Archive for May, 2007

A bit (more) navel gazing

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

When I was asked yesterday what I wrote about on my blog I made sure that I avoided the truth which is, nothing since mid April. The trouble is that once started there’s not a lot of point in having a blog unless you write something from time to time. I dodged the question slightly and blathered a bit about social networking and contacts and the danger passed.

There’s a nice little cartoon in this week’s Private Eye ‘ a woman and man, he ‘drone, bore, me, mine’and she ‘Oh get a blog why don’t you?’ I have myself often opined that a good many blogs are like listening to the bloke in the pub without the benefit of a drink. Why don’t I just write a diary where I could at least be more frank?

This particular question came up at a meeting on journalism and blogging that I went to at the Frontline a few weeks ago. After the Virginia Tech shootings in April some soul searching went on after the students complained that journalists were looking at their blogs and social networks – MySpace and Facebook and using these e-conversations in their stories. I heard protests from students who felt their privacy had been grievously invaded by the journalists and that they wanted to be left alone to mourn.

In the talk, there was debate about the ethics of using blogs. My view is pretty much the same as Ben Hammersley formerly of The Guardian which was “The ethics come in when you publish it in a public space like the internet. If you want it private, write it down in a book and put it under your bed”

It was a good discussion and made me think about the blog phenomenon. As it happens there is no shortage of such comment on the net and much of it highly articulate. I got a headache thinking about what to reference and what not to and did it actually make a difference. So whilst I may have blathered a bit about the social network thing, actually that is where I’m going. And I’m going to leaven the faux serious stuff with a rag bag of random thoughts which I shall then stuff into the back of an electronic drawer where it won’t be found often. The quest for my blog voice is on although it is a little reedy not to say weedy just at the moment.

Meanwhile look forward or otherwise to posts on: – Funny Little Ways, Why do People Claim that their Job Title is in their Passports, When Did You Last hear Muzac in a Supermarket , People who I have met who have been Influential in my Life , assorted stuff about children, Is Oxford a squalid little town? and what are the RFP alumni doing these days – keep in touch.