The illo is a Hogarth print depicting the print culture of the eighteenth century, which is many ways reminds me of the blogoverse; people saw these prints put up in windows, commenting on the day’s news. The prints went up pretty fast, and could be wildly popular for a short time, sometimes causing violent reaction, just to blow over as quickly when some new thing caught everyone’s attention.
Anyway, a few years ago I asked some questions on my blog. That was before Facebook and twitter and more and more people getting on the net, and finding authors they are interested . . . and before questions of privacy began rapidly changing.
My original question sprang from the furor resultant to a writer who ranted about what a waste of time blogging is.
My first reaction when someone linked to that was, “Okay, fine, that writer is busy, and doesn’t want to blog because of too many demands in too little time.” But I kept seeing it linked, often at the head of an angry post for or against. (Now I think that tempest has long blown away, which is why the writer’s name is redacted.)
The white heat seemed, from my perspective, to generate from questions of legitimacy. The word “professionalism” also got used as a blunderbuss. Blogs as necessary marketing tools–blogs as a danger in possibly turning off agents or editors who secretly read them and dislike your entry–lists of the “blogs you should read if you’re a professional” –blogs as relaxation–blogs as reflection of the work . . .
So to my questions.
It’s for readers as well as writers: do you find blogs change your mind about writers? Does having access to writers (which is a relatively new thing) make a difference in how you partake of their offerings? Do you think that writers owe their readers an online presence, and interaction?