Friday, October 15, 2010

A Blog About Blogging

We haven’t been up to much that’s new and exciting over the last few days, so I thought I’d write about the somewhat self-referential topic of blogging.

As many of you will know, this blog started out from a desire to keep friends and family informed about our progress in New Zealand when we first moved here. Initially, I sent out an email to a group of people, giving daily updates about our move; the purpose being to inform everyone, in one go, about what we were doing. As people replied individually to the email, I realised its shortcomings as a method of communication, and decided to explore the world of blogging instead. I should at this point acknowledge the example set by Sho on this blog , which set me off in the first place.

The system that I use to write this blog is called Blogger, and is provided by Google. It’s free, and anyone can use it. I find it very easy to set up and use – I don’t think it needs a great deal of computer knowledge to figure it out.

Amongst the features are statistics on which countries people who are reading my blog are from (or at least, which countries their internet servers are located in – not always the same thing). I find it interesting to see where my blog is being read, which includes the usual suspects of UK, Cyprus, New Zealand, Australia  and USA; but also several Nordic countries, lots of other European ones, Russia, North and South America, and (for a specific period) Namibia. Occasionally, countries pop up that I have no idea why people are reading: I guess random Google searches are bringing up my blog, probably helped by my subtly ambiguous headings.

When I write a blog, I send it out to fend for itself into the void of the internet; apart from some reporting statistics, the only way I know that it’s not a futile exercise are  comments from you, my readers, and my usage statistics. Unsurprisingly, most of my readers come via Facebook or h2g2. Some people who are actually looking for Wellington boots for their feet, via Google, may also get sucked in.

Recruitment Drive

So, why am I writing all this? What I’m basically saying is that blogging can be a lonely business. I fire off my posts into the internet, and they’re read by hundreds of people. OK, tens of people. So far, 6 people have decided to “follow” my blog. To do this, click the “Follow Me” label to the right of this post. And please feel free to add comments – you don’t need to be a member or sign up to anything to add a comment. just type it in the box, and click underneath, where it says “Comment As: Select profile”, choose “Name/URL” and type your name. There’s nothing more depressing than seeing “0 comments” when I’ve posted another thrilling instalment of our life here in Wellington Boots!

And finally…

Thank you for reading ;-)


  1. Inciteful ! Interesting ! Useful ! But then we'd expect nothing less from Wellington Boots.

    My first port of call in the mornings. It smells good and brings me up to date on the busy lives of the only Wellingtonians I know.

    So if anyone out there is reading this comment . . . . join in. Follow. It's not a cult. Yet.

    Ha !

    H x

  2. Ah, my one source of interesting comments has commented! Jolly good! How was Birdsong?

  3. Hmm - it was a curate's egg. The first half (the love story) was ploddy and unintentionally funny in places. So very not like the book. It lacked subtlety (that word looks so wrong - is it?) and passion. The second half (down in the trenches) was much better, tho' the acting was a bit clunky and at 3 hours, it dragged a touch. The writing creaked. But there were good bits ! Needless to say after 2 glasses of wine at lunch in Sheekeys (excellent as ever), both of us tried hard to stay awake. But the shelling woke us up. Kaboom! So I won't tell everyone to rush to see it, but knowing how hard it is to get anything off the ground, I guess it's a miracle it's on at all. Seb Faulks himself said the movie version has been 13 years in pre-production. Yup. That happens.
    Maybe we're too used to rather more subtle acting in movies and the sturm and drang of stagey acting is like an unwelcome slap in the face with a wet cod. But honestly . . . actors. Why ? Why ? And at nearly 100 smackers for the privilege, it's a pain.
    But the programme had lots of interesting stuff in it.
    The theatre was full of young girlies, all coming to see Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian, Dorian Gray). A pretty boy with an unmanly voice. He'll go far, no doubt. Also I think Birdsong is now A-level fodder. Which is good. S'got to be better than DH Lawrence. Now there's a miserable sod. Don't get me started.

    Enough already !

    Next time I do anything cultural, I'll spin you a mini-crit.

    Half-term will be pon us at 4pm today. Got chums staying this weekend - oh, you know them . . . Dave Green (Squaddie) and his g/f Sarah. Better get the beers in and scare us up a curry.

    Love, H x

  4. Rory, I love your blogs and look eagerly for them every day. I am very disappointed when there isn't one! I don't always comment as I can't often think of anything suitably erudite (probably not even the right word, and not even worth many Scrabble points!). Note to self - try harder.
    And if I do join as a regular follower, how do I get my picture up there?

  5. To follow, you'll need an account with Google, or with one of the other providers listed when you click "Follow". If you don't have one with any of these, you'll need to set one up - all it needs is your email address and a password. It doesn't have to be a Google email address. When you set it up you'll have the option to provide a picture from your PC.

    Nicola has just managed it, so it can't be *too* hard! ;-)

  6. I may have managed to sign on

  7. Interesting Blog, Rory - I've neglected you terribly recently because my own life has been horribly busy. :(

    It's always interesting for me to read about other peoples' lives - especially expat Brits (being one myself, I like to compare experiences).

    Thanks for the nod (all readers and commenters and followers welcomed with open arms)

    I haven't yet worked out how to check the reader stats - but since I haven't been blogging often it's not a surprise that I still believe it all works by Ham(p)ster power.

    But I am interested in the review of Birdsong (if I may just butt in there?) I saw the posters advertising it while I was in London last week and I have to admit I'm intrigued. I read the book fairly recently and wasn't overly impressed - mostly because I think that what it tries to convey is much better done in two other books: All Quiet on the Western Front and Madame Bovary.

    Er... anyway. Keep up the good work (on the blog) and... have you thought of teaming up with a Wellington Boot company...

  8. If you click the "Design" button at the top right, whilst you're logged in, it takes you into a page with 6 tabs along the top. The final tab is Stats. At least, that's how mine appears. You can then look at more detail (posts, referral source, audience), change the time periods etc.

  9. Your blog is in my RSS feed, and I think I follow you (without showing oir something). It can take me weeks to catch up, but then I'll read all I missed in one go. :D