Sunday, July 10, 2011

What is this blog for?

This week I was really pleased to read a fascinating entry by Daniel Wolf on his blog Renewable Music to do with commonplace books. As I commented on his post, I've kept an ideas book for a long time (going on 13 years now - it's a long time for me anyway!). My record keeping has not been exhaustive or regular, so I don't have as many books filled as that length of time would suggest, but I've found it to be a really useful way of formulating ideas and for sorting out the wheat from the chaff (have you ever woken up from a dream in which you heard the most amazing music, written it down and then discovered it was  indescribably trivial? - sometimes I find that an 'amazing idea' for a piece, when written down, becomes like this).
The discussion in Daniel's entry and in the comments turned my thoughts to my blog itself. I haven't really ever asked myself what the blog was for since I started. When I did start, it functioned almost as a way of motivating me to keep working regularly on my PhD, creating the illusion of an audience that one cannot disappoint. It worked to an extent and I became aware of the ways in which the blog could function as an aspect of the ideas book but I don't think I really ever explored this, and my entries dwindled until they practically stopped. Although I've started again recently to post a few things, I don't really think that I know what I'm doing and this whole issue of commonplace books has brought things into focus.
This week I have also discovered Matthew Fort's blog, Fort on Food. I have always enjoyed his restaurant reviews and other writings across which I have stumbled, and his performance as judge on Great British Menu have amused me consistently, so it was a pleasure to find this blog (if you don't know this already, food - cooking and eating - is one of my major hobbies, up there with reading) but what immediately struck me was the dynamic way that it employs tags. It uses a very restricted number of tags to put posts into clear categories. Now this isn't exactly rocket science and there are plenty of blogs that do this already but it took this one to really slam it into my thick head.
Still don't really have any idea what I'm going to do about this in the short term but I'm hoping that it will result in something a little more focussed and a little less splattery.
We shall see.


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