‘Building a Community’

One of the things that is continually stressed, in advice on improving your blog for techno-idiots like myself, is the need to ‘be aware of your community’ and to ‘build it up’. To an Englishwoman, and particularly as an Northerner, this smacks of Showing Off and Putting Yourself Forward, both heinous crimes (the Americans are looking at each other in blank amazement here). I suppose it’s the sense of deliberate artificiality, which makes me feel so squeamish about the concept.

However – it may amuse you to know a bit about yourselves and where you’re all from. Perhaps it’s easier if I view it as introducing people at a social gathering.

The largest number of pageviews comes from the UK, as you’d probably expect, though how much of this is me checking paragraph length for smartphone users is hard to say. The USA comes a close second, possibly because there are three towns called Warrington over there, and there was a large American Airbase just outside the UK Warrington at Burtonwood, during the Second World War.

Germany reads regularly, though I think this is just one person, and Russia turned up sometime in June and has stayed with us since. Turkey is the most recent reader – Welcome Turkey! (starting to feel a bit Eurovision here) – but has quickly caught up Russia on pageviews. Spain and the Ukraine browse occasionally and China, Malaysia and the Phillipines have looked in just the once.

So there you all are – scattered across the world, reading about the historic built environment of my home town. It’s a very strange thought, though oddly gratifying.

It would be very interesting to know more about you all; I’m intrigued, in particular, as to what search threw up a blog on regeneration issues in a provincial English town, and what could have led China, Malaysia and the Phillipines to click on one of the posts. Are you ex-pats? Ex-Warringtonians?

I have considered turning the ‘allow comments’ bit on, but not replying to anything posted would be extremely rude and I’m struggling with the correspondence I currently have. So I’m afraid we’re stuck for the moment.

If you’re that interested in the town you may like to look at another blog I came across a while ago – on the Warrington regional dialect. It’s full of all sorts of splendid words I remember from my childhood (‘mithering’, anybody?) which are as incomprehensible as a foreign language to outsiders. (I recall my surprise when my lecturer told the students that ‘slutch’ was an unknown archaic word when we came across it in an 18th century Lancashire text.) For those who want to get an overview of English dialects and accents, as a whole, there is an excellent group of pages on the British Library website that includes audio clips.