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Friday, 20 February 2015

We Lost One Of The Greats This Month...


I've held off posting anything for a couple of weeks in case Clare changed her mind, but it looks as though the inspirational Three Beautiful Things blog is no more.

Run by Clare - my former housemate, the wife of one of my oldest friends and the mother of my godson, Alec, and his sister, Bettany - this world-famous blog celebrated its tenth anniversary last year but went on hiatus at the end of 2014 with the promise of returning in the New Year.

However, earlier this month, with little fanfare, Clare posted a simple "final curtain" saying the blog wouldn't be back.

For ten years, Clare recorded daily (well, almost daily) three positive observations - in a way that was evocative and poignant, without being saccharine - sparking a whole sub-genre of blogging.

There are currently around 214 other people around the globe copying her idea and recording their own "three beautiful things" on their blogs.

Clare's covered everything from monumental family events - such as weddings (including her own to Nick) and the birth of her two children - down to the minutiae of everyday life.

Columnist John Naish of The Times once used 3BT as an example of how to cope with the current sense of doom and gloom embracing the world, saying that people should visit Clare's blog "to see an expert gratitude-spotter at work".

The blog also earned Clare a top spot in Saga's poll of the Wisest Of The Wise.

Back in 2007, when HeroPress was still young, I interviewed Clare for my Six Of The Best feature and a couple of the questions related to Three Beautiful Things (3BT):
(1) When did you start blogging and what was the inspiration for 3BT?

I started blogging in May 2004 because everyone else at my (newish) job seemed to have a blog and I didn't want to stand out. The other blogs were a lot more imaginative - office safe porn, mashups and two German brothers arguing about which Beegee was the best.

(2) How did you initially go about promoting 3BT and did you ever expect it to become a global phenomenon?

I never expected it to become a global phenomenon. I talked about it a lot (having an easy-to-type-address helped with this). I commented on other people's blogs; I put a link in my email signature. I signed up for a few blog lists, but I'm not convinced they helped. I think getting myself mentioned on a few 'hub' blogs helped tremendously. Things really kicked off when I got a mention on the front page of blogger - I have no idea what I did to deserve that, but my hits went from 70 a day to about 8,000. They've settled at around 150 now, which I'm happy with.
Never flashy or ostentatious, 3BT rarely featured graphics (just the occasional book cover or other pertinent snaps), when it could easily have become overrun by pictures of Clare and Nick's children. It never even had a fancy logo. It didn't need this stuff. Clare's words alone managed to attract almost 600 Followers to the blog, and many more via other social media outlets.

I'm honoured to say I wrote a guest post on 3BT once, and the Tuesday Knights' games night - at which Clare has been a regular participant since it began - has been an occasional 'beautiful thing', as well as the moments I get to share with my godson when I pop over to their house in Tunbridge Wells or the family comes to visit us here.

I'm glad to see that Clare hasn't given up on blogging completely and promises she'll post the odd item on bclarelaw.blogspot.com, but I will miss my daily dose of beautiful things.

6 comments:

  1. Blog gone but at least your friendship isn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Real life - the primary handicap for all regular bloggers ;)

      Delete
    2. Did she get bored with her blog or run out of things to say?

      Delete
    3. I asked Clare about this at the weekend and she said it had become a chore. We agreed that if you are no longer enjoying blogging it's counter-productive to keep doing it, especially when the tone of the blog is to accentuate the positive in life.

      Delete

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