This post is mainly for people who have come here via this article. Hello! Have an armchair. This time of year I’d recommend a nice glass of red, or perhaps a hot Milo, but the Bombay Sapphire is also highly recommended. You can have a chat to the wonderful commenters who come here and enrich my life. Well, we do get a few who come up and say rude things and flounce away, but our atmosphere up here is usually pretty good. People who make seriously rude or ad hominem comments may get disemvowelled, or chucked off the balcony (deleted). (Don’t worry, I keep the green wheelie bin in a strategic spot so they don’t break any bones, but just get wheeled away; we’re fairly kind.) You’ll notice this is primarily a feminist blog, and the “f” word does tend to upset some people. If you’re new to feminism, I’d suggest following this link and doing some reading before commenting.
The virtual location of this blog is an upper-story balcony in a Victorian terrace house in Kensington. The blog name was inspired by this guy, because I thought the image of someone watching from a balcony was a perfect simile for a blogger like me, who isn’t a player. We watch, think, and write.
As the tagline says, I’m an opinionated mother of two and IT worker, so unlike many other bloggers, I’m not a professional writer, academic, economist or other flavour of public intellectual or policymaker. I also post over at the group political blog Road to Surfdom, which has been going since, I think, 2002. The Balcony has been going since 2003. I’ve never totalled up how many thousands of words I’ve written, but it’s quite a lot. It’s been a blast, and I’ve met so many interesting people.
New to blogs? Look to your right: that long, long list of links? That’s a blogroll. A blogroll is where you put links to your own regular reads and/or blogs you think other people should know about. As a blog reading newbie, you can discover your own favourites this way. Once you’ve found a blog which really appeals to you, you use their blogroll to find others which are like minded… and then their blogrolls. You’ll notice that there are blogs to interest you no matter what your passions are. You’ll notice, too, that some of the commenters’ names are links; those links will take you to their blogs.
I should point out that I can never, ever get all the blogs which I think are worthwhile onto my roll, because I’m neurotic about it getting too long. It’s a conflict I always have. I should point out, too, that my server space and blogging software have been given to me by the kind and wonderful David Tiley of Barista and Screenhub, and his friend Sam of Spinach7.
The AGE article I linked to finally portrayed blogs from the point of view of someone who has valuable insight and knowledge of the genre, being a blogger herself. There’s a lot of rubbish written in the dead-tree media about blogging. On the one hand, there’s an obsession with comparing it with journalism (thus setting up a frame in which blogging can never seem worthwhile). Political blogging isn’t journalism. It’s not “breaking news”. Personal blogging isn’t simply a series of trivial comments about “what I had for breakfast”. Blogging is writing. That writing may tend more towards personal, literary, academic, political, parenting, food or craft, but it’s all writing. That is what we practice and we have a lot of fun on the way.
Another glass of red?