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Staffordshire blogs and blogging 2009
By Tommy Hill, Website contributor

Computer keyboard
Blogs can be used to keep people in touch

For the last ten years, many people have been using the web to share their point of view in a web-log - or 'blog' as it's better known.

Of course, you can also use a blog as a diary, as a way of posting links to a chosen subject, as a way of promoting your hobby, or ...well... anything!

Staffordshire bloggers post on a wide variety of subjects.

There's everything from oatcakes and knitting to family history and local music.

Let's have a good look round the web to find blogs with a connection to the Staffordshire area.

Here are just some of them that we found, with my very subjective assessments. If you know of others, or have thoughts about what I have said, or know of some good guides to blogging, please let us know by emailing:

This website focuses on local food suppliers and producers. The author lives in Cheshire, and most of his postings are on the delights of oatcakes, but he looks further a field as well.

There's also a handy map which pinpoints the hundreds of shops he's visited and reviewed in his posts - many of which are in Stoke-on-Trent.

4 out of 5 for the sheer range of reviews he's done.

This may sound like it continues the food theme, but it's got nothing to do with them!

These are regular posts about family life from a mother of five, with details of things she finds amusing on the web. She also includes a range of links - most of which are about knitting, which she's fanatical about.

A lot of personal references means it can be hard to understand at first - 2 out of 5.

He is also blogging about things personal to him. However, he tends to look at the stories that wind him up.

He harks back to the days when handbags were used for fighting and claims to collect antique fighting handbags. Yes, you guessed it - he is a satirical writer looking at what annoys him in the 21st century.

He does miss his point occasionally, but 3 out of 5 nonetheless.

Continuing on the theme from Sir Findo, MM looks at what he describes as the more mundane events in his life. Moriarty lives in Burntwood and most of his posts look at his involvement in motorsport, from being a fan to involvement with charity work. He looks at grassroots as well as the events in Formula 1.

2 out of 5 - as it's not updated often.

She is using an extension of the Burton Mail website to write her blog, just like many reporters who are (in the opposite direction) moving onto the web.

It's written like a personal diary, giving her take on the world. Her posts seem to focus on her favourite television programmes, but quickly deviate onto other topics. I love what she says!

In a similar diary style to Caroline, Barry writes about his daily life.

The difference is that he's a Liberal Democrat councillor on Stafford Borough Council. He posts about political issues in the area, particularly in his ward of Haughton, Bradley and Church Eaton. There are also links to access the council's website and his own personal webpage.

Artists are also blogging, including Gemma Thomas. She's a part-time MA student on a work placement and is using the blog to document her time there.

She's also looking at art in the Staffordshire area, with links to events taking place.

This is really reviews of bands and gigs taking place around Stoke-on-Trent, but using a blog template.

Reviews and interviews are regularly posted by the authors with links for you to listen to the artists and find out more about them. It can be more of a messageboard than a blog, and confusing layout means it can be difficult to navigate.

But it's a labour of love so, for that, I give it four out of five.

Writers are also using blogs as their starting point for stories. Darkkat, as she is known, regularly posts notes that discuss possible ideas.

She also occasionally posts reviews to films that she's interested in - which tend to be about horror and science fiction.

This is written by a 30-something researcher and writer with his musings on what he overhears people say. Some of the posts can be short, but all have the basis of being turned into a story or novel.

Author Anthony James Barnett asks you to Tell Me a Story on his blog about all things literary. It includes no-nonsense advice and tips for prospective writers as well as information about new publications.

He loses points though for the shameless plug of his own book. 3 out of 5.

This is an occasionally incoherent look at life in the Potteries through the eyes of an anonymous visitor. The few entries reveal the author's delight at discovering such attractions as Trentham Gardens and the Foxfield Railway.

2 out of 5 for the fantastic photos.

A former resident of Tideswell in Derbyshire - hence the name - he blogs about Family History, the Peak District, The Potteries, Politics and Technology.

There're plenty of personal photos and the passion shines through in the writings - as well as his strong feelings on politics in Stoke-on-Trent.

Further reading

The amount of blogs may be growing all the time, but sadly the number of blogs being abandoned by bloggers who outgrow their own creations is also growing. So, don't be surprised if some blogs seem badly out of date.

If the blogs we mentioned have got you tempted to start your own, well in fact, blogs are easy for anyone to start up - through free websites like Blogspot and Wordpress .

Nowadays, you can have your own blog on the web within five minutes with the set-up being so simple. So get blogging!



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