I can’t believe that I didn’t post this, but I suppose better late than never. My blog celebrated its birthday on 1 February. I drafted this post and something must have disturbed me before I actually hit “publish.”
Today (well actually last week–see note above) is the first anniversary of my blog, so I felt it warranted some notice.
It’s been an interesting year navigating the virtual world. I began this blog for two reasons: one to see if a blog would work as a website for a group to which I belong, and the other to encourage myself to be a little more disciplined in my reading. My group decided on a fully-fledged website, and my reading? Well, it remains, as you know, somewhat eclectic in focus, but the feedback I’ve received encourages me to continue for a while yet.
I still find the evolution of the web somewhat amazing and at times depressing. I remember when people were extolling the virtues of GOPHER; I can remember a world without Google. I’m not saying anything new when I observe that whether we like it or not, we are now dependent on the world wide web, or when I note that, as in so much of human endeavour, the power of the net can be harnessed to good or ill. However, while I like the convenience of on-line banking, access to research libraries and so forth, I often wonder who is actually looking over my electronic shoulder.
I suspect my ambivalence is shared by many. We now live in a world where we are trackable, the subjects of algorithms, where our tastes and habits are on display to whoever cares to look (whether it is legal for them to look or not). But I am of a generation that grew up accustomed to a certain level of anonymity and find the world of self-advertisement somewhat inhibiting. Someone is always watching, and one’s electronic footprint is indelible. I retain certain anxieties about such surveillance. So my entrance into the world of the blog has been somewhat tentative and pseudonymous. I have yet to sign up for any social networking platforms even though I know I have missed out on seeing photographs from a writing class I once took. However, I suspect that social networks and text messages are already replacing/have already replaced email as the preferred mode of informal communication, so I may have to give in, just as once I gave in and eventually purchased an answering system for my telephone, and traded my typewriter for a computer and a word-processing program. I do still have a fountain pen, but it has seized up from lack of use.
So one year on: where am I? I’ve “met” some interesting, informative, and engaging other bloggers. I’ve been canvassed with offers of how to improve my blog so that I can sell things on it. I’m not going to do that. I’ve worried about the state of mind of some of my fellow bloggers. I’m intrigued and entertained by others. I’ve enjoyed the art and photography of still others. I’ve recommended some blogs to past-colleagues as useful resources for their classes. I’m not going to win any prizes for the most number of “likes.” However, I am very aware of my “followers” (How Cranford that sounds). Knowing that you are reading my blog and that some of you miss it if I am rather tardy in posting gives me a purpose to my reading I might not otherwise have. You make my indulgence in books and pictures less selfish.
I hope you will continue to find something of interest in what I post.