I've been pondering what to do with the blog especially with its upcoming 10th birthday; yes 10 years of this rubbish coming at you. The original reasons for starting it are now lost in the mists of time and it certainly wasn't the first time I'd used the medium, coming in way before you could add photos and get comments, and yes bloggers do all sit in their dressing gowns to write.
|Where it started - Unnycoombe in N gauge|
In the last few days I've cleaned up the look slightly. Most of this was down to a realisation that an
increasing number of people are viewing it on their phones, so a clearer interface was needed for the smaller screen. Tidy-ups also included losing the list of post tags. These were filling up half the page and I'd cut down their inclusion on the posts in order not to increase this. The sensible move was to dispose of the whole thing. Clicking on a tag on a post will take you to similar stuff and of course there is still the search box top left. I'd changed the blog title from Wood End and Beyond a little while back as it no longer made any sense, more recently adding the fuller title, as it is now, to add more clarity and make it easier to find - the top google searches are 'model railway blog' and 'Chris Ford blog', so there seems no point in trying to fight that. I'm wondering whether to spend some time 'thinning out' the historical posts a little to make it more representative of the current thinking, or maybe not.
|Pretty much where I am now - sticking stuff|
The how is tied to the what in some ways, but there is a sub-section of the what - lets call it 'what 1.1' - and this is linked to not only the passage of time, but how life has developed: in 2009 the N gauge layout Unnycoombe was under development (and not returned to as yet) I was working at other things and considerably richer as well. These days it's less affluent and the shape is a) more local and b) more swayed toward writing and modelling with a gentle increase in doing this for others, something that I wouldn't have envisaged ten years ago. In other words, like everybody else, my life has changed and this blog changes with it.
A new direction?
The how is a grey area. Looking at the blog as a viewer I see that I'm trying to find an updated direction for it now; it's become more than a scribbling of what I'm doing and yet in many ways it is nothing more. Does it need to become more tutorial? Is it pure entertainment? Or is it essentially now an internet interface for what is work now: writing and modelling on a commercial basis? The entertainment part is paramount - if it's not entertaining then it becomes redundant, but then a very qualified pro modeller/photographer said recently 'I read your blog as I get ideas of how to do something differently'. I'll admit that I did have to squeeze that out of him, because I wanted to know why as part of this understanding of why and what. Is it pure light entertainment? Is it tutorial? A combination of the two? Or am I in denial that it is nothing more than an blatant marketing of me? If it is that, then why not? As I learnt a long, long time ago - if you don't blow your own trumpet, you'll wait a long time for some other bugger to do it for you.