I set up a blog, a couple of years ago now, initially as a useful means of pulling together my thoughts for a book I was writing. Posting served the same purpose as handing in a chapter to a tutor, a way of underlining the completion of a section that helped me to see any faults that needed correcting and that I could then revisit and revise.
When an intended four short posts on an historical overview ended up totalling around 6,000 words I began to dimly realize that things were getting out of hand. A blog has different rules. There are, it must be remembered, People out there. And who else is going to be interested in the refinements of sentence punctuation and similarly annoyed when I find myself making a schoolboy error such as putting fourteenth century when I meant thirteenth or referring to an engraver as a print-maker. I mean, really?
My search for better blogging techiques uncovered a useful article on copywriting for blogs which helped to clarify what a blog should actually be: something between a press release, a short magazine article, an opinion piece, a Thought for the Day and a racing tip.
People want to be informed and entertained, this was the message I was continually getting, and I should be seeing my blog in terms of ‘building a community’. This is something I feel rather squeamish about. The idea that I should be deliberately setting out to get people hanging on my every word seems very over the top to me. Perhaps it’s being English. Or Northern. Putting Yourself Forward is a big thing up here.
For those tentatively thinking of setting up a blog and hampered as I am by an un-technological mindset, viewing the emergence of blogs as equivalent to the nineteenth-century proliferation of magazines and newspapers, after the repeal of the stamp and paper taxes, will probably help.
This is a place for all those little side issues that would keep popping into my mind every time I wrote a post for my main blog ‘Re-imagining Warrington‘. A blog must be consistent in theme and not wander into too diverse byways. One cannot start spouting about the joys of golf when the reader expects an academic analysis of seventeenth century trade links.
Moulders Lane is a tiny side road that becomes the entrance to a rather grim multi-storey car park in Warrington. The whole area, and its spatial history, has been completely obliterated by development from the 1970s on and now only this street sign remains. There was a Moulders Arms Inn on the west corner of Litton’s Row, off Mersey Street, but this is also long gone.
Moulders Lane seems to stand for something half remembered, an ephemeral past that will not quite go away. An appropriate appropriation for a blog of transient thoughts. As well as being a really good name.
So. Half thoughts, side issues, random musings, itinerant ideas. The choice is yours.
Moulders Lane is intended as a monthly series of stand-alone articles and opinion pieces; the sort of thing you read in the newspaper supplements while you’re drinking your coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. You’re meant to think ‘Oh, that’s quite interesting.’ and then move on to the next one; perhaps mention it to a friend, but that’s about it. There’s no intention of provoking a discussion or debate, here at the blog anyway, so comments are moderated and restricted to a ‘Letters to the Editor’ style in which people make points that occur to them about the piece, without expecting any response from the writer.