Saturday, 10 May 2014

Blog List rebuild in progress

I don't know quite how it happened, but this morning, as I was adding a name to my Blog List, it disappeared. Uuuuh...? 

It isn't a disaster. I can instantly remember the shining lights on the old list, and will reinstate them. You know, the very active bloggers who always deserved to be on the list. But maybe this is a good time to let the fallen lie quiet. I know of at least one blogger who wants to let her posts slide into oblivion, and this is an opportunity to assist. I won't therefore be reinstating a link to her old blog.

Perhaps it's also an opportunity to rethink what a Blog List is for. I want to it to serve at least three purposes:

# It should say 'this is my community'. These are the online writers I like to read, because I get something from what they have to say. That doesn't mean they are like me, or share my outlook on life, or that I aspire to be like them; but I do appreciate what they stand for, and if they are trying to achieve something amazing then I find them inspirational.

# It should say 'these are the areas I'm interested in'. So it's going to be things like history, arts and culture generally, and people who have gone through the same experiences that I have.

# It should say, to anyone visiting my blog, 'don't just read my posts - have a look at these too'.

People judge you by your friends. I think they also judge you according to whose blogs you read! Should one then play for safety? Should one have a pretty showcase full of 'fashionable blogs' that one claims to follow, but which are listed only to impress? That seems very dishonest to me. I am going to continue with a policy of listing only those blogs I genuinely take an interest in.

If, that is, I can track down where to find them!

Most trans bloggers, for instance, do not publish under their proper personal names. I am in a tiny minority where naming my own blog is concerned. From the very beginning in February 2009 it was 'Lucy Melford' - and not 'Lucy Incognita', or 'A Life Unleashed', or 'Phota McFloater' or any number of possible alternative blog names that would disguise who I really was.

I wanted to be plain, unadorned, unveiled; and if necessary take the consequences of such risky openness. I could afford to present myself truly-named because I had retired, had an independent income, and had no dependants. Nobody could get at me in a meaningfully serious way unless they found my front door. I therefore took care not to reveal my precise address, and to this day you won't find any pictures of the front of my house. Not on the blog, nor on the Flickr site.

And I respect the issues of other bloggers. Most trans bloggers have a motive for being discreet. They still work, perhaps; or they simply need to separate their blogging persona from the day-to-day person that family and friends know. This is entirely understandable, and indeed prudent. The world as a whole is still not ready for utopian frankness; and it's good to remember that the Internet reaches across the globe to less accepting lands and cultures, and is trawled by many prejudiced, narrow and fanatical people with an axe to grind. And, everywhere - perhaps very close to home - there are out-of-control nutters, and mad persons of all kinds. It's sensible to keep sensitive stuff well-hidden from them.

So I have every sympathy for someone who is really, say, Samantha Smith (an invented name) blogging as 'Silk Stockings'. And I claim no particular kudos for exposing myself nakedly as 'Lucy Melford'. So far - apart from a little mockery from GenderTrender at the start of 2013 - I've got away with it. But as regards reviving her blog on my list, you see the problem where Miss Smith is concerned. If I can't quite remember that her occasional posts have been published under the banner of 'Silk Stockings' then she'll be off my new reconstructed list until I can track her down, perhaps on a hunch.

But not off for long: the excellent T-Central will have her somewhere.

Bottom line then: please don't be offended if I don't seem to be following you any more. I'll find you, and when I do, you'll be reinstated. Or just email me and tell me what the URL is.


  1. Blog lists are the way I found my way into our world and using the comment boxes the way I brought it alive.

    The all powerful google does not seem to give much priority into maintaining Blogger. My blogs you follow list has vanished many times though to be honest yours is the only one which pops up with much regularity, the rest are more like a memorial to lives past much like my own...

    Thankfully I see your list regrowing, handy since it is now how I keep up with folk!

  2. I had a clean out last year of all the clutter I had on my home page, the blog list was one of those things. I also removed many of the permanent pages at the top of the home page. It isn't that I do not follow what other bloggers I know write about because I still do and there are lots of them but the list doesn't have to be on my home page. As a matter of fact all those folk whose blogs I 'follow' are actually listed as favourites on my browser under the heading, guess what....Blog, it is easy to click on their urls from the one place and I can add or delete from there more easily.
    Shirley Anne x


This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford