Publishers Lunch informed me that the Arts Journal was acting as host to a blog 'in which a variety of traditional and nontraditional arts critics are debating the role and influence of critics in the web-driven world of infinite voices, ratings and tags.' This as a prelude to the Book Expo America (BEA), which is the US equivalent (roughly) of the Frankfurt or London book fairs and which runs, with some overlap, from 19-21 May.
One post on the Arts Journal blog which caught my eye deals with the question of why people bother to create blogs anyway. And it asks a question which, for many bloggers, is a key one: how can you make any money out of the damn thing?
Well, admittedly it's very difficult, and I for one have never made a penny out of mine -- not directly, anyway, and I can't say that I've noticed a dramatic effect on the sales of my various books. However, in my case, I am not too fussed about the money because I am retired.
So, if I'm not doing it for the money, why am I doing it? And I don't mind admitting that it's only recently that I figured it out. The answer is, it's a continuation of a lifetime preoccupation, namely education. And it combines very neatly with another lifetime occupation, namely writing.
Almost my entire working life was spent in education, either as a teacher or an administrator. So I was, in various capacities, an educator. I was also, at one point, an educationist, in the sense that I made a formal study of education, including a PhD. And I even wrote a book about education.
As far I'm concerned, therefore, the blog is just a natural extension of all that. It's an attempt to pass on knowledge of various sorts: knowledge about how to do things, and how not to do things. What to expect, particularly if you're a writer, and what not to expect. Information about books which are worth reading (imho) and also those which are not worth reading.
Of course you'd probably prefer not to know that I am interested in education, since most people have an aversion to being educated, in the formal sense. But we try, my sources and I, to make it as painless as possible.