For several years, one of the most practically useful of all canal blogs has been Neil Corbett's Herbie.
He has not just kept a cruising log or diary, although it's one of the best of its type. He has frequently given step-by-step details on the practical problems of boat owning.
Or in the words of the blog title: 'Journeys on our narrowboat and the trials and tribulations of maintaining her'.
For example, Neil devised the manual Canalometers, that give the approximate times for cruising between points on certain waterways.
He recorded his attempt to design and build a folding cratch table.
And for those thinking of repainting their own narrowboat, he recorded his experience of repainting the entire upper-hull of Herbie in 2010, starting with Planning the big paint.
It's all great stuff, since it helpfully answers the many DIY questions of other boaters.
Now Neil has written How to print your blog, a post about how he had the first three years of his blog printed as a book.
Next time I have to fill in a form declaring my occupation I shall put 'Author', for I have finished a book. The problem is:
a) only one copy exists, and
b) you have already read quite a bit of it.
He used the service Blog2Print, which try to make the process as simple as possible.
All you do is, give them the name of your blog and it’s URL, select the dates you want printed, choose a cover etc. and press a button. After a short wait, the book appears on screen and you can leaf through to look it over, then order the print and pay them quite a bit of money.
The quality of the binding, paper and printing is very good, and there is a useful index giving the page numbers by post title.
There is just one snag. It is not cheap. Not even a bit cheap.
He's bashful about admitting how much the first three years of his blog cost to print. But if you are practised at staring at taxi cab meters, you can probably work it out yourself.
The meter starts ticking at (US) $25 for a hard cover including first 20 pages, with 35c for each extra page.
Herbie 2006-2009 is about 270 pages, so that's about $112, which is not far shy of £80.
Neil says that overall, he's really pleased:
I thought it was worth it as a keepsake, and I have enjoyed browsing through, as have the friends who have seen it.
The book took a while to arrive, and when it did, there was water damage to the packet that affected one corner of the book.
The water damage is visible in the top corner of the picture below, and Neil says Blog2Print have agreed to a free reprint. However, he didn't notice - until I pointed it out to him - that the page he opened at random was headlined 'Splash and grab'!
Is it worth it to get your blog printed like this? Well, it's a record of a life aboard, and represents less than £30 a year, and I think that's a small price to pay for immortalising your experience in a library.
Plus, think of the cost of a computer consultant in trying to recover an accidentally deleted blog.
Of course, you've got to put the effort into writing the blog in the first place. And to make it as interesting and useful as Herbie.
Colour or B/W?
Neil says it's a lot cheaper if you choose black & white for your blog print, rather than colour - perhaps only a third of the cost.
How much colour is there in your life? For Neil, in the first volume of the Herbie blog, clearly a lot.
However, he may change his mind about the need for a colour blog when it comes to Volume Two. In April 2010, as the repainting of Herbie neared completion, in his post 'Paintfest day 7 - we glimpse the real colour', he wrote:
So, now we see the main colour of the sides of the boat, a dark graphite grey which will be surrounded by a lighter grey border.