Coming back from holiday - and following an August lull - there seems to be a certain amount of soul searching and wonderment about blogging amongst the local blogerati. Manchizzle goes so far as to ask: Is blogging dead?
I got into doing this out of curiosity. Part of my day job is to understand how people consume media and how we then deliver it to them. This blog has helped in that. But it's also subtly changed over the two years I've been doing it, both in its look, but also in tone. I have separated my work from this blog. I don't put stories from Insider on here, for example. I'm careful about what I say about my family. But I'm committed to it more than ever.
So, two years on, what next? I always find it amazing that people manage to publish long and well put together blogs on politics, or as extensions of their personal interests - be they music, football, writing, poetry or local history. I would find that achingly narrow. The blogs I return to - and link to - are generalist and personal. They reflect as well as possible the hinterland of the writer. Nigel Hughes does this very well, but he's also shifted away from his day job a bit; Dave Hill separates his Guardian work from his local Hackney stuff; I sense that Laura Wolfe is working out her direction - running a business, her family, Man City. The much missed Dougal Paver threw everything at his, but stopped entirely because he's a public face who didn't want to self-censor his deeply held views on Norweigans and environmentalists. I think I've settled down with my core now, though I occasionally need to be reminded not to overdo the Blackburn Rovers stuff.
I don't hanker after comments, but I like it when I get them. I know from the stats that there's a small loyal following and I like the fact that the blog not only helps me entertain and keep in touch with friends and family, my occasional nostalgic ramblings have also flushed out a few old friends from as Stringer Bell would say - "back in the day" - Nick Morrell, Andrew Worth and Andrew Blacktop.
Anyway, to try and revive the momentum and explore the reasons and the purpose for blogging, a Manchester bloggers blog has been set up here. And the Manchester Evening News blog has organised a get together, the details of which are here. I would suspect the bulk of the blogerati are younger, less grumpy, trendier, more left wing and therefore considerably more interesting than me. They may even inspire a new direction for the Marple Leaf. I'll let you know.