During the month I've been doing a bit of Blog maintenance- changing things around a bit and adding some new favourites to the list of blogs I follow. All of which has given me pause to think about blogs and blogging in general.
I started one crumb at a time largely as a vehicle for my own writing about food. I wanted to hone my writing skills and improve my computer skills. I also wanted the discipline of writing on a regular basis and having to put my thoughts into some sort of logical order. As it has developed the broader idea of the blog as a diary and a record, a place where I can store ideas as well as photographs and art works, record events and references, has become just as important.
The blogs I follow obviously reflect my interests. In general I'm not interested in blogs devoted almost exclusively to recipes – I would sooner keep up with Nigel Slater in the Guardian or consult my own collection of books. I would rather read about the history of the dish and/or the ingredients or perhaps comparisons of versions of the same dish or even critiques of different recipe books (and in fact these are some of the areas I want to explore myself in the future). Nor am I excited by restaurant reviews – where the 30-somethings are eating, what they ate and who they shared it with isn't always riveting reading. (And where do they find the time and the money?) I am by no means against restaurant reviews and I do like to keep up with what's new and popular but for general reading I would sooner Jay Rainer or Alan Richman or A.A. Gill even if there is little or no chance of ever visiting the restaurants they frequent. I also worry a bit about the trend to taking photographs of what we eat rather than taking the time to describe the food, that bloggers are spending too much time documenting and not enough time thinking (and I am not alone - see here).
The blogs I do enjoy reading are not cluttered with advertising nor do they confuse with too many extra pages and diversions. If I am going to take the time to read I like something that is well written and/or something that is thoughtful and informative. And so the blogs I reference here are ones that are updated fairly regularly (if not daily) and offer something of interest.
This month I have also started another blog called Recipes for my children which you might not be too surprised to learn is a record of recipes I want to hand on to my children along with some family history and general, I hope useful, kitchen information.
As far as I can tell no one has read either of my blogs. I don't know that I would welcome comments anyway - certainly not if they are along the lines of 'great photo' or 'loved the recipe'. On the other hand genuine interaction, thoughtful comments which could lead to some sort of on-going conversation, would be appreciated.
In the meantime I'm not interested in advertising or making money - I am more than happy to entertain myself with my own little on-line project.