Tuesday 15 July 2008

Olive Riley: Blogging Is Good

Sad news about Olive Riley - though to say she had a good innings would be to understate the case. We all have our doubts from time to time about this blogging lark, wondering whether, all in all, it's a Good Thing - but the case of Olive Riley, whose life was immeasurably enriched by her belated discovery of it, and who dies remembered and mourned in ways she would never have dreamt of - surely shows that there are times when blogging is indeed Good.


  1. Nige, I believe congratulations are now in order. Doesn't this now make you the world's oldest blogger?

    This story about Olive proves, I suppose, that blogging is really a slightly more involved version of social networking. It provides two function to society. It brings people together and it keeps would-be writers relatively docile so they don’t harm people. I suppose it’s just easy to demean blogging. What virtues were probably apparent to Olive aren't so apparent to me. I would swap the many hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written on blogs just to have one short story published. I might make it by the time I’m 108. Most days, I just feel like I am 108.

  2. Thanks Dick - I've been looking forward to this moment. It tastes sweet....
    Chin up - nobody reads books any more, still less short stories. Publishing is a weird, increasingly meaningless ritual. The problem is that there's no money in blogging - but there's none in books either. At least, with a blog, you're getting read - which is more than most 'authors' can say.

  3. But I'm not getting read, Nige! You should see my stats... I should really get myself a proper day job.

  4. Well all the right people are reading you Dick, that's what matters. I guess you're not getting the American traffic - of all the blogs in all the blogosphere yours wld probably take the most explaining to an American. Maybe you cld introduce an American character into the narrative for no apparent reason - that's what they do in novels, and films, and TV....

  5. Like me for example. I think you are both doing fine work.

    I remember reading about Olive Riley a few months ago, or longer - very impressed that she was still doing the blogging! Hats off to her.

    I only feel 107 most of the time so I guess I'm beat, eh.

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  7. I don't see how there could be money in blogging, unless you restricted and controlled access, as you find with books and magazines, etc. But this would undermine what was so special about blogging. Still, some people have had their blogs turned into books haven't they?

    My main frustration with blogging is that not enough people take it seriously enough as the platform that it could be - a 'serious' environment for the development and discussion of thought outside of PC, bureaucratic and other offical constraints found in the media and the Academy.

    Not that I'm saying you cant also have a laugh on it either, because obviously you can. Most people seem to look to it for that.

    But since when has having a laugh and being serious been incompatible?