought about these blogs reports.

And my own blog entries.

And pondered. As usual.

Why do we blog?

We blog to share our own experiences with others. Fundamentally, we go to foray in the world around us, and then return home to tell the others what we have been doing and making and seeing and listening and reading and writing and thinking. This is for the one book review, for instance, but may cover knitting, sewing, cooking, going to a concert or an exhibition, etc.

Then we blog to share our own experiences with others within the same communal event. In the read-along , the challenge or the readathon, for example, people are invited to share what they have and thought of the books they have read in the frame of the "event".

All right. 

But questions: how do we share? Do we share?

There is what I shall call "the display" of the reading, which is the blog entry itself. Then there is the invitation for comments. But are there comments? Sometimes, yes; sometimes, no. When we are lucky there is almost a wealth of long comments to which it is a pleasure to answer - even if they disagree with our statements or opinions. They are a kind of communication and discussion, mostly a tête à tête between the blogger and one reader at a time, but there might happen, with luck, that another reader takes up the ball and the duo becomes a trio, less often a quatuor.

Most bloggers incite and invite comments by publishing on Facebook or Google or other social media in order to increase their readership. But the answering remains what I have described for the blog entry.

When really lucky, the blogger is  mentioned in other blogs or on others' Facebook pages or social media communications.

I know of one communal effort: three, four or five bloggers unite to define a theme they will carry on during one week, and that each will treat as she/he will like most. But apart from the common theme, the "display" and answers remain the same as described before.

Of course, all this remains most of the time in a little world well circumscribed in what is called the "Blogosphere". Unless the blogger benefits from a wider range of means to reach a broader readership: reading groups, friends, and, if pushy, a dazzled network of bloggers plus publishers who will work hand in hand with him/her to promote their products.

Therefore the blog and the act of blogging are mainly solitary pursuits. We try to reach the others across the void of distance and time, as some of us do have archives extended on several years. But we never know if we have reached them really and, most of all, there is no real communication. Are we friends or foes? Neither. We are entities with or without a voice (some bloggers have no recognazible voices), with or without a history and an environment. Sometimes then we are half human beings, sometimes just "bloggers" without a personality.

But each of us takes his box and regularly tries pathetically to reach out towards the external world like the speakers at Hyde Park in Speakers' Corner.

This is what I have done right now, standing up on my upturned soap crate, trying to make my voice heard among others while you were passing by us, passing by me, stopping to listen for a while. Thank you to have remained until the end of my speech. And please, do comment!

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