Posts Tagged 'blogging'

Blogging – for whose benefit?

Well, here I am – talking to myself again. Not a soul has viewed my blog for over two days. So my views on international politics have gone unread – which may be just as well. Not really my forte, perhaps. Still, I suppose one of the benefits of blogging is that one gets things off one’s chest. If no-one else reads them, what the hell?

When I re-visited Malaysia in 2004 – forty years after I lived and worked there – I spent a couple of days camped on the shores of a huge lake in the north of the country; Tasek Temenggong was its name. As well as hiking into the rain-forest, hoping to see wild elephant, and clambering up a hillside to see the world’s biggest flower, the Rafflesia, we visited the village of a group of orang asli – the aboriginal people who lived in the jungles there long before even the Malays arrived, and who still follow their traditional way of life to a large extent, hunting with poisoned darts and blowpipes and meeting most of their needs from the forest. Their village was on the lake shore, and they got about on simple rafts made from a few lengths of bamboo lashed together. They seemed thoroughly adapted to lakeside life.

Yet when I left the country in 1963, no such lake existed. It is actually a huge reservoir, created a few years ago by damming the river which drained these hills. Jutting from the water in many places are the stark white skeletons of drowned jungle trees. A generation ago, the orang asli had never seen a lake; yet such is human adaptability that they now seemed completely attuned to it.

They were, moreover, well-used to being visited by tourists such as ourselves – and no doubt the tour operators made it worth their while. But that, of course, raises a difficult question: should such people be encouraged to preserve their ancient way of life – only to be gawked at as curiosities by ‘civilised’ travellers? Or should they be provided with all the benefits of modern life and technology and absorbed into the mainstream of society – which would mean so much of their own unique culture being lost for ever? I don’t pretend to know the answer; but I suspect that ‘progress’ will overtake them eventually (if, of course, the whole world hasn’t gone down the swanee in the meantime . . .).

In my next post I will put up a few pictures I took during my visit. Meanwhile, if nobody else sees this, I might contribute a comment or two, to keep myself company.

How to improve your Blogging

A while back I posted that I was assessing a multimedia course on blogging from an outfit called Simpleology. It was – and still is as far as I know – offered for free, so I was prepared for something a bit superficial. However, I duly signed on to access the course (itself a rather tortuous process – you have to wade through rather a lot of promotional stuff before you get to the point) and was impressed.

The course comes as 15 audio-visual lessons, with simple but clear graphics and helpful commentary from Mark Joyner. There are also interactive quizzes at the end of each lesson, as a way of revising. There’s a lot of “what to do’s”, while some of the “how to do it’s” are a little sketchy; but they generally point you in the direction of further help.

About a third of the course is directed at those who want to make money from a blog. This is not something I aspire to (yet!). Nevertheless, as an elderly Englishman just venturing into the blogosphere for the first time, I found some useful information in the lessons, and I would think others would find it helpful.

Blogging in vain!

What, for heaven’s sake, does one have to do to get one’s blog read? My posts hitherto have not, I think, been badly written. Some have been mildly provocative, a few even (I hope) amusing; yet they are seen by only a handful – if that.

So what do I have to do? Write with bad grammar, eccentric spelling and no punctuation? Make outrageous statements about politics or religion (and run the risk of attack and abuse from fanatics with opposite views)? I’ve tried the odd photograph, without getting any reaction – which is perhaps not surprising if only three people see it. And I can’t bring myself to give a detailed account of what I had for breakfast.

Should I be wide-ranging in my topics, or should I specialise (sorry, USA – specialize) in some narrow field?

I feel like screaming “My blog is at least as interesting as thousands of others which seem to be well viewed. For God’s sake, you f***ers, come and have a look – and say something!”

But I suppose a cry for for help is pointless; no-one will read the bloody thing anyway.

How to blog?

I’m evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.

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