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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
London blogger Annie Mole blogs about the ups and downs of the London Underground. In this interview, she shares her insights into blogging and her inspiration behind starting a London Underground blog
Q. Please tell us a little about yourself.
A. Born and bred Londoner, with a cat, half a law degree (the other half's in sociology) and I get paid to head up social media at Great British Chefs.
Q. What inspired you to be a blogger?
A. I'd already been writing about the Tube since 1999 from the viewpoint of a commuter and as a non trainspotter at GoingUnderground.net. However I wanted a way to update the "news" section of this static site and thought that a blog would be the best way to do this. I never expected what I thought as just a by-product of Going Underground to take on a life of its own and be more popular that what for ages I called my "main site".
Q. What do you blog about?
A. The ups and downs of the London Underground. It's a warts and all commuters' look at what goes on. Where possible I try to get us to look at something we usually take for granted a little differently or in a way that makes people think: "Yes I'm glad I wasn't the only person that thought that."
Q. How long have you been blogging?
A. I started the blog in January 2003, so this is its 10th year - which still surprises me that I've kept it going for so long.
Q. How would you describe your blogging style?
A. Difficult question. I suppose when I'm positive you could call it "wry", at its most negative it's "long suffering".
Q. What inspired you to start a London-centric blog?
A. Not sure who it was who said write about what you know. But as I often feel like I've spent half of my life travelling on the Tube, it seemed a reasonable topic to cover. When I first began writing about the Tube, the only other sites around were mainly pictures of trains and rolling stock. I was conscious there was nothing for the millions of people like myself who were daily commuters with stories to tell. People act as though they're in a bubble when they're on the Tube and that no one else can see them. This is far from true, there's usually someone who's noticing what you do - the Tube's a great place to people watch. I also like seeing what happens when lots of people are forced to spend time in a space they want to be in for a short of time as possible, with people from all walks of life they wouldn't normally come into contact with.
Q. Who are your favourite London bloggers?
A. Ianvisits , Brian Pigeon and TiredofLondon - all three blog by themselves and have been doing it for years. It's hard to be a lone blogger and keep up interesting content for years and for that alone I applaud them. They're also very nice people too (admittedly one's a pigeon - but I've met him and he's a good laugh).
Q. What does London mean to you?
A. London to me is home. I've hardly spent much of my life outside of London or at least not walking distance from a Tube station. I'm very proud of the city in the main, which is why things like last year's London riots & 2005's attacks on the city upset me so much. I love the fact that London is generally more tolerant of people than people outside of London would believe. We're not a bunch of selfish navel gazing Southerners but can often rally round and support our neighbours when the chips are down.
Q. How would you describe London in 3 words?
A. Fastmoving, old and unpredictable
Get more of Annie's thoughts on the London Underground on Twitter @AnnieMole and see her blog at www.london-underground.blogspot.co.uk