It never rains but it pours. For months I don’t think about Social Media. Then everyone at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera was talking about social media as the key to discovering books you want to read. On Saturday I went to Oxford to hear sound (near inspirational, indeed) advice from mega book blogger Barbara Vey. And then today Nicola Morgan posts a survey on people’s blog-reading habits. And I start to think . . .
I heep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
What: blogs I long favour, blogs I’m introduced to by friends and colleagues; blogs I find by serendiptious links.
Why: to be intrigued, to laugh, to learn, to relax, to find information I want, to catch up with people who interest me, displacement activity (currently much reduced, see below). Sometimes am rewarded by being moved.
When: earlyish morning, sometimes late evening, Since I started working away from my desk (Other People’s Building Works, ask no further) I’m online less than an hour a day.
How: specific search or wandering. Not signed up for any, nor visit any blog regularly. Will go to some, like Word Wenches, when I want a break that will make me think, make me laugh and last as long as my coffee. Most blogs I read are less of a time investment, though.
Where: at my desktop. Don’t like phone surfing, it makes me miss train stops. No Wifi access where I work.
Who: Ah. For play: quite a lot of authors because they write nicely but not if they’re boring on about writing problems. When I’m in blogreading mode I want to get away from that nagging anxiety. I like the way some authors write about their work, life and ideas like Liz Fielding Mark Chisnell. Or blogs I’ve fallen across and enjoyed, like contemporary trumpeter and urban farmer Brendan Ball who led me to the classic video on the truth about Working with Singers by one of my favourite groups, I Fagiolini; or Pepys Diary for visiting another world, where the anxieties were quite, quite different.
For work: Source blogs like Best of World War 2 that touch on research for my Work in Progress; they’re really indices more than anything else ; Author, publisher, editor blogs that are practical and upbeat.
Book review blogs are work AND play. Sometimes I’m hoping to learn stuff I can use in my own career but mostly I want to make discoveries of new authors I’ll enjoy. Very keen on Mrs Peabody Investigates for the latter. But then, I don’t write crime. Yet.
BUT – I’m not absolutely sure that I would read my blog if I didn’t write it.