AB - To blog or not to blog, this is the question…
JJ - Blogging can take up a lot of time. It could, in fact, be infinite. I am never sure I get the balance right and sometimes I withdraw, feeling overwhelmed by my own blog and others.
AB - How would you characterize your blog you should describe it to one of us, i.e. another blogger?
JJ - Ruby Street is about poetry, especially day-to-day writing and living interspersed with poems in progress. It is one way to meet me.
AB - I sometimes regard my blog as a safe place where I can meet my chosen people, is this the same for you?
JJ - I haven't thought of it as a safe place, interesting thought, but I certainly think of the blog as a meeting ground, among other things. I have met people I never would have otherwise. I like the mutuality, of building our audience.
AB - I am wondering do we sometimes forget that personal remarks, notes, poems are there for everybody to be seen?
JJ - I have been surprised to find out just who has read my blog. It has made me, sometimes, more careful than I've wanted to be. This is mainly because of my job.
AB - Do you post many poems on your blog? Is there an actual difference in-between publishing online, mainly through a blog, or printed publishing?
JJ - I have always posted some poems but I mix it up with other comments and discussion, announcements, etc. I purposely stopped posting poems for a couple of months, just to focus on other things, even the quotidian, which is one source for my work.
I think there is a difference between on-line and page publishing. It's partly the obvious. A printed book is a different material presence which also carries with it the traditional aura of the book, which is very seductive. I love paper stuff still but am happy to operate with other technologies. Books still have more staying power (ink and paper) but it remains to be seen what happens with electronic publishing.
I see my blogged poems as in process, though a 'final' version published elsewhere, online or on paper, is occasionally very little changed. Some poets are using blogs as a 'book in progress'. I think that works pretty well but it's not my way, at the moment.
AB - What kind of actual or immaterial feedback do you receive from publishing online through a blog?
JJ - I have a comments box which gets used sometimes. The comments can be simple greetings, but also a direct engagement with the post. I have never had extended discussions via the comments box.
People also contact me back channel about something on the blog. It's either a more private comment or they couldn't be bothered using the comments box. Usually they are people who are in regular email contact with me anyway, so it is natural for them to do it.
I am aware people have read my blog and, therefore, contact me to ask me to submit some poems somewhere, to do an interview or ask my advice, etc.
There's a bit of spam but, thankfully, very little at the moment.
AB - What do you think of the Blogosphere when related to blogs that deal with poetry?
JJ - Amongst the poets, I read opinion/poetics blogs, poem blogs, announcement blogs, news blogs, review blogs and journey blogs. They all have a place. I tend to stay away from those which have too many ads or seem too self-regarding. There are no rules but I try and keep it simple.
The so-called blogosphere is huge. It is a very malleable technology and poets are using it in all kinds of ways. For instance, I am thinking about podcasting but haven't quite got there yet. It would be a way of making a more direct material connection with people, for them to hear your voice. I don't bother with video and don't use too many photographs because I don't have broadband yet and loading up too many images takes too much time.
The technology changes so rapidly so I do need to keep up. It's exciting and it's tiring. There are other things in life that are more important. But the blog is part of it, for the moment anyway.