Last week I posted a blog entitled 'Do blogs need pictures?' (You can read it here, if you weren't around last week.)
And it caused a little stir. (Only a little one, nothing to frighten the horses.) Comments - on the blog and on facebook - ranged from 'Pictures are wonderful, and essential to break up pages of text' to 'Words are the point of blogs; too many pictures can get in the way.'
So - what is the blogger to do, if she wishes to keep her readers happy and enjoy the whole blogging thing? Alternate? Jump down on one side or the other and hope enough followers will hang in there?
Surely it's about the nature of each post, what you are hoping to achieve, and how you want to communicate. I wonder how many of you found this post on Trish Nicholson's blog. Here are photographs with no words - and I didn't miss them. The images are simply beautiful, all on their own.
Then there are the posts (like most of mine) with no pictures at all. I take the point made in one comment, that pictures can break up very long blogposts. Speaking personally, I am put off by blogposts that take half an hour to read - they have to grab me in the first paragraph to make that time investment. I prefer posts that are short and to the point. In contrast, someone suggested that too many pictures get in the way, meaning you have to scroll on down to find the point the writer is actually trying to make.
So - given that I can't please all the people all of the time, I shall take each post as it comes, and if it needs an illustration I shall try to find one (bearing in mind I'm no photographer). And the rest of the time I'll chunter along, playing with words in my usual haphazard fashion. (Because if I'm not enjoying myself the whole thing is pointless anyway!)
Interestingly (and this is an aside) there are no pictures in Over the Hill and Far Away, even though it is a travel book. And not one critic has suggested that illustrations would have improved it, which hopefully means that the words were enough on their own.
There are brownie points for anyone who can think of a suitable image to illustrate this post!!