Monday, 15 October 2007

The Blogging Lifestyle

Interesting how thoughts from disparate conversations in the past week have ended up revolving around blogs. It's just a bit more than seven months since I started this one, and while I haven't set any records for activity -- although I have a growing subscriber base, thanks! -- the fact is that if you're here, it's because you're a friend, you're interested in what I'm doing, or you searched for something I've talked about or information about Lasqueti Island.

In other words, I'm not controversial, and that's probably a good thing for my reputation, although not for my statistics.

When I was volunteering at WordFest here last week, I got into a number of conversations with several authors, including those who have been slammed by bloggers (Matthew Skelton, for instance), and those who have recently embraced the blogosphere, like Meg Tilly and Gail Anderson-Dargatz.

Meg and Gail (who are truly nice people, as well as dynamite writers) like the feedback from readers, and I tend to agree with them about the sort of people who actually make blogs a worthwhile and interactive vehicle: they are genuinely interested about what the artist is doing, and thoughtful and considerate in their responses.

Imagine, then, my surprise in reading Christie Blatchford's denigration of blogs over the weekend in The Globe and Mail. While I understand, and certainly sympathize with, her feelings of being "used" by a passing stranger who wanted a picture of her and her magnificent Bull Terrier Obie for his blog, tarring us all with the same nasty brush wasn't exactly appropriate either.

Perhaps more people should have gone to AIGA's seminar on Saturday entitled Blog O'Fear: Rules and Etiquette of Blogging....

Like it or not, blogs are here to stay: even WordFest designated Hal Niedzviecki as official blogger, although, um, it struck me as being more like one of the ones that Christie was complaining about: having seen him in "action," I'd mark that down too many beverages and not enough sleep.

Other than the folks mentioned above, I got to hand out food and drinks (working in the hospitality suite) and occasionally chat with some wonderfully funny and brilliant people, particularly A.L. Kennedy (her web contact page is a brief sample of her wicked sense of humour), talk knitting with Gil Adamson, and tell Dave Bidini how reading The Best Game You Can Name was the mandatory humour therapy I needed on my trip to Vancouver after my mother died.

And I can't finish this entry without at least mentioning Sylvain Meunier (merci beaucoup pour le livre!), Cary Fagan, Niels Hav, D.J. MacHale, Valerie Mason-John, Morganics, Richard Scrimger, Jane Urquhart, Elizabeth Hay, Anna Porter, and the Mexican tag-team of Minerva Margarita Villarreal and Daniel Sada.

Thanks all, you made my week.

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