Category: blogging

Shared Pleasures

Displaying the most recent post at the top makes sense … until you start using successive posts to tell a story in stages. Who wants to read the ending first? So the post that precedes this one is a compilation of several previous posts – now deleted – and tells the chronological story of my changing tastes in music, focusing on the first hearing of key records. Writing it up was fun, especially when I discovered how to put in hyperlinks instead of the embedded clips which were making my site so slow to scroll.

A more significant discovery was that so many of my musical memories are of moments where I shared the experience with others … as a child, with friends … family gatherings … teenage parties … festivals … with my students, as a teacher. Empathy seems to be the magic dust, adding glitter and glamour to the experience. Music causes us to move in physical synch with one another, perhaps reminding us of what we have in common beneath the superficial differences of appearance and mannerism. Is it any wonder that we like to share music in the dark or in large crowds, where individuals become anonymous and free?

The light-shows of the late 1960s caused distinctions between performer and spectator to vanish. And now we have the bright spotlights on X Factor hopefuls with relentless cameras searching the faces of judge and audience member alike, a spectacle of voyeurism … could there be a greater fall from grace?


New Readers Start Here


Blog … such an ugly word, so I thought I’d do some research. It seems that a blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).

I learned that the term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, “blog”, was coined by Peter Merholz who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999. Hahaha. Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used “blog” as both a noun and verb (“to blog”, meaning “to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog”) and devised the term “blogger” in connection with Pyra Labs’ Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.

Apparently, the collective community of all blogs is known as the blogosphere. Since all blogs are on the internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked, through blogrolls, comments, linkbacks (refbacks, trackbacks or pingbacks) and backlinks. Discussions “in the blogosphere” are occasionally used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues. Because new, untapped communities of bloggers and their readers can emerge in the space of a few years, internet marketers pay close attention to “trends in the blogosphere”.

Actually, I’ll stop now because all this waffle is making me feel rather ill. Myblog, or as I like to call it, my blog is a purely self-indulgent exercise in shameless nostalgia, shocking sentimentality and brazen self publicity. A recent theme that has emerged is music. It will be no secret to anyone whose ear I’ve bent that music is something of a passion. I have even developed theories. Earlier posts have covered the period up to 1970 and I intend to bring it up to date in future posts. There may also be linkbacks, refbacks, trackbacks, pingbacks and backlinks – if I manage to find out what they all are. Oh, and I reserve the right to go off piste and talk about something entirely different if I fancy it.

You are very welcome to join me and even, should the urge arise, add your own fourpennyworth as us old codgers say. Who knows where things might end up, eh?