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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Slow Blogging – A Labor Of Love

We have all heard about the ideas behind the Slow Food movement.

Back to fresh, unprocessed food, ingredients you know and can pronounce, knowing where your food comes from and knowing it earns a decent wage for the people producing it. The focus is on quality, on ingredients, preparation, provenance and love for the subject in preparation as well as consumption. Putting something healthy and pure inside your body, taking care of yourself and nature, as was intended by nature. I am pretty sure trans-fatty acids came as a surprise even to Mother Nature.

A few weeks back, Marina and I were talking about blogging and its pitfalls, when the phrase Slow Blogging came up. I used it as a metaphor for blogging with your heart, rather than acting like a news paper. Slow blogging is the art of infusing what you write with emotion. Writing with your heart in it makes for a different quality than reporting.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with reporting, and I am not comparing news blogging to fast food in any way, the last thing I intend here, is to anger anybody. My point is merely to make a case for Slow Blogging as a distinct discipline of blogging, one where the love for what you write about shines through. Where the unique voice and personality of the blogger is as important as the subject he/she writes about.

I love Slow Blogging and I love to read blogs written that way. You quickly get a sense of the style, the purpose and the objective behind a post. If it feels like PR copy, I move on.

In the early stages there was only Slow Blogging, just as there was only slow food to be had. No McDonalds, no Burger King, but a kitchen, a cook, ingredients and a certain amount of time between the craving for a burger and its consumption. In between lay a labor of love or at least of skill.

With this post I want to celebrate the labor of love that is blogging.

No body pays you to do it, nobody even asks you to. In the beginning nobody cares, aside from your spouse or friends, maybe.

But you persist. You do it because you love it. Because you feel the compulsion to do it, to share what you know, or what you feel. To find others who share your feelings and thoughts. Eventually you find kindred souls, like-minded people you learn to appreciate for their knowledge, respect for their skills and begin to love for their personalities. They become friends.

Slow Blogging, the art of blogging with your heart, is more than a new medium (but don’t forget its power too!), it is a way to forge friendships, to broaden your horizon in the subject you are passionate about, as well as in the social dimension of it all. The world gets smaller through thousands of friendships that start over a shared passion, thousands of random acts of kindness that keep the community going, be it an encouraging email, a shared sample or even a meeting in real life of complete strangers, who feel like they have known each other forever.

When I am hungry and pressed for time, I have been known to go to a fast food restaurant and even enjoy what I get there. But it is not what I would want to sustain myself with every day. I love a good home cooked meal (especially when someone else cooks it, I am no genius in the kitchen, but I try). The difference is enormous.

Similarly if I am looking for something specific, I quickly google it, take the fact wherever I find it and be done with it.

But when I want to enjoy reading, when I want to feel enriched, enlightened or entertained, I go to my favorite blogs, written by people who care for what they do and know what they are talking about. This combination is irresistible.

I am so glad that there is a wealth of such blogs out there, many different voices expressing their unique points of view, their personal takes, but nonetheless manage to sing like a perfectly trained choir about the thing we all love so much – perfume.

Image source:



Anonymous Tamara*J said...

Beautifully written ,
truthfully told.
I agree wholeheartedly my dear.<3

12:13 AM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

I could not agree more! I started doing it for love and that is what sustains me - not just of perfume but of all the wonderful people I have "met" (including Tamara J up there- Hi T!) and the love of learning more about this endlessly fascinating subject that touches on so many other fields. Where else can you get science, aesthetics, sex, romance, intrigue, larger-than-life personalities AND get to smell fabulous things all the time? I think food is an excellent parallel, because it has the same quality of relating to so many other things that you never run out of things to say.

12:40 AM EST  
Blogger Michael said...

Great post, and very true too. Not sure where I fall in categories of blogger, but like you, I visit certain blogs not just for their content, crucial as that is, but for the personalities of the writers, that shine through.

2:25 AM EST  
Anonymous Gisela said...

Very well said! I love starting my day reading my favourite blogs - a treat.

3:42 AM EST  
Blogger tarleisio said...

This is a beautifully written and important post, B!

I have a theory that passion - understood in the broadest sense - will out, and that any reader of any blog on any subject that is communicated with a passion will register and respond to that. Or else the blogger isn't doing something right! ;)

The blogs I love to read and follow, the blogs I can relate to, all radiate their passion for their subject matter through their words and between their lines, the writer showing his or her unique personality and perspective.

Of course, this comes with side effects! The side effects of connecting with others like yourself, communicating your common passion - for perfume! :)

3:55 AM EST  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Said perfectly, nothing to add. I agree completely.
BTW, I'm a big fan of Slow Food (and Arche Noah, and similar) - I'm a passionated cook. If I only had more time for that ...

Sometimes I get the feeling the only thing some bloggers want to say is "Look what I got you don't have. And if you should get it one day you have to buy it for a fortune, but I GOT IT FOR FREE, YOU MORON ! She gets a hotel room for free - and then there is a blog comment about it, of course...

4:08 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

Birgit, that was wonderful! :)
You put it into words so succintly, I didn't realize it was exactly the way I feel about blogging but without a clear opinion on how exactly to express it.
Slow blogging rules!

6:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

So beautifully put, Birgit. I feel very nourished by the number of people I've "met" through the perfume blogosphere. As much as I've learned about fragrance through reading other people's blogs, I've learned so much more about the people who make up this unique community -- their loves, lives, concerns, hobbies and interests. The perfume blogosphere is a very good place to be, never moreso than now, with the rich diversity of bloggers who have come on board in the past couple years.

9:54 AM EST  
Blogger Tara said...

Birgit, passion and personality certainly shine through posts such as yours and it does make a real difference. It creates a personal connection between blogger and reader which in turn allows conversation and friendship to flourish. I think this is very special indeed.

10:19 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Along the same philosophical vein, the motto of the Natural Perfumers Guild is Slow Scent ;-)

10:23 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Tamara! :)

1:38 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so right, perfume is a subject we never run out of things to say about, and likewise the perfume community will never run out of lovely people to meet and eventually call friends. :)

1:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the perfect combination is great content and a great writing style, luckily we have a wealth of such blogs in the perfume community, including yours. :)

1:45 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is also my favorite part of the day, to sit down with a cup of tea and read my way through my favorite blogs.

1:48 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is more energizing, more exhilarating and simply joyful than sharing a passion for something? I love that feeling. :)

1:50 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lady Jane Grey,
I bet you are a terrific cook!

Slow bloggers will blog whether they ever get something for free or spend their last cent on samples. :)

1:56 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you, that is lovely of you to say! And as you say - Slow Blogging rules! :D

1:57 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - I learn so much about perfume, but I also learn a lot about friendship and about supporting each other. The internet is only as shallow as the people in it, the perfume community certainly is not.

2:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you make a point I should have expressed more explicit in my post - the importance of writer - reader interaction in slow blogging. The post is only half the story, the following conversation and discussion is what makes it come alive.
The readers and commenters are just as intrinsically important as the blogger. :)

2:05 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slow Scent - perfect! :)
It fits perfectly into this concept, a natural perfume by you or Mandy or any other of the great artists sharing your view, is indeed the antidote to the "fast food" analoga the mainstream puts forth.

2:10 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You took a weight off my shoulders. I 've always felt guilty for not posting "often enough" which I find impossible if I have to also use my own photos and also right something that comes from a need to share. Thank you.

4:27 PM EST  
Blogger Carrie Meredith said...

Love this Birgit! I am so on board with this movement.

6:18 PM EST  
Blogger Edwina said...

Very well written. Props to slow blogging all the way. Can't disagree that I've done some fast blogging in the past as well, but I try to take my time with :)

I guess there's also fast commenting too. Some people comment on others' blogs just for the exposure.. not a big fan of that :S

11:25 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad you feel that way! For me, I only post if I have something to say, not out of a sense of obligation. I just started so it will take a while still before I run out of things to say hopefully. ;)

1:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carrie Meredith,
I know you are a blogger who really loves what she does! :)

1:55 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

absolutely! There are fast commenters too. Thank you for adding that important point. :)

1:58 AM EST  
Anonymous annemariec said...

Lovely post. It reminds me of something I say sometimes to my 12 y. o. son: if you are good at something, no matter how strange or obscure it might be - cleaning the gutters in people's houses, writing novels, collecting vintage hatpins, writing about perfume - you should do it, and do it fearlessly. Your skill will be useful to someone, and your passion will communicate itself to someone and bring them satisfaction, or happiness, even. Thanks for the reminder of this truth.

4:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Persolaise said...

Thank you so much for this post! Like you, I appreciate the efforts of bloggers who endeavour to tell us every tiny detail of every single development in the perfume world, but the sites I sincerely love reading are those which aren't trying to make it into the record books for the largest number of posts.

I will DEFINITELY keep your words in mind the next time I'm berating myself for allowing two days to pass without uploading some new content to my own blog.

11:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is ia wonderful thing to teach a child, I will remember it when my children are old enough to hear it.

2:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for your kind words!
I am glad to see so many of us are on the same page here!

2:44 PM EDT  
Blogger JoanElaine said...

I really enjoyed this post, Olfactoria.

I love blogs that offer a peek into the personality and life of the writer. One blogger shares a detail and then suddenly everyone else is sharing.

6:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Marian said...

What lovely sentiments! "Slow blogs" are the ones that move and excite me. Kudos to "slow blogs" and to those who take the time and make the effort to share their thougts with passion and sincerity!

10:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm actually not sure what you mean.

How do we know which blogs aren't filled with heart?

12:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Undina said...

Olfactoria, thank you for this post. Writing in a language that isn't your native makes one's blog cooking even more slowly and I can only hope that if I put enough heart and efforts into it I'll have a better chance to end up with an at least edible reduction sauce instead of a burnt or overdone dish.

3:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joan Elaine,
I like that sharing part too! I makes the world a little smaller. :)

4:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for your encouraging words! :)

4:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloody Frida,
we don't know that of course. But maybe we can feel it?

There are different ways to express passion and "putting your heart" into your work of course, and accordingly there is a different audience for everyone. The way of clicking with that audience, the personal engagement that is tangible also for others who like to read the blog, is what I mean with the "slow blogging" analogy.

4:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, English isn't my native tongue either.
But I experience a certain freedom in this foreign language that I had to make my own, more so than I have in my mother tongue.
I like your sauce image! :)

4:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

Iagree wholeheartedly and loved reading your take on this new form of communication. It's mean a lot to me to find others who share my passion for scent - to know that I'm not crazy - or if I am, at least that I've got some wonderful company!

2:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

indeed you are in good company, I can't vouch for the sanity part though! ;)

3:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Lucy said...

Couldn't agree more! Thank you for posting this at a time when things seem to be revving up to the absolute opposite at a breakneck speed.

8:11 AM EDT  

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