This workshop was due to be given by Mother at Large, Helen, an ex-Sunday Times journalist. Unfortunately she could not attend due to her baby girl coming into this world fashionably late (like her mother's blog title)...dare I say this, but I was actually heartened by this news. I was beginning to think that she was the Super Mum to beat all Super Mums...thankfully she seems as human as the rest of us (super mums)! It'll be good to read her blog when she's back in circulation again.
Her blogging friend, Vanessa, independent publisher, at Fidra Books, held the talk in Helen's place and I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. (I also have to mention at this juncture that I only stumbled on this event due to expatmum's timely advice...so my many thanks go to her.)
There were 20 bloggers at the workshop and we all shared tips, stories and technical glitch tipettes about life in blogland. We talked about the format of blogs (one option was to go for the uncluttered visual look, Mutterings from the Mill, is a good example of this I think), snappy descriptions of the purpose of the blog, using tags, labels, links and so forth. Owning a domain is a possibility and wordpress.com and .org were cited as good places to host your blog/domain (if you are more technically minded perhaps). (To be honest I could not follow all of it re: the techie stuff but I was lucky to get in touch with someone who knows much more about this than I do.) If you want to know who is looking at your website it might be an idea to look at your statistics called in Blogger: Google analytics and you can look for "key" words on which people may be searching when they read your blog. Apparently there is something called the "Wayback machine" which can search old web stuff in case you have lost some of your blog. Obviously the wise thing is to back up your work. Luckily hubbie has been doing this without me realising it! We also discussed what might be best to reveal or not (Gulp!)...
We heard about some of the blogs (from people either present or non present) e.g. digital biographer (a very smart looking "all things digital" blog), Eve's Alexandria (a book review blog), Rachel North (Victim and activist re: the 07/07 bombing - her blog experiences), Snow blog (a publishing blog written by two people), author blogs: Neil Gaiman, Susan Hill are just a few examples of what is out there. Blogs to book deals were mentioned, in particular: dulwichmum, Strife in the North (we're hoping...fingers crossed...) and the ubiquitous Wife in the North. On the whole blogs-to-book deals were seen as being on their way out. Aah! before I forget...your writing is protected even if it is on the internet, however, digital biographer advised all bloggers to check terms and conditions attached to each blog hoster/web domain etc. If you do want to write for a living (or otherwise) it was recommended to join the Society of Authors in the UK. There were many other points which came out during the discussion but I'd have trouble listing them all here. Hope the above gives a taster of what was discussed.
Moreover, Vanessa stated that all writers, authors, would be writers and random scribblers (I think I fall in this latter category) should have a blog to raise their profile. (She didn't actually say random scribblers but I would be honoured to be considered thus.) Consequently I came away with a big, cheesy grin on my face.
Little Hadriana and a more mature Hadriana also attended the event "Posy with Catherine Rayner", author and illustrator of "Augustus and his smile", "Harris finds his feet" and the "Posy" books written by Linda Newberry. She was extremely nice, informative and friendly. She didn't seem to mind me asking lots of questions about her chosen craft despite the fact that it was primarily a children's event. All in all a very eventful day. How I would love to go to the entire book festival...maybe we can camp outside next year (just like Wimbledon)...bank manager allowing...of course!