Sunday, May 18, 2008

Time for a Blog Diet

I didn't mean to post this tonight, and not having planned it, I hope I can make it sound sensible.

I need to go on the blogging equivalent of a diet.

I have been feasting for far too long on all the information, developments, discussions, community-building and social networking that is going on. One appetising plate is presented after another, keeping you busy gorging without realising that the party is getting stale and you are not actually talking to anyone as you are too busy stuffing your face.

I mean that metaphorically of course.

I keep finding new and interesting discussions out there about wine. I currently subscribe to (only) 133 blogs; 48 General & International wine blogs, 27 UK wine blogs, and many more local, food, marketing, news and other topics.

It is simply too much to read and I am only scratching the surface.

I have been busy with work and my family for the last week, and I already have 230 unread items in the feed reader, plus I have hardly posted on my own blogs for weeks.


More importantly, I should not be boring you about reading blogs, but in theory discussing wine, wine culture and wine related developments.

A friend of mine jokingly pointed out that the discussions about what wine blogging needed were fewer discussions about wine blogging, and I think he is right to an extent.

Maybe there ought to be two kinds of bloggers - posters and linkers.

I am going to have to go on a blog diet. As well as having to focus on the day job and attend the London Wine Trade Fair, I will stop reading 90% of sites I normally follow regularly - at least until I get back into my stride.

I must stop reading and start thinking and creating interesting content to make it worthwhile for you to keep reading this blog and not turn me off as I am going to have to do (temporarily) to other blogs - assuming you have not already done that.

It did make me think though. I am keen to find out what others think, and join in on their conversations, so I try and read what others I respect have to say. I try and leave my thoughts, and where relevant, post my ideas on my blog too. However, once I spend any available time reading and commenting, there is hardly any time left for any writing of my own.

Maybe there ought to be two kinds of bloggers - posters and linkers. There are always going to be those who want to write something new and original (well, they will try), but there are also those out there who like to dig, delve and find, and they are best at linking people up to relevant content and maybe even find previously unnoticed links between existing content.

If we could leverage both types, then each would benefit the other and we would have better content, and more ways to find it, but at the moment bloggers will continue to grapple with the dichotomy of being producers and consumers of information, and the complications of keeping blogs ticking over.

This week things will be quiet unless something drastic happens at the LIWF, but next week I hope to post in earnest.

Hopefully I shall return leaner and meaner, and ready for the fight.

Now, that kind waiter is heading my way with what looks like a wafer-thin mint and I really do love to finish a meal with a mint.


Anonymous said...

Well Robert, I think you take a healthy stand. You should have a life. Please just drop a post once in a while.

Robert McIntosh said...

thanks Estelle - will do my best not to become Mr Creosote!


Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I see where you're coming from and have seen the symptom described elsewhere as 'continuous partial engagement'.

I've enjoyed reading what you've written, so if you've any good ideas, make sure you draft them for when you're ready to start posting again.


Taster B said...

Hi Robert, I can really relate to what you're saying here. I've been on a similar undeclared 'blog diet' lately, as well as, a general gluttony restriction program which has dampened my wine blogging somewhat.
On the topic of writing, there is a saying that always comes to mind to dash my visions of writing fresh new material: "There's nothing new under the sun." Fortunately, there are endlessly interesting ways to discuss the same old topics that are fun to write and read. :)
Here's to renewed health and creativity!

Robert McIntosh said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and encouragement - "continuous partial engagement" is a great title for the ailment.

In reality this is a very selfish move - it isn't that I plan on stopping posting, just stopping reading.

So in fact, what I am saying is that I want YOU to keep reading ME, even if I am no longer out there reading your blogs. Selfish *&^%£*@ that I am.

There are lots of ideas and implications for this floating around in my mind, but they have not crystallised into a post yet.

First I must complete the drafts I already have, some of them many months old.

Second, I have some thoughts on the EWBC discussion topics that need to be put out there for your comments.

Finally, I shall be stopping drinking wine (and any other alcohol) in June so I'm sure there will be consequences to deal with there too.

I promise to at least try and make it worth your while.

"Normal Service (posting AND reading) will be resumed as soon as possible"

Gracias amigos.

Jeanne said...

Had to come and see the Mr Creosote reference for myself :) And I fell exactly the same way - I think I need to put myself on a blog diet as it's taking over my life! I'm such a saddo... ;-)

Unknown said...

Remember what it was like when we all got broadband at home? Suddenly we could surf and everything was immediate and before you knew it a whole evening had passed, following interesting looking links because you could.

I think tools like Google Reader are just like that time. We can now be told when anyone updates their blog - and it's interesting to follow up, plus it's personal. We feel we know some of these people (I almost feel I know you Robert despite not meeting at the LIWSF!) and we have a common bond with the interest in wine.

I think we will all naturally moderate our own viewing of blogs over time, as we have moderated our desire to follow every link we found on the net when we got broadband.

But please don't stop posting Robert or adding comments to other's blogs!