where the writers are
What Interests You on a Blog? Online in general?
fuji 2.jpg

With the encouragement of several people--and great advice from Red Room's invaluable Huntington Sharp--I've started a blog on my web site.  Fuji, my relentless editor-cat, has been generous about allowing me to post his picture.  And I started with a slightly-revised version of a piece from a long-ago Red Room Post of the Week called Tolstoy and The Underpants Model. (Fuji has approved, although he isn't a fan of War and Peace.) 

Nonetheless.....I'm curious about what people enjoy reading or looking at on blogs.  And I'd like to be a little less serious now and then.

So far, I've unleashed a torret of ideas that are too expensive to post.  For example: An installation of closets. Heidegger's closet, Taylor Swift's closet, Andy Warhol's closet, my mother's closet, the Sun King's closet. (People could go inside and see all his high-heeled shoes.) They'd be in a museum and I'd post pictures of these closets on the blog.  

But writers don't just get installation funding when they suddenly have an idea and a doll's house closet wouldn't work.  

So it's back to words and a few strange images. 

I'm interested, though, in what you've enjoyed reading.  It would be great to hear from you!

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The blog as a notional treat

The best blogs are either entertainingly comic or straight from the heart and spirit. They arise from those things which strike and intrigue you, which may even appal you. They may involve an unusual take on some truth or inconsistency you've observed in the world. They may be directly connected with your real writing, or random.

I think it can safely be said that what readers want first and foremost is evidence of an interesting mind at work. That's not always easy for us bloggers to sustain!

But getting your name out there is the main thing, so that you can be readily identified. It's hard work. It takes time. It begins to click in the minds of a handful of people, then a few more... I'm told there's eventually an acceleration point and, from personal experience of running a small business, I've found this principle to hold good.

Just one thing, though, I do sometimes wonder if blogging too frequently causes an author's readership to switch off (though hopefully not permanently!) We're all pressed for time.

Please do relay your blogs on Red Room because this is a real literary community, albeit cyber. Commenters can sometimes feel isolated on a personal website.

All that said, I'm not convinced there's any salient link between blogging and book sales in the overwhelming majority of cases. The race, I am sure, is to the tortoise rather than the hare!

Good luck! And enjoy yourself! If you do, your readers will follow suit.

p.s. Don't for one moment imagine you're going to get this blog all to yourself. Fuji will want to vet all your tails :)

 

 

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Rosy----

Thank you for the thoughtful, insightful comments.  I think you're right about the tilt toward comic or straight-from-the-heart and wonder whether at times it's okay to do both if you do it with authenticity.   In truth, I feel I'm each way at different times. 

I also agree that there's not a one-to-one connection between blogs and readership at all. 

 

I know enjoyment is the key.  Weird conceptual art keeps bubbling up. So do quircky topics for other writers to post on.  For now, then, I'm a little at sea, which is okay with Fuji since Maine Coons aren't afriad of water.  

 

Thanks again for the post.  Very thoughtful. I have a lot to think about.  

 

 

 

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I think you know yourself,

I think you know yourself, Thaisa. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned authenticity. I believe that is the key. Be true to yourself and the reader will latch on. Be fake and the reader, well, the reader will not respond. 

I am fascinated by weird conceptual art. Do you want to see how my beagle reacts when indoors for a long period preferably with Fuji as a companion? Or does weird conceptual art mean something far more stimulating. Just wondering.

Good luck with your project. I admire your spirit. Your creative spirit.

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The Sun King's Shoes

I would personally be fascinated by a look into the Sun King's closet to see all his high heeled shoes and fabulous frippery.

It seems that you're on to something about closets, looking into places which would otherwise be private. A blog is a publication, really, and it says something about its author in how it is presented, as well as what is presented. As a visual artist who has maintained a website with a regularly updated "blog" component for three years now, I have to say that I thought as much about presentation when I put it up as I did about content. I still think about the relationship of the two as I create new content.

So - will it be a writing only blog? Or one with significant photos included that relate to what you are writing about? A separate photo area? What else, if anything, will you want to include? Things to think about, and how to organize them so everything is visually pleasing and works with what you are posting, for that draws people as well. These questions will lead you to different blogging formats, WordPress versus tumblr, for example. I recently joined tumblr to follow a photographer friend of mine, not necessarily intending to do much else with my space. However now that I'm there, I'm using it as an experimental area for creating a very brief narrative with photos, one photo, one sentence, every day. That's not how many people use tumblr, but it's perfect for what I am exploring right now.

So outside of what's in the closet content-wise, my two-cents is to consider well how you will present the content, because that will enhance or detract from it, and will make a difference about how comfortable people will be when viewing what you have posted. At least, that matters a lot to me, I'm always more likely to spend time on a site that has both good content and good design, than one with good content and poor design.

Oh one last thing - you may, if you realize that you enjoy keeping a blog after some time, need to restructure it if you find that your initial setup can be improved, or you are expanding it to include more material. This is very common on the web, sites are revamped all the time. The only thing you'll really want to be consistent with is the site name itself. This is because it gets hairy moving your audience around the web whenever you decide to change something because the format you're using isn't very flexible, and another format on another site accomodates it better. Or God forbid, the company that hosts your website closes their website function down - that's what happened to me so I moved to WordPress, because it is huge and has quite a few large companies on it, ensuring I hope some longevity. In summary, better to pick a blogging format that has some latitude for future changes, a host which keeps up with the advancing pace of technology, and also has some prominent clients to help it stick around.

Maybe you've already thought of all this, in which case fantastic, if not, hope this information proves helpful in some way.

Good luck to you and hope your site turns out wonderfully!

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Mary

Thanks for the kind words, Mary.  I'm interested in all kinds of conceptual art.  I don't think Fuji has ever met a beagle.  It would be strange and interesting to make a video.   

 

Meanwhile, thanks again!

 

Thaisa

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Jennifer

Jennifer---

Thanks for the comprehensive comment about blogs and presentation.  In some ways, I'm a frustrated conceptual artist, so I often think of themes and ideas that involve visual presentation.  In fact--that's pretty much what I always think about.  But somehow I've been blocked about learning photoshop, which how I think most of my ideas could happen.  

My website was set up to use WordPress, so that's been set up--although I haven't given the blog a name yet nor have I been able to implement any of my ideas.  

But your post has helped catalyze my thought that presentation is everything and that visuals are often far stronger than text. I would like to do visuals with a theme, and maybe I can do a modified version of closets with a doll's house closet and various high heeled shoes.  

So you've given me a lot to think about and been incredibly generous with your knowledge. Where can I find your web site?

Thanks again....

 

Thaisa 

 

 

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Blogs, Concepts

Thaisa,

You are so welcome, love to share what I know! Once you find your "peeps" (the kinds of creative groups you are looking for), you'll discover that the blogging world is super fertile as a global artistic community, with all kinds of artists from different fields interacting and even collaborating in new ways. It makes for a good balance with the solitary time you spend creating, and can be very stimulating in terms of pushing you into new areas you'd probably never explored otherwise. In other words if you have a conceptual artist within who is waiting to bloom, it can happen!

My site is very simple and easy to navigate because I feel that the point of having one is to show the work, and allow a person to get to it without a lot of trouble or distraction. This is me on WordPress: http://odilonvert.com 
Please do take a look at tumblr. too, a lot of really great organizations including ones from the art world have spaces there, and the format is very minimalist and clean. This is my tumblr space, but as I said I'm using it a little differently than many people use theirs (many people use tumblr to share information from different sites around the net, that being said I've found the most amazing and beautiful information shared there, really good stuff): http://odilonvert.tumblr.com

Once you are ready with your blog, please tell me where I can link to it and I will put the link on my website's Links page. My list is ever evolving and my goal is to send people to more sites concerning the arts from my site.

Last note for now - forget about Photoshop. All you need is your basic photo editor, if you have a Mac that'd be iPhoto, and if you're using an iPhone (or Android) and/or an iPad there are a TON of amazing photo apps you can use to make pics without ever touching Photoshop. Take a look at iPhoneart.com (http://www.iphoneart.com/), and join if you like. The community is super cool, they share a ton of information and the things you can do without Photoshop will astound you.

If you have other questions please don't hesitate to ask me - if I don't know the answer, I can easily find someone among the people I know who will.

Jennifer