A recent post from Silbs made me reflect on the reasons I blog.
Since I don't have commercial reasons to advertise my products or ideas I wondered on my motives. It must be because I find that sharing knowledge enhances my life.
There is a tremendous amount of very good work out there, in cyberspace.
Just like I often come across great ideas, reports and good information in general when browsing for a particular item, I wish to share my findings with others. I have learned a lot from my fellow bloggers.
There are the usual high speed commercial sites where the info can be occasionally biased, there are a few good amateur independent offerings and then there are the useless ones that just like to post mindless material because they can.
And that last one seems to be the subject of Silbs post.
Does one really feel the need to post countless images of questionable quality of the same subject? surely they can see that a bit of culling would make the blog a bit more attractive.
The same goes with reports of trips and events.
Does anybody really care that I got up early in the morning to cook porridge and then pack up my camp and then load the kayak and then launch in a bit of North-Easterly and that the humidity was high and I was paddling at 5.3Kmp with a 45 degree feather in my paddle? You know what I mean.
I understand that not all blogs are directed towards a universal audience but even the selected few that might know the person/location could possibly get bored.
I am a lousy writer therefore I try to relay what I experienced with images. But just because an image says a thousand words it does not mean I should create "verbal diarrhea" by posting too many images of the same thing. The advent of digital photography means we can take hundreds of images but I select my images; only the ones I think are the very best make the cut and only very few are published. If any average photographer would pay just a bit more attention to on how they take the an image and try to be more selective when they publish or share them then I might better see the experience they are trying to relay to me.
The same goes with prose: cut the unnecessary stuff and tell me more about the essence and the experience, not the mundane facts.
Combine good images with decent copy and maybe there is something I can be bothered reading. Seakayakphoto is an outstanding example on how to create an appealing story: images and copy.
While I believe that no blogger is immune to ego, I notice some just like to post hoping to get attention.
Unfortunately some have very little to say and their efforts have the opposite effect, leaving them open to ridicule.
Some bloggers go for the "reheated news". Seen somewhere else an article that seems to be popular? Let's repost it in my blog hoping to generate some traffic.
I find it OK if a blogger actually comes across a terrific piece of work that is rather obscure and believes that it deserves a bit more publicity, but question the motive of those who cut/paste sensationalistic news so people flock to their blog.
I don't know what to say but I am compelled to have a new post? There is always the option of having unrelated professionals write for me. Maybe the topic has to be a bit generic but at least my blog has a new post.
I was recently approached by a commercial company of writers that does just that. They offered to write an article for Gnarlydog News for free to then have their company linked on my blog.
I asked them to write something about Aleut and Greenland paddles. Their reply:
"...However I feel that our writers may not be able to deal with a topic of that nature.
Have you anything else you would be interested in featuring on your website. Maybe something on travel kayaking? "
Yeah, a generic post about travelling: how riveting :-)
OK, not everybody can be good at blogging. I certainly am just average.
My writing is a bit ghetto but I like to use the excuse that English it's my 4th language. I try a bit harder with images though.
Some posts require a fair amount of planning, preparing and executing the footage/images.
Once I have acquired the material I spend some time editing it since I regard my raw footage as only good for a draft, rarely worthy of presentation.
I like to present my work with straight horizons and I crop out the disturbing elements, if I can. A bit of polishing makes a huge difference.
Despite all that I don't spend too much time capturing the footage, I'm rarely getting paid for it :-)
It's just an amateur effort in capturing fun moments of my activities, something that I will like to review in years to come.
Certainly bloggers are free to write what they want and publish as many pictures as they please, but if you want others to be as interested as you are in your offerings, it pays to remember: "quality over quantity".