Wednesday, July 02, 2008
This blog is two today
Today this blog celebrates its second birthday. Yes, with this very post and my musings on that year’s Europride, I opened what is the longest-lasting bisexual blog in the known universe.
Whither blogs – will they wither and where are they going – is something that often bothers media pundits. Last week Roy Greenslade sparked off a discussion, commented on mostly by journalists whose opinions ran along the continuum of: a) journalism is great, blogs are white noise; b) blogs are the future, journalists have to have one, ordinary people are empowered etc; c) blogs are great, mainstream journalism is rubbish. However, as one commenter pointed out, the comments were far more interesting than the piece itself.
Good blogs, bad blogs
My own position is quite straightforward: blogs can be great, and the internet offers writers terrific opportunities to get their work to readers. Journalists who believe – as many do – that they can’t see the point of blogging, or don't recognise that it is a terrific tool for self-promotion, or say that they don’t want to write for nothing – are missing a career-building trick. What the mainstream media offers readers, and what blogging offers the mainstream media, is complementary.
It’s not true, though, that all blogs are equal. To start with, most bloggers give up pretty quickly. And writing every day – standard advice for building up a readership – means that pretty soon people are writing about nothing much. Unless they are brilliant writers – a few are – that means the quality goes down. In any event, there is too much to read on the internet, together with books, newspapers, magazines etc. I don’t suppose I’m the only one who just can’t keep up with people who blog every day.
What this blog is for
As I have written here from time to time, I am a journalist (editing more than writing) but what pays me money is nothing to do with what I write here. If anyone ever wanted serious writing on bisexuality then I’m your woman. But, as one of the reasons I started writing this blog in the first place was because my commissioned book on bisexuality couldn’t find a home after its original publisher closed down, I doubt that semi-serious writing on bisex – as distinct from erotica, or trivia, or straightforward academic books - in the UK can pay its way. Not everything can be monetised. As the profit motive in publishing is more important than ever, and booksellers sell ever fewer titles, the prospect for what is euphemistically called “mid-list” writers dims.
Still, onwards and upwards, and those of us who have things to say have a way of getting them out there. I doubt whether my musings that were produced via the dead tree route ever saw the light of day in Indonesia, or Nepal, or Western Samoa – which they have through the web.
This blog is a niche “product”, for people who are interested in the issues around bi/sexuality rather than erotic stories, coming out tales, complaints about boyfriends/girlfriends, polls about what turns you on and so forth. All of those most definitely have their place, just not written by me. They are also more popular than what I write.
Still, as over 101,000 people have read this blog since I started, there must be a demand for it. Thank you, readers!