Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dreams & Daemons - one month old today

It’s now a month since I started Dreams and Daemons (“ D&D ”) . Posting at least once a day has certainly kept this retiree busy, and re-created some of the sensation of being back at work – the need to plan ahead, indeed progressively further ahead as one uses up the easy options, like “ My Meteo Clock” for example .

It’s been interesting following Google entries build up under “D&D. Initially there was only one – a reference to a 1935 paper in the Journal of Philosophy:

“In contrast to both the Kantian and the phenomenological formalisms, which would apply to dreams and daemons as well as to normal human experience, ...”

I knew I’d seen “Dreams and Daemons “ before somewhere ! And please believe I’ve done my level best to maintain a scrupulous balance between Kantian and phenomenological formulations ..........

At the latest count there were 108 Google returns , some 20 in the condensed listings. The utilitarian posts ( Meteo Clock,) are the most frequently cited, and/or linked to other sites, but these are early days in that department.

There have only been been a few Comments so far (today excepted !). Profuse thanks to those who have contributed. But there’s been some misunderstanding, judging by what I read on another blog.

The main battle so far has not been to win public acclaim or ratings. It’s with myself : to keep the show on the road, and to assemble a portfolio of posts on a variety of topics, if that’s not too grand a term.

Looking at some other blogs that do attract Comments in plentitude, they are often one-liners that are little more than “Hi, nice photo”, while others function as chatrooms, though whether that was the blogger’s intention is another matter.

In time, I hope to attract interest from folk who have pursued a link to something of interest, buried maybe deep in the archives, who might then explore around a bit more, and find perhaps that they share my 'take' on this world of ours – inquisitive, sceptical, and unashamedly irreverent, disrespectful even, when one discovers things are not all they seem to be.

This blog will not be everyone’s tasse de thé, and was never intended to be. Those who think I am prepared to “lose my soul” in pursuit of a few more Comments have maybe taken a snapshot of a day or two, and perhaps have failed to realize that I am constantly experimenting with different styles and presentations, both up - and downmarket, so to speak, if only to avoid being prematurely classified as having this or that type of blog.

If comments were that important, I could have twisted a few arms, or even invented a contributor or two. I have not. A blog does not need to become an instant forum, even if the latter can be fun. A no-holds-barred forum can become a form of torture too, depending on the sort of folk who take up residence.

However, the time has come to change gear, from high-revving first to a smoother second. Daily posting is fine for starters, to build that superstructure of content. But there’s a big drawback. It leaves little time for networking among other blogs ( or posting to some MSM forums) . If one does not seek the company of other bloggers, why should one expect interest in return ? So starting from now, posts will appear, on average, every other day. But the gap may be longer if it‘s a topic needing more careful research . Or when writing suddenly becomes a burden, as it does from time to time. Not so much writer’s block. More writer’s cramp.

On average, each run of 7 posts (ie per fortnight) might break down roughly as follows:

1. A political topic

2. A science or health topic

3. Something with local flavour ( Antibes and environs) or travel-related.

4. Something oddball or quirky.

(We inheritors of the Goon Show, Monty Python etc. take our responsibilities seriously to keep the genre alive, till the next Spike Milligan or John Cleese comes along. Keep trying Ricky Gervais, Peter Kay et al, but you’re not quite in the same league as yet. )

5. An opinionated piece, assisted in that by my outspoken pal from the hippocampus.

6. Something from the personal archive of recollections, anecdotes etc.

7. A report on someone else’s blog.

Note then, that this is not a focused blog. It’s a fairly broad brush thing. As such it’s never likely to be a high-profile blog. But it was never intended to be.

But there are one or two respects in which this one might achieve a higher profile than many other individual blogs.

(a) Firstly, the author has published in science, so has experience of developing a viewpoint, and then sticking his head above the parapet.

(b) Although ostensibly a researcher/academic, he has wider experience across the entire spectrum - a stock of anecdotes on which to draw.

Eg: I once worked at B&Q for 9 months as a so-called “Customer Advisor” (a misnomer if ever there was).

And I worked in W.Africa (2 years) and the USA (2 years) , so have seen things at first hand from both a "Third World" and "First World" perspective. The USA was marginally preferable. But not by a long chalk : one of fairly modest length, in fact. Stubby, you might say. And the beer in Ghana (Club, Star) was definitely better. And served at the right temperature !


Sarah said...

Happy one-monthsary!

Yes, if you really want to drum up readership, you should explore and comment on other blogs which interest you.

angela said...

Congratulations, Colin. Was that your report on Blue Vicar I saw about the Beaujolais. If it was it was well researched!
Sarah's advice is sound. There are a lot of interesting blogs out there,

smoky joe said...

Great reading, fella! keep it up

Smoky Joe

anne gilbert said...

Dear little Hippo over here in your patch.
One month of the blog and started from scratch.
Much interesting writing has been read to amuse.
But you should know this; a note to not lose.
Before you forget and travel on your own way.
A visit to the river should be part of your play.
Riparian rights give you space to swim.
Rolling and diving with glorious vim.
We hope you'll soon visit and twitch your ears in ahoo.
Your friends will wave back,your friends at Salut.

Louise said...

Well ... after a poem like that, you will have to come back to salut!