A word about the purpose literary blogs

22, May,2007

I am having a meta blognition moment, that is, I have been thinking about literary blogging and podcasting and what purpose they serve. 

Many of blogs and casts I subscribe to are by people with something to promote, or are part of a persons ‘platform’.  I think many bloggers also see an element of public service in what they do.  Their blog is part of their public face, so they take the time and put in the effort to make sure they produce something of a suitable standard.  If you want to see blogging by people who don’t give a crap about how they come across, have a random trawl through MySpace. 

I think there should be a service that stores people’s MySpace pages, and when they turn forty it sends the link to their kids.   

“No, no, you’ve got it all wrong.  EMO was for well behaved kids who studied hard and joined the chess club and never had sex.”        
I digress.
 

As writers sweat over their latest blog entry they must have the same thoughts as Lord Lever (or Henry Ford if you prefer) who said “half of my advertising is a waste of money I just don’t know which half,“ or to paraphrase, half of my writing is a waste of time I just don’t know which half. 

Are you better pounding out uninspired word count for your story, or putting together something to keep people coming back to your site.  How much time do you dedicate to maintaining ‘good will’ when the next book release is twelve months a way and you’re three months from your deadline (thank heaven for RSS they cry). 

You have to ask yourself what’s in it for those anonymous bloggers who do it for fun then find themselves on the A-list.  It must be flattering of course, but what do they do about the seventy comments a day and the self imposed expectation to always come up with something fresh. 

Which brings me around to the sad inspiration for today’s musing.  Miss Snark, the crabby, anonymous, and marvellous NY literary agent has retired her blog.  If you know about Miss Snark this will not be news, if you don’t, I recommend you search her site before you even think about sending out your finished manuscript. 

In two years she went from an anonymous blogger with zero hits to a cult goddess with two and half million hits.  Toward the end she was answering upward of four comments a day. 
All done with wit, all done anonymously – no commercial gain.
 

She was a gem and I wish her well.

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