“Ain’t Too Proud To Blog” – lecture notes.

Yesterday evening, I gave a lecture to Nottingham Trent University’s Creative Writing M.A. students, on the subject of (what else?) blogging. As promised at the end, here are my lecture notes (in MS Word format) – please right-click and select “Save As” to download them.

Supporting links are as follows, in the order in which I mentioned them during the talk:

Diablo Cody: Oscar-winning blogger.
Technorati: The State of the Live Web, April 2007.
Letters Home: Alison Moyet’s blog.
Interview with Alison Moyet, in which she talks about her blog.
The “Online Disinhibition Effect”.
Being “Dooced”: sacked from one’s job due to blogging.
My autobiographical “40 in 40 Days Project”.
The Bloggies: annual weblog awards.
Freelance work for slate.com: “America, Meet The Eurovision Song Contest”.
Bloglines: RSS feed reader/aggregator.
Statcounter: website stats monitor.
My “statement of jadedness” re. Web 2.0 re-definitions of “friendship”.
Belle De Jour: first UK blog-turned-book.
Girl With A One-Track Mind: anonymous sex blog turned book
“outed” by the Sunday Times.
Petite Anglaise: fired for blogging, first book about to be published.
Random Acts Of Reality: ambulance driver’s blog turned book.
The Policeman’s Blog – another “job blog” turned book.
My Boyfriend Is A Twat – Zoe McCarthy (humour)
Out Of The Tunnel – Rachel North (7/7 survivor’s memoir)
Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips (fiction)
The Friday Project (specialist blog to book publishers)
Lulu.com (specialist online self-publishers)
Shaggy Blog Stories (charity blogging compilation, published in a week)
Post Of The Week – promotes good writing on new blogs.
You’re Not The Only One – new charity blogging compilation, still accepting submissions.
Novel Racers – self-help group.
Bookarazzi: excellent, comprehensive, lively resource for bloggers with book deals.
Max Gogarty’s travel blog for The Guardian: a recent example of how NOT to do it!
North vs Lowde: blogger jailed for harrassment of other blogger, following “Wanted” campaign on UK blogosphere.
Guardian Unlimited: Comment Is Free.
Published novelists who subsequently started blogging: Clare Sudbery, Penelope Farmer, Kate Harrison
Plasticbag.org: (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything… (influential think-piece)

Yup, that little lot should keep you going!

NOTE: As a result of all this activity, there was no Which Decade post yesterday, for which apologies. The next instalment will be appearing this evening.

“I don’t read blogs, but I DO read…”

There’s no interview today, and there’s nothing scheduled for next Friday either. These things come in fits and starts, and I’m glad to be taking a little rest for a while. The transcriptions alone take bloody hours; it usually takes me ten minutes of typing for every one minute of recording, and most interviews clock in at between 15 and 20 minutes each. And that’s just the raw transcript, before I start the editing process. Not complaining! Just saying!

Anyhow, the next published interview looks like being Gary Numan, in a fortnight’s time. (A surprisingly excellent interviewee, and I have high hopes.) In the meantime, I’ll be starting Year Six (SIX!) of the Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Project next week, with the first instalment hopefully appearing on Monday evening. In which case, I’ll need all the free time I can get.

Yeesh, when did life get so busy all of a sudden? At work, the new bunch of clients are working me hard, with the additional burden of daily conference calls at 9:30 every morning. Nine chuffing thirty! Crack of bloody dawn! It is Hell.

Yesterday, I mailed my submission to You Are Not Alone (see next post down for details). It’s a re-working of something which appeared on the blog in 2006, and I have to say that the re-editing process was something of an eye-opener, in terms of how my writing style has tightened up in the last couple of years. Having become accustomed to the rigours of word-count-driven economy, I was startled to discover how darned waffly the original was. It’s much better now, I think.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: you’d rather return to having daily blog posts from the old Waffly Mike, in preference to a couple of freelance copy-and-paste jobs per week from the new Professional Mike. Well, we have discussed this before. And I’d love to oblige you – but this isn’t 2003, and my priorities are re-aligned.

(And my life is, in every respect, much improved. I was talking about this with friends the other day, who reminded me of how unhappy I used to be with certain aspects of my lot. In this respect, we agreed that the China trip in late 2005 marked something of a turning point.)

Onto the meat and potatoes of today’s post, then. Amongst my non-blogging offline friends, who merely use the web for sensible things like shopping, banking and the gathering of practical information, very few have been converted to the Joy Of Blog over the years. Sure, they might follow Troubled Diva (in the vain but touching hope that one of these days, I’ll post another jolly heart-warming ramble about the cottage garden, or another racy confessional tale of nightclub debauchery), but that’s pretty much as far as they’ll venture into the blogosphere.

That said, I’ve had a number of people tell me that while they “don’t read blogs” in general, they have formed an attachment to the odd one or two. So, for instance, my sister doesn’t read blogs, but she does read Petite Anglaise. “Bob” in the village doesn’t read blogs, but he does read Girl With A One-Track Mind. A work colleague doesn’t read blogs, but she does read Non-Workingmonkey. And so on.

(Meanwhile, although K has yet to start following any other blogs at all, he always reads my Twitter home page, to find out what my pals are up to. He’s even got a little crush on one of them. Not saying who! Are you mad?)

This got me to wondering: have any of your offline friends latched onto a lone favourite blog? And if so, which one? Answer me, do.

We’re off to Aunty and Uncle’s in Kent over the weekend, regrettably missing Gordon’s London Blogmeet in the process. Have a lovely weekend yerselves. The next fortnight will be mainly devoted to Which Decade. Such excitement!

“You’re Not The Only One” – a charity blog-book anthology for 2008.

Just under a year ago, I launched Shaggy Blog Stories: a blogging anthology which went on to sell over 500 copies, raising over £2000 for Comic Relief.

This year, Peach has picked up the baton, in the form of You’re Not The Only One: a brand new blog-to-book project, with a brand new theme, a brand new editorial team, and a brand new charity.

The theme: You can basically write about anything you like, provided that it describes a personal experience. As Peach says:

We would like you to submit a written piece about something you’ve been through from any aspect of your life that you want to share. It can literally be about anything: your relationships, your past, a road not taken, being a parent, an illness or your regrets etc. We’ve called it “You’re Not The Only One” to reflect the camaraderie of blogging.

The team: Peach has recruited an all-female crew, consisting of herself, Ariel, Ms R, Sarah and Vi. However, just because the team is all-female, this doesn’t mean that the contributors all have to be female. Indeed – and this is another change from Shaggy Blog Stories – you don’t even have to be British.

The charity: Roughly £4.30 from every copy sold will be donated to WARCHILD.

The details: Full info can be found on Peach’s site. If you’re spreading the word, then please be sure to include the same link.

This should be an excellent project. Can’t wait to see the finished article.