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Not all that long ago but particularly when I was younger I would have fallen into the don’t-give-a-damn category of person. A child of the sixties, I had a pretty cavalier attitude and didn’t suffer fools very well. I called a spade a spade with little thought to the consequences. I was younger then. As I’ve gotten older I’ve moderated that stance a little bit. It’s not that I won’t call out something I feel is egregiously wrong and/or insults my sensibilities, it’s just that I try to be more attune to why people say and do what they say and do rather than what they say and do.

Some things, however, still seem to stick with me and blogs/blogging is one of them. I’ve had several blogs that addressed issues that were, at the time, important to me. As I’m against censorship; my blogs allowed people to comment on what I’d written. I shut down my previous blogs because sooner or later both the comments and the people who made them made me sick; the Internet has a way of morphing people into real assholes and I got tired of what they were writing on my blog. Rather than censor what my readers were saying in their comments I just decided to shut the whole damn enterprise down.

If one thinks about blogs, it would appear there are really a few very distinct reasons they are written. One would be to simply chronicle ones endeavors and/or write commentary on current events…this blog falls into that category. Another would be to legitimately offer advice or instruction to its readers…often businesses and suppliers have blog sections on their web page to answer questions or render information about their products or services. Yet another reason people write blogs is to say “HEY! LOOK AT ME” and are one big exercise in self-promotion. Those are the blogs that kinda sorta rub me the wrong way. And, then there are those blogs that are a combination of one or more of these attributes.

Now, most reading this can see where I’m going and might suggest that if one doesn’t care for a specific blog then simply don’t read it. I absolutely agree; I do just that. With some blogs that is easy to do, but with those that are a cross between self-promotion and being informative whether one reads or doesn’t read is a bit more difficult decision.

Yesterday, I clicked on a sailing blog that is just barely borderline of the type of blog I do NOT care for. This blog has some rather interesting posts on occasion but is way heavy on the self-promotion side. However, it has just enough interesting stuff that every so often I take a glance to see what this couple is up to. The gist of their blog post yesterday was that they had not posted anything in a few days on their blog and were assessing whether they should even continue their blog at all, saying:

“Has this story not already been told? I think so, by us and by many others.”

The blog you are reading, my blog, is a sailing blog and, to some extent, just like the above, is telling a story that has “already been told.” The key phrase in the previous sentence is to some extent. But, in the context the author is describing, this blog is nothing like what he alludes to.

The already been told kind of blog in which he mentions is the formula blogs that most, including his blog, fall into. They start with the sailing dream, continue on to the serious-about-it stage, learning to sail, or not, and then the purchase of the boat and sailing away into the sunset. Often there is a parallel Facebook page. The blog is full of the perfunctory photos of the boat at anchor, the owners snorkeling, pix of the couple at all of the local tourist traps and, more often than not, short boring videos of their vessel underway. A review of equipment furnished by their “sponsor” is always obligatory and in the interest of “inspiring” others lends credibility to their efforts…in their reader’s eyes at least. Hive mind is the order of the day. Nautical jargon is de rigueur. If the couple has kids, the blogs are chocked full of photos of them…same with their pets. The supposed benefits of home schooling and baby wearing are enthusiastically discussed. There are the obligatory posts on how much the whole endeavor is costing, how the couple keeps fits, how to increase blog traffic, and endless Top 10 type lists. Anyone reading this will absolutely know the type of blog I’m talking about.

Yes, many others have told the story…many times.

Another quote by the same author reflecting on the actual real importance of his blog…emphasis mine:

“Do we continue to post pics of sunsets and pretty beaches? Of jungles and mountains? Surely I could do that but really, who cares?”

I’m pretty sure some enjoy these types of blogs because they build blog sites just like them…though I’m not one of them. I’ve seen all the pix I ever want to see of somebody holding a GoPro camera on the end of a pole taking yet another selfie of themselves on a paddle board, or from the mast, or while snorkeling, underway, working out, of the dolphins, endless shots of the sunset and deserted beaches, anchorages, etc. Make no mistake, I think it’s great people enjoy what they do and take photos of their travels. But, many if not most blogs are saturated with these kinds of photos. I’m sure there are some who love this kind of stuff but it’s not my cup of tea at all.

It’s amusing to me how self absorbed some people are on sailing blogs. For young couples, posting photos of their young infants is simply a must do. I understand that people are proud of their children. Photos of other people’s kids are so cute to look at the first time…second time…maybe even the thirtieth time. But, to me, at some point, opening up a blog site only to immediately see more (essentially the same) photos of the couple’s children causes me to just not go back. I’m glad you breast feed, I’m glad you baby wear, I’m glad you home school, I’m really glad that you want to spend day in and day out on a boat (generally a small boat) raising your children and trying to give them the very best. I’m really glad all of that is working out for you. I’m very sincere when I say that. But…I DON’T CARE. I read sailing blogs to read about sailing, not children.

As much as a blog turns me off when it is more family/children oriented than actual sailing, that pales to how weird I think it is when couples go on and on about how hot their wife or husband is. If the blog is either private, or “comments off” then I say cool. But, a public blog that solicits comments from anyone who reads it doing that is simply inviting meaningless cliché’. In almost any venue other than the sailing community it would not be a nice day in the comment section for some of these sites. Sailors, it seems, have a bit more decorum or are at least more polite.

It really goes back to the point above: I go to sailing blogs to read about sailing, not to look at photos of someone’s so-so (at best) husband or wife. Believe me when I say to you authors out there that your husband, wife, or lover is seldom anywhere near as hot to most out here as they are to you.

So, photos of mountainous Caribbean islands are very pretty…same goes for the deserted beaches, crystal clear waters, sunsets and sunrises…even shots of your mate is cool every now and again. Otherwise, I think the author quoted above is right: who cares.

Not me.

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