(All photos are taken from the Posy blog)
Today begins the first of a series of conversations about blogging which I am hoping will be interesting, perhaps helpful, to those of us taking a look at it all as the online world continues to change and we, perhaps, change with it…
I found Jane’s blog back in those days when there was seemingly all the time in the world to be led from one inspiring, lovely place to another. She made me want to paint my floors white (tho’ I never did) and crochet granny squares (still hoping). Her love of family always shone through and her adventures with Chris Martin and Cath Kidston often made me laugh. Her domestic heart inspired my own, and those firesides! A good place to warm yourself…
It looks like you started your blog in January of 2006. Do you remember what inspired you to begin and how it felt then?
I had been searching online and came across Soulemama’s blog. I had never seen a blog before and it intrigued me. Here was a totally personal space – a blank canvas and being a diary writer in the past and a visual person it very much appealed to me. But the deciding factor was that my husband is from New Zealand & I thought that it maybe a wonderful way for the family to see a glimpse of our life.
It felt exciting to be sharing things and I was learning new skills albeit not particularly well! I also made a decision not to go down the advertising route as it was my space & I didn’t want to be beholden to anyone else.
How did the reading and the writing of blogs used to fit in your days?
The reading of blogs usually was done sporadically through the day. As far as writing blog posts these were usually done after I got home from school. I was always looking out for a good photo opportunity or story that would be of interest to people who visited my blog. I started to think in blog posts & carried my camera with me everywhere.
I found it a challenge to keep the blog fresh & interesting. I felt a pressure to post regularly and initially respond to every comment. It took time. But I enjoyed sharing with like-minded people. I called them my ‘blog ladies’.
When (and why) would you say that changed?
I think things have changed now due to rise in social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Why write a long post when a photo and a few words will suffice. It’s instant and you don’t need to fire up your laptop to join in. You can ‘converse’ more easily with your lovely ‘blog ladies’! I think the use of smart phones & tablets also have made reading blogs easier in some ways but commenting harder on different devices.
Did you have an easy relationship with comments (numbers of/responding to), stats, and those elements of blogging that can sometimes take too much of our attention?
Ahhh comments. As I mentioned before I started trying to respond to every one but realised soon that I simply couldn’t. I loved the fact that I made connections with such wonderful like minded women and who could not be touched & humbled by the kind things they would say. It felt like I had friends around the world. Fortunately it was before trolls appeared on the scene.
On the negative side I would judge a post’s popularity by the number of comments & that maybe would change how I posted. I also felt I couldn’t quite show the real me sometimes and, in case I received negative comments, I did consider turning them off so it wouldn’t matter how many I got & who said what etc. It never got to this point as I felt that I wanted a dialogue of sorts – a connection.
The last post on your blog-Posy-was Christmas Eve 2011. In the comments, I noticed that you were still receiving lots of comments from new readers and some from long-time readers checking in with you… Are you ever drawn to posting there again? Or does Instagram (and perhaps other places?) satisfy whatever it is that leads us want to share our lives and thoughts with others?
I am on an extended blog break. I hadn’t planned on taking one but things had happened in my extended family that I was coming to terms with and was struggling with life and trying to blog when my laptop suddenly broke. Oh the relief! Well weeks went by. I got emails which I replied to each one but the weeks/years have just gone on. I’m afraid I don’t miss it at the present time. But I will never say I will never blog again.
I started posting on Instagram and that suits me perfectly at the moment.
Would you give us a little update on your life?
My life is still very much the same. I am still working as a Teaching Assistant at a primary school. Our son is working locally, daughter 1 is in her final year of medical school and daughter 2 is in her second year of drama school. Anthony & I have just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.
How can we be that old!
Jane may be found at Instagram now @janegoble. But even if you don’t “do” IG, you can follow along here.
With great thanks to Jane and hopes for a continuing conversation in the comments as we look back and ahead, within and without…
P.S. In a lovely coincidence, as I searched for a photo of Through the Kitchen Window for a Wisteria & Sunshine post, I came across a link to a post of Jane’s from 2009 about her favorite books. And this post very nicely shows something of the sharing that blogs can do so beautifully.