In a world where a blog is created every second does the world really need...

Way back last year I'd e-mailed all of the members of the Northern Irish bloggers webring and asked them a few questions.Included was...

Alan in Belfast

Why did you call your blog... I'm called Alan and I live in Belfast, and I'd started to sign comments in other people's blogs and feedback forms as "Alan (Belfast)" and sometimes "Alan in Belfast" so it stuck. Besides I'm not witty enough to have come up with an original and catchy title. These days, unless you put a placename or your name in the title, everything else has been taken at Blogger.com.

Briefly, describe your blog, if you can. The blog's subtitle still holds. In a world where a blog is created every second does the world really need another blog? Well, it's got one. An irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology, and the occasional rant about life. Alan ... in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Why do you blog?
Honest answer, I never intended to. Started of as an experiment. Needed to do some training on setting up a blog and posting to some teenagers at an annual Technology Camp I help out at. Seemed best to get some experience prior to telling other folk about it. So I set up AiB, meaning to switch it off after a few months. But it became a habit, and so it's still here.

What has been your best blogging experience? The Flickr Meetup earlier this year was fun - getting to put real faces to virtual identities. I think that's been what's kept me blogging. Despite the lack of face-to-face contact, you get to know people, get to know their personalities, what delights them, what intrigues them, what irritates them! So it really does feel like a small community. Another bizarre consequence of blogging has been searching Google for something and discovering an AiB post in the first page of results, sometimes in the top four, a occasionally the top result. The wonders of Google PageRank.

What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? Before you start decide if there's any reason you can't use your real name. If I was starting over today, it wouldn't be under the cover of Alan in Belfast.

What are your favourite blogs? At it's hayday, Letter to America - and the behind the scenes podcast - was a real inspiration. A manic, chaotic, upsidedown world, that created the Lift Episode, fantastic photo essays of Belfast, and Wayne!

What is your favourite book? Answer in childhood would have been Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Nowadays, lots of good authors. Anything by Magnus Mills is a sure hit. And Douglas Coupland is delightful.

What is your favourite film? No favourites, but I enjoy lots of foreign/subtitled stuff. Check out AiB for recommendations!

What is your favourite poem? Poetry? Not my scene!

What are your hobbies, apart from blogging?
Reading, cinema - though I get through more films than I finish books.

Who are your sporting heroes? Talking to the wrong guy here. Sport's up there ahead just ahead of poetry! Unless it's sailing, and you don't see a lot of that on TV (except America's Cup on Sky, and the odd race during the Olympics).


Alan in Belfast said...

Did I say all that?! That was a while back!

CyberScribe said...

Alan, if I asked you again in 6 months time?
I'm thinking about starting a campaign on Facebook to encourage you to read and enjoy poetry :-)

Gerard said...

AiB is one of the few Northern Irish blogs I continue to read. Besides yourself, C/scribe, Nelly and Alan, they're the only throwbacks to when I blogged about politics an awful lot.

Good to see Alan's responses - I;ve often wondered if he'd come out of the closet if he had to start from scratch again. Would you blog under your real name, Alan? And how would friends, family and work feel about that?

Jett Loe said...

Thanks for the shout-out Alan! :)

I find myself missing Belfast and Alan's blog helps me keep in touch with the place - please keep it up!