Just what is blogging? was the name of an event held at the SA Writer’s Centre which I attended with a fellow blogger and uni friend Elizabeth on Tuesday night, where Louise Pascale, Jane Howard and Sarah J Kreece presented on their experiences as bloggers and writers. It was interesting and educational and I thought I’d share what I can remember/clarify my notes. Sarah Kreece suggested as bloggers we need to write our blogs for our close friends, and edit them for our enemies. A common thread in each session was about defamation and copyright, topics that are often at the back of every artist or writers mind. Who owns what we write or paint? Well, we do of course, but as it is published in the public domain, it is easy for others to plagiarise. Louise restricts her blogs to 250 words as this makes them easy to read, and not burdensome to write. She also encouraged us to think about who we are writing for, what we write about, what do we call our blog (name or brand), and tips on how to be found, if that is what we want. Jane said she had no word count restriction on her blogs whatsoever, and just wrote as many words as she felt the story deserved (mostly reviews). Sarah suggested we should watermark all pictures or images we add, and taking this a step further, I wondered if maybe we need to turn writings like poems into ‘images’ with watermarks to help with this. As bloggers, we are the writer, editor and publisher, and therefore the onus to produce something of value is completely on our shoulders. Jane said it is worth claiming on your blog, “this is my space, and as such what I write is mine, belongs to me”, and extending that thought, I have added “what I write about is my choice, and entirely up to me”. To be seen more on Google or other search engines, use real names to get more hits. It is especially worthwhile if the people you name are more notable and already reaching large audiences. For me, this is not the point, as I write to suit myself and my personal goals, not necessarily to get a larger audience. It was also recommended you add your mobile number to your blog interface, as if you ever forget your user name and password, you will lose your blog as there will be no way for the web host to contact you! I’ve not worked out how yet, but I can schedule blogs to be posted at a set time each day, so that, for example, if my readership starts expecting a blog at a certain time of day as it might if it was a newspaper, it will be there. I realise I need to learn how to use categories and word clouds, not just tags. I knew a lot of what was said, but learnt a lot too. The event didn’t really address the question of what is blogging perse, but for new bloggers, offered lots of set up information and insights. Well done and thank you to the organisers of the SA Writer’s Centre for putting this event on, and thanks to the girls for their great presentations, offered to us at no charge, along with refreshments and nibbles to end an enjoyable evening. My blogs are there as my memory bank, and to share with my online friends, and there is no doubt some of my opinions will bring on a few enemies, but hey, that is the fun of blogging!