Tuesday, 9 February 2010


I recently received an email from an un-named person asking me to check out their blog and start 'following' it. I did have a read of a few posts and it is indeed quite amusing - I shall be adding it to my google reader - however I won't be 'following' it.

Because let's be honest, it's all a little bit bollocks isn't it, this following lark? It's a teeny small step away from seeing how many friends you can get on facebook ffs. I assume it came from a twitter universe, but that's something I wouldn't touch with a barge-pole - just another excuse for people to increase the mundanity of the galaxy whilst using the fewest number of actual words.

(At least I use proper words on this...)

Let alone followers, I found it hard enough to keep a blog-roll on my previous blog (you may notice that I don't keep one on this one). The politics of it got to me. If someone added you on their blog-roll then it would be rude not to add them to yours, right? Then you find yourself not reading a particular blog anymore, but if you remove them from your list then are you sparking some sort of confrontation? Will they take it personally? Would this be the start of some long-standing internet vendetta? Just in case you leave them all there, and you're suddenly left with a list of blogs you don't read that gets longer and longer. Like some sort of outcast list from hell.

Or maybe I just think about it too much.

I guess it comes down to why any of us blog in the first place. Do you blog for yourself, or do you blog to get hits or comments? Personally I write because I feel like it. If I get a comment then I get a little 'ooooh I got a comment' thrill that maybe someone either liked what I wrote or wanted to advertise soft porn in Mandarin. If I don't get any then as long as I liked what I wrote then that's cool. The moment the hits and the comments start to matter it's a short, slippery slope to targeting them and the inevitable descent into the wankfest that is the 'bloggies'.

I mean seriously, could a series of awards for blogs voted on by people who read blogs possibly be more pretentious? Well yes it could. It could be blogher - a series of conferences (conferences for christ's sake!) for women who blog. Mainly about babies, the funny things that happen with babies, waiting for a baby to be born and how sad it is to not have babies anymore. There'd never be a bloghim, because frankly what would be the fucking point? I probably have more in common with the last person I passed in the street than some random man who happens to write a blog.

I don't have the time or the inclination to write as frequently as I used to. The truth is that there are things in the real world that are more important to me now. I enjoy venting or trying to make people laugh when I get the chance to do so, and I don't think I've done that bad a job over the years. I'll never be as inventively profane as Veggie, nor as eloquently verbose as Mr London Street (though he seems to be quite depressed at the moment for some reason). Unless something drastic happens I'm unlikely to ever be a published author like Elle (though she changes blogs so often that may no longer be a valid link. She's also my closest blogger geographically speaking so we're practically family), or have such a consistently funny outlook on life like Pearl. I'll hopefully never be as paranoid as P, or indeed work in the same environment as Kevin (how he puts up with it I don't know). And I'll probably never be a bananas gorilla either.

I've written some good posts - my ever-so-slightly-made-up guide to speaking Bristolian has been credited with two new words in an online dictionary AND has been cited in a linguistics paper about the origins of the 'pirate accent' (leaving me with the wonderful thought that an aged Johnny Depp will be blurting out 'TUGBOAT BUSTERS!' in Pirates of the Caribbean 7) - and my brutally honest stylings have led me to Mrs RS (for we met via the comments forms on each other's blogs). Plus I must be doing something right because you're reading this, and your taste in reading is exemplary. By the way, that top really suits you. No, seriously, it matches your eyes. And have you lost weight recently? I think you have...

Anyway, you're probably expecting me to retire from this place about now after all that nonsense, but really I'm just reflecting on the news that blogging is losing the interest of teenagers everywhere. I know, shocking isn't it? I wasn't particularly bothered until I was informed that:

One student said teenagers had lost interest in blogging because they needed to type quickly and "people don't find reading that fun".

And if people don't want to read, then why do we all bother writing? Now excuse me, I'm off to stare at the TV for a few hours like a cretin. Apparently that's 'fun'.


Anonymous said...

Did you just suggest I was NOT an angel? Shame on you.

I don't follow anyone either despite the fact people follow me so I feel a little guilty. I have everything on my Reader and so I do follow that way, I just don't announce it to the world in the form of an avatar on someone's page. But I'm watching. Oh yes, I'm watching...

Also, blogging isn't of interest to teens as they have to write real words. Plus it's a good thing. It means we don't have to read the crap they usually write.

Jack said...

I only follow blogs so that my news feeder thing tells me when a blog has been updated. I care not otherwise.

But it works - you only recently updated, and I read your post. Works for me!

Otherwise I totally agree. It's a nice thought to have followers as such, but you do feel somewhat obliged to return the favour (or not as the case may be).

Eventually though, we'll all just be following each other. Pretty fucking pointless, right? That's why I prune my list from time to time until something awesome like Sleep Talkin' Man comes along and deserves every follower it gets (legendary - I promise!) http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com/

I do think some people blog for the wrong reasons. I've been doing this for 5.5 years and have 12 followers. Two for every year!

But I continue, because I don't care in that sense - I just like to know quietly that someone out there has chuckled from time to time. If I can make one person laugh enough to leave a comment, I'm doing something right I suppose, but otherwise, I know people read it occasionally - my friends at least.

Hell, I read it - and I make myself laugh at some of the shit I've written.

So as long as I, the blogger, am happy, then fuck the rest of them :P

(but you're okay; carry on please)

Gadjo Dilo said...

Cheer up old chap. Quality is always preferable to quantity, so just 'follow' what you enjoy and sod the rest.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Well, there are no rules to blogging, so do it your way. Good to hear that teenagers are losing interest in it, their blogs are invariably crap.

P said...

Er - thanks for that shout-out . . . the blog equivalent of a back-handed compliment perhaps? True though - I hope you are never as paranoid as me. I hope NO ONE is ever as paranoid as me...

Red Squirrel said...

Veggie - oh but you are an angel. The Angel of Swearing and Second Rate Beverages :)

Jack - couldn't agree more :)

Gadjo Dilo - I think it's the attempts to move an enjoyable pastime into some sort of industry that gets my goat. But each to their own I guess...

gb - amen on teenage blogs :)

There are no rules to blogging and it should stay that wyay imho. Conventions and award ceremonies just encourage conformity, of which I'm not a fan :)

P - now don't be paranoid, it wasn't a back-handed compliment :) Nothing wrong with being a bit paranoid, it's part of your charm!

Kevin Musgrove said...

Good vent!

I follow a few blogs just so that if I'm feeling idle I can just scroll through to see what's been happening with them all. This isn't the same list as my blogroll, who are folks who've said hello at one time or another (though quite a few are in both).

I write purely for myself, though I'm not going to crib if other people seem to enjoy it. I don't know how you all put up with it.

There is nothing wrong with my working environment. It is a quiet haven of professionalism.

weenie said...

I just checked the settings in Blogger and it appears I'm following 4 blogs - yours is one of them! I'm not bothered myself whether people add me to their blogroll or not, it's nice if they do, not the end of the world if they don't. Teenagers not into blogging? No surprise really if they're more into facebooking and tweeting which requires less thought. Also I've come across blogs in text speak...not easy to read!

Madame DeFarge said...

Teenagers clearly don't have the powers of concentration required for this intellectual activity. And my taste is well known as being exemplary. Of what I do not yet know.

Pearl said...

So teenagers aren't reading anymore, are they? There's a surprise. Why should they, when they can get most of what they want by pointing and grunting.

Well, not all of them. Obviously. Our hope, however, lies in the minority.

I write because I feel better when I do. Frankly, I crack me up -- but strangely enough, often not until well after I've written. IT's when I go back, sometimes months, to read something on a whim. Then I think I'm pretty funny. I love the comments, yes. Oh, yes. And I love to leave comments to the people that truly make me laugh or think, those that show me something new, make me think.

It's a tricky business, this blog stuff.

Glad you won't be quitting any time soon. You make me laugh.


Pearl said...

p.s. Also, what Gadjo Dilo said.

Anonymous said...

Welcom to Bloghim!

Today we'll be discussing - nothing! Shut up and have rest on the couch...the game is about to start. Pass me a cold one, would you?

Thank you.

Chantel said...

I took a position teaching college english two months ago--comp 101. Short class--6 hours every tuesday for 10 weeks. LOADS of joy there. First day I asked for a simple paragraph, "Tell me about YOU--your dreams, hopes, mistakes..." Blah blah. Swear to GOD--out of 21 papers, 7 of them were in text. "I b livn o my sis. got 2 kids. C u @ strbks, dig ths cls."

I just turned down another class. There is no hope.

Red Squirrel said...

Kevin - your protestations of workplace innocence aren't fooling anyone... :)

weenie - text speak rocks. It makes it so much easier to weed to idiots out nowadays.

Madame DeFarge - I could tell your taste was excellent!

Pearl - thanks :) You crack me up as well, so please never give up.

Sweet Cheeks - now that sounds like my type of convention!

Chantel - no hope indeed. Let's hope they never breed...