Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Over and out (....possibly)

I started blogging for no particular reason than I fancied a go. I enjoy sharing natural history observations with like-minded people but the opportunities for me to do so face to face are fairly limited, what with family, work and stuff like that.  It seemed to me that the blogosphere might possibly fill that gap and to some extent it has.  I assumed that I would soon run out of steam and yet here I am at my 100th post. As it happens, it has made me realise that I rather enjoy the process of writing.  That's a discovery in itself.  So, thank you to my small but regular band of readers and followers for tracking my burblings and for chipping in comments from time to time. I have also really enjoyed keeping tabs on my favourite blogs - thanks to you all for all the things I've learned (and for reminding me what quality photos are meant to look like!)

However, I don't know about you, but I don't find Blogger that helpful in promoting and sharing discussion about observations. For I-write-you-read blogging its great but for interaction its much less effective.  If I leave a comment on your blog for instance, I never find out if you have responded unless I remember to go back to your post and check. 

Similarly, if you comment on my blog and I respond to that, you have no way of knowing and, again, the chain is broken and the moment lost.  This really does stifle any chance of ongoing discussion and interaction beyond the first comment.  This in turn makes it quite difficult to get into much depth and means we all miss out on those delightful random links where one thing leads to another and another.... 

Maybe there is a better platform than Blogger for this somewhere that I haven't found yet? (It's probably called a natural history society!) 

So, does my blog have a future?  Well, to be honest, I'm not sure.  Trouble is though, this blogging lark is addictive and the natural world is a bottomless pit of new discoveries to share.  Maybe I'll start a companion blog to Stand and Stare called Sit and Think, where I post less but in more depth.  Hmm.  Now there's an idea.....

For now though, and while I cogitate, best wishes and many thanks to everyone who has ever bothered to read my stuff.



  1. Well I for one will miss your posts if you pack it in - you always have such an interesting left-field take on stuff that you find..

  2. Cheers Phil. Very happy indeed to take that from the master of natural history blogging! I guess I just find Blogger's limitations on interaction and conversation really frustrating. It could be, of course, that most people actually just prefer passive reading. Best wishes

  3. I totally agree about the limited interaction - the comments system is just crap!
    It's bothered me for some time. Keeping any discussion going is near impossible and ridiculously awkward.

    I dont know if this is one of the features improved if you upgrade your account on blogger?? Which I never really intend to do.

    Are you a member of Wildaboutbritain?

    If that could somehow be blended with blogger, we'd have a solution!

    I will also miss your posts - your enthusiasm for the natural world comes across clearly in your writing - it makes an enjoyable read!

  4. Thanks Theresa, for your words of support. Much appreciated. I'm also glad to know that you share my frustrations with Blogger. I'll have a look at wild about Britain but what we really need is a forum which encourages creative writing and photography followed by productive 2-way discussion. Maybe I'll write to the blogger people and throw them the challenge to sort this out.

  5. Hello Allan. I have just found your blog and I'll link to it - I like your style!

    I have blogged now since July 2006 and am approaching 1000 posts so I know just what you mean about the comments. I see some bloggers have a facility where you tick a box and you get an email alert when there has been a reply to your comment. I'm not sure how you do that one though, but its worth having a look around the 'dashboard'.

    Cheers Stewart.

  6. Thanks Stewart. Using blogger sometimes feels like emptying stuff into a black hole so I appreciate your positive feedback.
    I know that there are other blogging systems out there and maybe the feature you mention is on one of these. If you happen to note the address of a blog that has this feature I'd appreciate it if you would pass it on and I'll check it out.
    Best wishes