Among many cards and messages recently, a fair few friends have asked after this blog. After four heavy years, December has been my month off blogging, aided by three realities — an extended educational development trip to India, the need to do a bit more work elsewhere, and curiosity about taking a break. That and the Day job.
Any result? This is how things are shaping up, at the start of a new year of Grace...
- Over the autumn I have put more time into Facebook, as a more interactive space in which it has been possible to explore some in depth conversations.
- I've certainly decided that having a very open policy on responding to friend requests on FB is an excellent wheeze, and much of the goof-about stuff I had been using this blog for as a kind of commonplace book, is probably better done through FaceBook. Friend me, and I will friend you, er, friend.
- I have finally disconnected from Fleet Street. When the Times paywall came in, I subscribed, mainly because someone’s got to pay for journalism and it could have been a fruitful way to go. I've let the sub go now, mainly because it was adding little value to my life. The upside was occasional pieces of themost superb journalism — Simon Barnes, I will miss you, sir. The downside was a tedious sense of being trapped at a fundamentally narrow andsuperficial party, surrounded by low grade right wing bores, stories spun up in a hurry, often lifted from the internet or agencies anyway, a dreadfully sparse and low standard of scientific, historical, educational and religious reporting. By December I noticed I could only be bothered to download the Times once a fortnight, out of a sense of duty. Why? I wondered. So I stopped. Mr Murdoch, I sucked it and saw. Now I’m out of here.
- Twitter has been my space of choice for immediate news, keeping up with events and opinions, and reportage.
- The odd meeting or event, anything with potential news value, has proved to be well worth tweeting, and I have been using Twitter to trawl reactions and opinions all over the place.
- If I worked at a desktop rather than being out and about so much, I might use Twitter even more, but certainly it remains my best immediate reaction and comment source, to listen as much as to talk. I use Echofon to thread conversations on iPad and iPhone.
- What is best done on this blog, however, are short comment pieces with the opportunity for follow-up conversations. As to frequency, I had been writing a piece then seeing through conversations arising from it until they dried up then sticking another on.
That seems to me the way to go. Twice a week? Let’s see...