A big step for Petrona, a small step for blogkind

Petronas Patronus It may not be apparent to many, but it is a big change for me. I have changed the subtitle of Petrona blog to "Reviews, discussion and news about crime fiction. Occasional forays into publishing, science, social media and other topics."(see top of page) Previously, my strapline (or standfirst) was "Thinking and linking about books, publishing, the internet and more".

Why the change? First, over the past 4 years, Petrona has changed from being a blog quite often about the wonders of blogging, social media and new publishing models, to being mainly book reviews and associated news. Perhaps I've said all I can think of to say on those other topics. Second, since setting up the Friend Feed crime and mystery fiction room, I can post links and chat there about them, with other people interested in the topic, rather than writing a blog post collecting and summarising various links, as I did pre-Friend Feed. So that's another class of blog post that has morphed into something else. Third, I have developed confidence in my book reviewing and enjoy doing it. I like the practice, and feel I've learned some techniques in my 4 years as a book reviewer. My blogging friends are enabling me to filter my reading choices so nowadays I read far more books that I actually want to review, rather than books that aren't very distinctive or good – both of which pose challenges to a reviewer who has essentially a constructive heart.

A final reason is that I realise that "out there" (i.e. among the main internet "in the wild", which knows me not!), I am not perceived as writing a crime fiction blog, partly no doubt because of Petrona's name. (An object lesson in hastily choosing a title and regretting it later*.) So perhaps the subtitle will help my blog to be considered eligible for these lists of "100 crime fiction blogs" that currently it seems not to be, as it does not have "crime" or "mystery" in its title.

When I first began blogging, it was all about traffic and comments. Bloggers vied with each other, boasted about their traffic stats, and devised methods and strategies to increase their numbers of comments. I did this a bit and then decided it wasn't for me, for various reasons. Nowadays, the medium has evolved and there is much more interactiveness on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and so on. One's blog can feed into these platforms and so become part of one's internet presence and sociability, not its only evidence of your presence. Even if people are not commenting at your blog itself, they may be debating a post over at FriendFeed or Facebook, or retweeting it.

So, the world moves on and we have to move with it. Hence, Petrona's standfirst has become more reflective of what I realise my blog is about, nowadays.

* Pictures show a Patronus (alter ego), of which Petrona was intended to be a female version, but turns out to be a typing error (Patrona); and Petrona towers, to which I am frequently likened and for which I receive many a misdirected search.