Open Mike #6 – Question 4.

An Unreliable Witness asks:

Since getting out of medical chokey, I am completely and utterly and dreadfully uninspired by blogging. If I had something better to do with my time, I would do that. But I don’t. So help me, O Diva of the Troubled! What’s inspiring you in the world of blogging (I refuse to say blogosphere, or I may vomit copiously) these days? What should I be reading? What can I simply not miss?

Alas, alas, this is one of the perils of being Ancien Regime; for the days when I used to be able to spot Hot New Blogs before they Made It Big are long gone. These days, I’m more like the clapped-out old rock star who says things like “I’m getting into this great new band called the Kaiser Chiefs, have you heard of them?”

Consequently, all of my newest reads are the same ones that everyone else has been getting into: that chap who takes photographs of a bathmat, that unemployed lady who posts pictures of simian life-forms, that bloke who gets pissed off a lot… all very Hive Mind, I’m afraid.

(But do any of these “inspire” me? No, that would be the wrong word. Many, many blogs have inspired me over the years – not least because I’m a right old imitative bastard at heart – but currently, the bar for UK personal weblog writing is being raised so high that I’m finding myself rather over-awed by it all.)

(I’ll tell you what the above three new-ish blogs do make me feel, though. They make me feel nostalgic. Nostalgic for the days when I was still discovering, on a daily basis, just what I could do with this medium – fired up with energy and enthusiasm, on a roll, breaking rules, taking risks, posting like a madman, and building my audience. There’s a particular phase which a lot of blogs go through, somewhere towards the end of their first year of existence or thereabouts, where it all comes together and you can feel the buzz in the air. It’s a lovely phase, and I enjoy bearing witness to it.)

On the music front, I’ve been enjoying the weekly “In The Dock” feature on The Art Of Noise, which is currently deliberating over whether Birmingham has a musical legacy which is worth defending. It’s particularly refreshing to read a group of people talking about music without ostentatiously parading their knowledge, and without seeking to score points off one another.

However, if I am to target my recommendations specifically at you, dear Witness, then – having briefly paused to check your links page (and I see that Bathmat Boy, Monkey Lady and Furious Fella are already present and correct) – might I direct your attention to The Overnight Editor? I suspect that this will be Your Sort Of Thing… and indeed, many other people’s Sort Of Thing besides.

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