Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Happy Blog day!
It is one year since I started this whole blogging thing. Originally, my main focus was on football, Man City and Sven-Göran Eriksson, and it's been quite a year for him as well as for me, though I have drifted away slightly from the beautiful game in my musings, and he has ended up (again) several million pounds richer and living in Mexico. Somewhat different paths, but there you go.
In every close season I start feeling a bit fed up with football, and this year it's worse than ever because it really does seem as if what little heart and soul left in the game has evaporated. Every other story seems to be about who's buying out which club, which massively overpaid 'star' is moving to or from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, whatever, and what the players' female companions (I refuse to use the term'WAG' on principle) are wearing, buying, selling...
As for City, I'm not, and - ahem - have never been, happy about Shinawatra being in charge of the team, and in common with Simon Hattenstone, am pondering a divorce from the club. It's very hard to tear oneself away even so, and I know that I will still be watching the results at a quarter to five on a Saturday afternoon. That's if any games are going to actually kick off at 3.00 on a Saturday in future. Despite protests from some critics I will probably post more about footy. So there!
I have been asked 'How do you find the time?' To which I can only shrug and say that I make the time. Sometimes a subject burns with me, so that I feel compelled to write about it, others I write when I'm in the mood, building up a post over time and scheduling publication for later.
But perhaps more interestingly, I have been asked 'Why do you do it?'
And why do I do it indeed? When I started, I had been reading some forums for a while, mostly Metafilter and Comment Is Free, and was really taken by the way that a discussion could develop with the participation of the readers, becoming something quite different to what it had originally been. I think -dredging up stuff from my college days - that it's called intertextuality. Most tellingly in this vein has been the development of Seth Freedman's views on the Israel/Palestine conflict. It is worth spending some time (if you have any) reading about this, I think. So, where MeFi often made me laugh, CiF often made me angry, and I joined both in order to be able to express my opinions. It seemed a logical step after that to set up a forum of my own. Of course, Blogger being a free service, and a couple of clicks away, certainly helped.
I have always wanted to be a writer (though I'm under no illusions as to my abilities) and a year or so ago, on the back of a redundancy and an uncertain personal future, vaguely thought that I might be able to make a living out of internet publishing someday. Now, a year on, I'm under no illusions on that score either. It doesn't look like I'll be pulling a Kottke-esque blog wage anytime soon. But it doesn't matter. Blogging has given me the opportunity to tell a small but loyal audience how I'm feeling, what's been going on in my life, and I hope raise the occasional smile or provoke the occasional thought. The best thing about it has been the (admittedly rare) occasions when two friends who don't know each other have started a discussion in the comments section, and I have become a bystander in my own blog. That there is one commenter who is able to hold a (usually surreal) conversation with himself is neither here nor there, but it certainly brings a smile to my face when I read his comments.
Just a few stats to finish. I have posted 146 times in this past year, with November 07 the month with the most posts (22).
The most commented on post was entitled Easter My Worries from the 21st of March this year with 27 comments made. After 'football' (50 tags) and 'city' (45 tags) the highest tag is 'politics' with 25. My favourite post is entitled Faith Hope & Charity, published in November 07. The biggest disappointment is always when I put in a deal of effort to build a detailed post and am confronted with tumbleweed blowing across a dusty plain, or worse, people don't bother to click on the hyperlinks. When that happens, I try to think about how often I actually read 'non professional' blogs myself and then carry on.
I hope you've enjoyed it, at least some of the time, as much as I have. I aim to carry on for a while. When I (finally) reach 5,000 hits I know that I'll be thinking about hitting 10,000.