OK - so maybe "Trick People Into Being Educated" is a slightly sinister way of putting it but you may understand what I mean as we go on.
I find blogging to be a personal means of communication. When you read my blog you are stepping into my life and learning about me and what I make of the world around me. To be honest - the name "Inkyworld" started off as one of those "this will do until I can come up with something better" names - and it stuck.
On Wednesday I am going to be slightly easier than usual to spot because I am going to turn myself into a kind of "Sandwich Board". I will be wearing a tshirt which will advertise my blog in what I think is a quirky way - the front says "Welcome To www,inkyworld.co.uk" and the back says "Thank You For Visiting".
Back to the point.
I love reading blogs which show a different side of life. Especially when the writer makes me feel like I am with them in the situation they are writing about. There seems to be a new name for me to add to my list of favourite bloggers (this man should really start his own blog). Step forward and take a bow Paul Clements.
What I meant about "Tricking People Into Being Educated" is that some people find it easier to learn about things when they are doing something they enjoy (I am one of those).
Sit me down and tell me to read a blog on a subject I may or may not be interested in when I start reading. Then wait until I have finished reading it. If I can tell you something which I have learned from it - that will tell you I may or may not have found it interesting but I was educated by it. On the other hand - If I sound like I could find a way of putting what I have learned into practice in order to improve my life or someone else's life - the writer should really be commended for leading me through their world. The best scenario is when I sound like I canuse what I have learned to improve life - as well as feeling comfortable enough to ask questions about what I have read. That - to me - is the sign of a well-written blog post.
Yes - videos and photos can be useful in a blog post in order to hold people's interest. However, they can also be a distraction. I try to think of videos and photos as seasoning in food. A small amount of paprika powder (I am specifying the powder because Dutch people call the peppers which come in red, yellow, green, and orange "Paprika") will give your food a nice hint of warmth and spicyness - a heaped tablespoonful of the stuff will ensure you need access to a fire engine as you attempt to consume your meal - if you are anything like me that is.
A few well-placed photos which link in to the subject of your blog are a nice "garnish" to the "meal" you intend your blog to be. If the balance between the words and the photos tips towards the side of the photos however - may I suggest you do a video-blog instead???
Blogs are like computerised versions of books. Or at least that is how I think of them. You can read books on all sorts of subjects at all sorts of levels - ranging from "Dummies Guide To..." right the way up to "Trust me - you need at least two PhD's before you even bother attempting to dream about considering trying to read this book". The same scale applies to blogs.
I have deliberately tried to keep this blog feeling as though we are face to face over a cup of coffee (or a drink of your choice) having a good chat. There are some subjects which I have found difficult to blog about (which I would not even discuss with my closest friends as they are too painful), I have blogged about things which I found funny or puzzling, I have blogged about the impact my sight has on me. Basically,this blog is - hopefully - my side of an interesting conversation with you. A few of you have even told me I have succeeded in making it interesting.
One final piece of advice would be - your blog is a reflection of you. However, unless you have deliberately put yourself centre stage in it, make sure it is accessible (and understandable) to everybody who may read it. Try not to use jargon if you can help it (I don't mind reading words from your native dialect as long as you translate them for me). The less additional reading someone has to do in order to understand your blog the better.
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