In June this year, in the midst of the NSA scandal, Angela Merkel made the mistake of describing the internet as ‚Neuland‘, literally new land, but really more unchartered territory. The twitterati, bloggers and media-types found this instantly amusing. ‚#Neuland‘ was irresistible fodder for quips and banter for a number of days. But for the rest of us, this unfortunate turn of phrase is not so far from the truth.

In the last few weeks, I have trawled through forums about the various blog themes, watched a tutorial about WordPress and even read a book about blogging. All of this is definitely unchartered territory for me. And the new world? That has to be the discovery of the blogoshpere, which is mind-bogglingly expansive. It has meant a glimpse into the lives, travels, experiences and opinions of others; the tale of two sisters in Manhatten (A good hostess), the walks and beautiful photographs of a Swede wandering through the architecturally rich streets of Berlin (Sandra Juto), inspiring cookery blogs for those moments when I find time to cook (The minimalist bakery), incredibly sweet mother-child blogs (Mama Dalston), as well as the private blog of journalists (Franziskript and Indiskretion Ehrensache) who sort of act as curators through this unchartered world.

My decision to start a blog had a lot to do with the passion that my husband has for the blogging world – more so than ever now with his new career direction – which spilled over to me and made me curious. But above all, it was an underlying desire to not just be a spectator, but to take part in the unlimited conversation. I just didn’t know I would have so much fun doing it.

Sebastian Matthes (1)For years now, and acutely so since moving away from the UK, my favourite on-line news site has been the liberal voice of the Guardian – with its comprehensive cover of serious news but also trustworthy film and travel reviews, a brilliant weekly politics podcast (which I often cook to) and a Friday evening fashion videoblog (which I love starting the weekend with). I still haven’t found a German equivalent of this. As the Huffington Post Germany starts today, I’m wondering if it will fill this gap, with it’s promise not only to provide comprehensive news, but also to provide a platform for which readers can exchange with authors, and where professional journalists write alongside hobby-writers and experts from all walks of life. Good luck to the team. I’m certainly looking forward to discovering even more fascinating blogs over a cup of tea this evening.