Tag Archives: London blogs

Pseudonyms and Me

The concept of anonymity has always held a special enchantment for some people, and, for others, it is purely practical. London authors J. M. Barrie, George Orwell, E. L. James and Charles Dickens all were or used pseudonyms, in fact, the literary world is full of nom de plumes.

Suspicious minds

Yet while author pen names are an accepted reality of the literary world, blogging under a pseudonym often garners criticism and suspicion.

Blogging pseudonomically is often regarded as being secretive and hiding oneself behind a shield of cowardice, whether you write polemical pieces or not.

Some of London’s most informed bloggers write anonymously. Going Underground’s Annie Mole is an underground writer in more than one sense of the word; William Wallace at London Is Cool is hardly a revolutionary bent on self-rule; as far as I know, Diamond Geezer doesn’t work in Hatton Garden; conversely the Tired of London blog is written by the real Tom Jones, while the Welsh Warbler started life with a different moniker; Scarlett London would have been very fortunate to be so named for someone writing a London lifestyle blog; Brian Pigeon flies off the odd humous piece about our avian friends; the Gentle Author lives up to his name writing with authority about Spitalfields; and your humble scribe’s pseudonymous identity Gibson Square owes its origin from the first run on The Knowledge.

Lost in space

Using a memorable name has a real impact on the blogs themselves. A blog that has built up a brand name will normally be easier to find if you search online for that brand, but difficult to find if you search for the human name of the writer, who could forget Annie Mole rather than Mecca Ibrahim?

Depending on your desire to write publicly will determine whether you disclose your real name. Looking through Feedspot’s ‘Top 100 London Blogs & Websites by London Bloggers in 2020’ a curious list that puts Diamond Geezer at 41, while many dormant sites are ranked higher. Of those ranked (CabbieBlog is at 66), more than 35 are ‘lifestyle’ bloggers written by young women eager to put their name out on the bloggersphere.

So why does the media always need our persona whenever they write about bloggers or surround our blog names in single quotes.

Material girls

As far as I’m concerned those using their identity do so for several reasons: to produce an income; a motivation to become ‘famous’, hence the lifestyle sites; the blog connects to another part of their lives, or they are writing to build more connections with friends or influence their boss; they can also reference their blog in conversation: “Did you like my last post?” “Did you see how many ‘likes’ I’ve accumulated?” “Just look at my blog’s ranking.”

When I’m 64

I think it must mainly be age-related, millennials are accustomed to the social media and having their lives out in cyberspace, while anyone born before the turn of the century is more reluctant to be noticed.

 

 

Annie Mole
Brian Pigeon
Diamond Geezer
Scarlett London
The Gentle Author
Tom Jones
William Wallace

A Blog’s Life

Is the life of a blog finite?

In that I don’t mean the length of time it will be hosted, but the longevity for its author’s ability, or enthusiasm, to provide content.

The old maxim, the 100 per cent rule of internet culture, which stated that for every 100 people who read blogs (or any other internet community) only one actually provides content, while the others only lurk.

[A] variant of this is the 90-9-1 principle in which 90 per cent view, 9 per cent add content (comments to you and me) and 1 per cent actually uploads new content.

Given if this is true, news recently that two of London’s best bloggers are to sign off for the last time seriously reduces quality content about London.

Many a born and bred Londoner take the great City for granted. Often it takes someone with an unjaded perspective, discovering the London that Samuel Johnson’s quote memorably reminds us: “Tired of London”. Stef the author of Little London Observationist understood the great lexicographer’s words and has shared ’her’ London with us these last 5 years.

During its life the blog has given us photos of places we might have overlooked, interviewed dozens of Londoners, one of the first was – yes, a cabbie. At least we haven’t lost her; she continues to write about a wide range of places giving us little nuggets of London now and again.

That, unfortunately is not the case for Pete Stean who’s Londoneer has given us these last 7 years a veritable smorgasbord of London delights. He’s now undertaken a journalism course and cannot find time for both enterprises.

After dabbling with a number of blogs and platforms in February 2009 CabbieBlog arrived kicking and screaming into the cyber world. Its debut post had the unimaginative title ’Make a cuppa and do The Knowledge’. Not an auspicious start but it’s still with us while many blogs are ephemeral lasting months at best. The best of the survivors can be found here, or is the blog as a means of on-line writing destined to become just another fad and in future content will be left to paid professionals?

London’s hyper-local blogs

A blog is an on-line presence, a voice to be shared and stored for others to consume and comment. On-line pages have a shelf life of only 75 days according to the British Library who plan to store a billion pages for prosperity before they are lost into the ether. A lot of blogs are pretty lacklustre, but the best have a slight obsession to them – as with Annie Mole writing with a passion or frustration at London’s underground which has deservedly won many plaudits.

[W]ith a blog it is much easier to convince your audience that you are an authorative source, as by giving hyperlinks and images or videos they can be used to support your conclusions. Writing authoritively was once the province of the newspapers, but as local journalism has slowly met its demise a new source of local information has taken its place – the hyper-local blog.

Hyper-local blogs, often written by journalists, have become a reliable source of information and knowledge for communities. Without local newspapers it is harder to know what is happening in your area from the village fete to the local cricket match or the performance record of the local politician.

London is often described as a series of adjoining villages and for this the hyper-blog has come into its own. From Clapham to Clapton there is probably one covering your area.

Below are a list of blogs about London, divided broadly by area. This is not a definitive list of the best hyper-local blogs from London so if you have a favourite not featured here please let me know.

NORTH LONDON BLOGS
Love Camden – Camden
Kings Cross Environment – Kings Cross
West Hampstead Life – West Hampstead
The Kentish Towner – Kentish Town
Brunswick Life –  Brunswick in Bloomsbury
Park Life – Kensal Rise and Queen’s Park
Kensal Rising  – Kensal
Harringay Online – Harringay
Stroud Green – Stroud Green

WEST LONDON BLOGS
Fulham Road – Fulham
South West Six – Fulham
The West Way – Notting Hill
Chiswick W4 – Chiswick
Shepherds Bush W12 – Shepherds Bush
Hammersmith Today – Hammersmith
Acton W3 – Acton
Ealing Today – Ealing
Fulham SW6 – Fulham
Putney SW15 – Putney
Wimbledon SW19 – Wimbledon
My Notting Hill – Notting Hill
Brentford TW8 – Brentford
Wandsworth SW18 – Wandsworth
The Library Time Machine – Kensington and Chelsea

SOUTH LONDON BLOGS
853 – Greenwich/ South East London
Love Clapham – Clapham
The Blackheath Bugle – Blackheath
Greenwich.co.uk – Greenwich
Lurking About SE11 – Kennington, Oval, Vauxhall
Camberwell Online – Camberwell, Nunhead
London SE1 – SE1
Brockley Central – Brockley
Vassall View – Stockwell, Brixton
Brixton Blog – Brixton
Deptford Dame – Deptford, New Cross
The Greenwich Phantom – Greenwich
Streatham Pulse – Streatham
Loughborough Junction’s Blog – Loughborough Junction
East Dulwich Forum – Dulwich Peckham & Nunhead
Dulwich on View – Dulwich Village
WandsworthSW18 – Wandsworth
Stockwell News– Stockwell, South Lambeth
Cross What Fields – Creekside,Deptford
Transpontine – New Cross, Deptford, Brockley
Beckenham Town – Beckenham
Inside Croydon – Croydon
Tradescant Road – South Lambeth

EAST LONDON BLOGS
East London Local – East London
What’s In Wapping – Wapping
Loving Dalston – Dalston, Hackney
Yeah! Hackney – Hackney
Clapton Pond Blog – Dave Hill’s great insight into his area
Chatsworth Road Market – Hackney
Hackney Homemade Market – Hackney food
Blood & Property Living in Hackney
Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group – Clapton Pond
Leabank Square – Hackney
Open Dalston – Dalston
Stoke Newington People – Stoke Newington
This Hackney Life – Hackney
Whitechapel Ghost Style – Whitechapel
Spitalfields Life – Spitalfields
Bow Report – Bow
Redbridge Eye – Redbridge
Isle of Dogs Life – Life on the Island

fingerALL LONDON BLOGS
Some of the best All London Blogs are to be found on the right hand panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Do you read any other London blogs?

Leave the link in a comment below and I will add it to the list.