I got a dressing down from my friend this week. We were in an internet cafe and she was playing with her ipod, excited to be able to get online. She scrolled to my blog.
‘What about these typos?’ She said. ‘They drive me mad!’ adding, ‘AND your SPELLING is TERRIBLE!’
I blushed, but fought back. I mumbled something about a blog being an informal publishing format and mistakes being difficult to spot.
‘So is this your ‘dyslexic’ blog?’ she asked. 'and that's OK is it? Why don't you spell-check?!'
By now she was pushing her luck. But I couldn’t really argue. I knew she was right. Since my connectivity has become so good at home, I have a lazy habit of typing straight into the blog post window and failing to spell check before printing (even though it does irritatingly highlight all proper nouns and names in yellow that is tricky to remove). I used to have to type posts in Word, then copy and paste or else risk suddenly losing my musings due to a dropped line. The worst period was when I could only connect to the internet via our terrible Nairobi land line. ‘Frustrating’ does not begin to describe it.
I must say to other, more tolerant readers.... thank you for your patience!! I can tell you, my Mum for one would agree heartily with my (former editor) friend, but even she has resisted the temptation to complain about my dreadful presentation, even though I know that it is long overdue. Thanks Mum!
I must say that I find it interesting that blogs have become so ‘mainstream’ nowadays. Who could have predicted it? Initially they were just perceived to be inconsequential rambling diaries. Probably most of them (like mine) still are, but now all major newspapers and magazines online have links to accompanying ‘approved’ blogs, written by staff writers. The E! Online website boasts about its new ‘blog’ format – they have obviously put some research into this and delivered a style of product that millions of readers’ demand. Politicians worldwide are not too proud to be found blogging, linking and tweeting on a regular basis.
When my same friend popped over for a cup of tea today, I called to her from my office.
‘Sorry, I can’t make you tea today – I’m far too busy spell-checking three years worth of previous posts!’
‘OK,’ she said, ‘well then I won’t give you these nice clothes I brought with me. The ones that my daughter has grown out of and would suit your 3 girls so well.’
‘Oh well in THAT case,’ I said and dragged myself away from my computer.
Anyway – after my telling off, I vow to do better. I will show more respect for my ‘casual’ blog and my very kind readers. I will therefore spell check/proof read/resist the temptation to ramble incoherently before pressing that enticing button that reads; ‘publish’.