What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menoptioning; Because And Why

In the comments section of my roundup post for the AZing thing, "F" (Tigger's Personal Assistant) posed a thought-provocation. In making my response, I realised there was scope for blog post prompts. After the following exchange, F and I had some email chatter on the matter.

Our discussion was along the lines of expanding on the purpose of blogging and how it develops... Anyway, as indicated above, I now embark upon a little exploration directly related to my raison d'etre and working the ether... or something like that!

Having said that, it is the case that each of my blogs actually has their purpose clearly stated within the context of their "bio/contact/info" tabs (pages) and, to some extent, the ethos of each is provided with the secondary headings and bylines below the headers. What has become clear to me over the eight years abroad on the net is that not everyone is as observant or inquisitive as is the YAMster. Sometimes comments are left which have clearly not understood the purpose and philosophy of each blog - or even read that particular post - properly. Oh well. 

In truth, I resisted the idea of blogs for quite some time. A journalist pal of mine, way back in the 'noughties', the very early days of online networking, spoke about blogging and how it was particularly good for freelance writers. She kept trying to get me going on one, but I just didn't see the need to be that public.

Along came my time at Sandeepany and the need for a mental outlet. Due to that friend's having a blog (no longer active, she's too busy being a sub-editor on a couple of Aussie magazines), I simply started out by reading there and then following through to some interesting commenters. This sparked an interest not previously held, and I simply did a search, then, for blogs of particular interest - travel photography. Among those first blogs was Deepak Amembal's "Magiceye" posts, and I permitted myself to click the follow button. To do that, I found I had to sign up for a Blogger ID. 

Thin. Wedge. End of...

From the Mumbai Daily post, I went to Deepak's doggy posts. Sadly, Bozo went to rest a couple of years back - however, I shall always treasure meeting him and his peeps before departing Mumbai!

It was springing from the comments found on Deepak's blogs, I do believe, that brought me to a few other blogs; then from there to others, and I was reading Joanne's blog in a very short time after beginning this new reading journey. Also, via the dog blog, I discovered a group of people in a place they called 'Blogville'; Madi and her Mom, The LLB gang, The Weimsters, Lee & Phod and Bertie Boffin were among the first on my reading list and remain there today (others have sadly ceased blogging). Apart from those in France, I have had the great good fortune to meet the others and strengthen bonds built over the ether - and in the case of Bertie and his Gail, become excellent pals! I had not anticipated such connection in those first forays, but it is perhaps an example of my approach to blogging that this is what has transpired.

For, you see, after reading for two or three months, I realised that I wanted to be part of the picture - that blogging was like pen-friending and that there was potential for a healthy exchange of ideas and fun. I also needed a creative outlet, for which there was no other space on the ashram. Also, because I have a tendency to write pertinent and chatty comments, there was interest from others to 'read' me. 

I waded in first with the photoblog. Then a small writing blog called Take Too - now defunct. That was geared towards participation in memes and poetry, but I quickly realised I could not be all that bothered with blog-hopping all the time. I just wanted to write for catharsis as a journalistic record of my own state of being. If others wanted to join in, all to the good. Hence Wild YAM began. (Read the paragraph at the bottom of the bio page...)

Over the years, I have had people come and go with only two occasions to recall where someone took things entirely out of context and tried to cause trouble. Dealt with. Moved on. 

...anSwered, even...
I choose to leave my comments open to all but 'anon', which does mean occasional trouble with spammers - but I deal with them in very short order. I love Google's spam algorithms and they do catch most of them. I am not averse to hearing opposing opinions to my own and welcome debate (where that arises); this was particularly well demonstrated throughout the AZing month. On other's blogs, I do try to be conversational and at least on point to the post that has been read. This is how networking extends. Of course, we cannot necessarily like all blogs that we visit - we can't like everyone we meet in the street. That is also how society moves. It would be boring if it was all the same and everything 'nice'! 

Now, if you care to peruse my blogrolls at foot of the page, you will see I have quite the eclectic mix of places to visit. Not everyone blogs every day, one or two post more than once per day. There is no ruling for this. There are some new friends among the long-established and I value them all. As communities do "IRL", there have been migrations and shifting, movings-on and departures. The ebb and flow of life are indeed reflected within the blogging world. 

It is a highly personal and, mostly, personable world and I am so glad to be in it. 


  1. Glad to have been a part of your blogging journey.
    And heartening to see you have taken it to a much more fulfilling level unlike some who have become 'influencers'.
    Thank you for the mention.

  2. we agree... and we are sad that such short time stuff like insta or tiktok are more pup-ular now... andy warhol said efurrybuddy should get 15 minutes of fame.... and it seems a lot are satisfied with a nano-second of fame at this places...

  3. It's interesting to look back on how we find other blogs and how they find us. When I started Hamish the Westie's blog (July 2008!) I told various friends about it but in fact very few showed any interest, and we blogged away happily for six months without anyone commenting or even really noticing the blog. It was only when I googled 'dogs blogs' that I found a website, hosted by someone (in Australia I think), called 'Dogs with Blogs' and I put the link to Hamish's blog on this website, and slowly it was discovered by the dog blogging world, which later morphed into Blogville. I confess I cannot remember exactly how and when I first found your wonderful blog, but I know it was quite early on, and through it I'm delighted to have gained a firm friend!
    Cheers, Gail.

    1. Gail, you ad I have very similar journey, and I remember stopping by your blog back when Dory and Bilbo first started out(in 2009). What a different world it is now, than what it was then.

      It's amazing Yam, how life journeys intertwine in the etherweb, sort of like a roadway, with entrances and exits and then re-entry. I am so glad I have found such an unique and eclectic group of online friends.


  4. Blogging has myriad possibilities - like our finding of each other's work! At one level it is 'pen friending' at another a form of journaling - but it also has deeper and more serious purpose (not that the former don't have meaning)- the political movements that followed the fall of the USSR were, for example, fuelled by blogging. For my students I regard blogging as an excellent shopwindow for their talents - the possibilities go on... blogging is a very broad church.
    Did you notice I use the word 'work' above - I mean that in an artistic and creative sense - for I regard my blogging as seriously as anything else I write. My next book (look out this Autumn) will be a collection from the Bikeshed with additional material on blogging for writers.
    There is much that could be done to facilitate blogging's future - the loss of Goggle Reader was big step backward - but I sill maintain that there are few developments that have seen so many people take to writing. I will write on this more soon I think.

    1. Hari OM
      Couldn't agree more, Mark! Blogging, of course, began as 'web logging' on university campuses exactly for purposes of communications and 'showcasing' as you describe, as well as for personal journalling. Then along came the www and it exploded beyond that for the very reason it does that. However, that was all mid to late 1990s... AFTER the fall of the USSR (1991). What you may be referring to is things like Usenet and Bulletin Board networks, which were the precursor to blogging per se.

      I absolutely consider my blogs as 'work'; artistically for the photography (though that's had a ding its side of late...), creatively and conversationally here, and in my roll as Vedantaacharya very seriously over at Aatmaavrajanam. As stated in the post, I blog first for me - others joining in makes it fun. That I have ended up with pen-friends (email exchange beyond the blogs) and true friends as a result is a revelation and of considerable joy to me!!!

      I certainly appreciate having found your blog and to have made yet another worthy connection. Yxx

    2. And I appreciate the connection too. :-)
      The blogs re. fall of USSR were evidently quite basic but were sometime after the actual fall - more mid to late nineties and even into 2000s. Tim Garton Ash writes well on this subject and the influence of blogs and social media in generating political awareness and anti-propaganda. There is still quite a strong tradition of political blogging there - and to some extent here. Guido Fawkes (Westminster watcher and scourge of politicians) for example is still basically a blog in many ways.

    3. Hari OM
      ...acknowledged: we do agree (re blogs), albeit from different perspectives, perhaps. TGA I can tolerate in small batches. GF does not get a rating on my reading list! Yxx

  5. I like your word pen-friending. that is exactly how I see it also. and pretty much started in 2009 because of a friend that was blogging and said I should try it with my photos. I had a new camera. I created the blog in 2008 and for 4 months never posted another post. My friend was my first follower and her friend was Ginny and she was my second and things went crazy. i spent all day blogging and slowly had to cut back and back. of the first 40, i still am pen friends with 8 of the orginals. And due to you and LLB with Blogville, and adopitng Big and Beau, i am where I am with a lot of your new friends as my friends. I followed you because you make me think deeper than I would ordinarily. I first met you when you went to the blogville meet up here in USA and here we are

  6. YAM I had my first pen pal when I was about 9 or 10. I know that is when my love of words and making friends started.
    I won't even get started on the magical world I discovered with blogging that gave us the opportunity to meet you and receive a many very special YAM hugs.
    Hugs Cecilia

  7. Blogging sure has brought us lots of new friends. I can't really remember how I got started but I know it was probably with Khyra's Khorner and/or Frankie Furter's blogs. I used their blog rolls on their side bar to find other dog blogs and then expanded from there. I now have a large list of pet blogs, crochet blogs and "people" blogs that I follow. The connections have been great to have during the times that we've all been "locked down" while covid rages on.

  8. Oh, the journey of blogs. And the wonderful folks met along the way. namaste, janice xx

  9. I was blogging for work and one day I happened upon the wonderful world of Eric And Flynn in Devin, this drew me into the Cat bloggosphere and then when I was stuck in bed from a bad burn on my butt, I started Queen Nellie's Blog. My reading list is really eclectic, from Cats to Dogs to Pagan to art, to food (I also had a very active food blog when I was a small scale food processor), to Religion, AA, Astronomy, Archaeology and of course YOU! I had not expected Marv's blog to get so popular and now most of my time is spent on his, but it keeps me connected to a world I love being a part of. Thanks for being part of my world.

  10. I feel the same. I used to write a daily report of my dad's condition, then I found it useful to reflect mine. And to keep contact with my family. Now, managing anxiety, it helps keep me on an even keel as I reflect. It's been so lonely here. I like to connect with wonderful people, like yourself.

  11. F started my blog as part of a 50 new things to do in the 6th decade of her life. Someone she was sharing woodcarving classes with talked her into starting a blog to record the recipes of the 50 weeks of baking to take to her colleagues at work (recipes of grandmothers etc), and she decided to make a separate one for my observations. We knew nothing about commenting and collecting comments. We lacked feedback for years, and followed mostly blogs about beekeeping in those days. There was a break when we moved to Greece. It would have been too easy to be whinging foreigners if we wrote carelessly about the stuff we didn't understand. And it all kicked off again as YAM has generously pasted into her blog above. Now we follow a collection of observational writings with views into other lives lived 'ordinarily' (sorry people we follow who lead extraordinary lives) - every one of them is extraordinary for pointing out the interesting around them, expressing curiosity, painting words pictures about their loves, describing what motivates them, challenges them, gives them joy, makes them hurt or feel sadness, telling us how they find purpose in life, or showcasing their creative outlets. They are people we'd like to live in a village with (even their dogs!) xxx Mr T

    1. Hari OM
      Oh yes, Mr T (and F), I agree - I think of my gathered blogpals as my 'village'...indeed, at an earlier stage, I coined the word "Blogvillagers" for us all who congregated here! Also, having had the great privilege to meet quite a few, I know that this is not a fanciful thing. Even with differences, there is the lovely adult quality of agreeing to disagree and then getting on with life. I am hugely glad to have found you... and who knows, one day we may even meet in the furs!!! H&W Y-a xxx


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