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Monday, July 25, 2005 

A Few Words from The Editor

Wow. 1,000 visitors, and that's only since I put in the hit counter. Many thanks to those who linked, those who read and those who commented. All appreciated, guys (and gals!). I have, in turn, done my best to un-mangle my bog-trotter grammar and chk my splling sum mre. In addition to (ahem) adapting a more legible Blogger template than the one the Free Stater blog started with.

I promised someone (a while ago) my own humble little thoughts on this whole 'blogging' business. Here they are: it's nowhere near as powerful as you think, and it's more influential than you think. How can that be?

Because most bloggers aren't read by anything more than a tiny slice of the Internet community, who in turn are a tiny slice of 'real' society. And yet in the States they've become a peculiarly effective tool at manipulating the gossipy, insider world of the 'real' media - who do set the public discourse. It'll take a good while longer in non-First Amendment countries, but as the arena sorts out the professional wheat from the amateur chaff you'll see the better-known bloggers start to get referenced as more than novelty pieces. (Of course, you could cheat)

Am I a blog evangelist, then? No. People should realise that blogging is just a tool, no better or worse than the brains behind it. Most of the top US political bloggers are 'someone' in their own right outside of this hypertexted medium, with either genuine expertise/talent, insider connections or that one great Idea. And for all the bragging on Powerline, they're reliant on the real media to provide them with nearly all of the content and controversy they chew over.

Blogging is a self-publishing medium with a low threshold (the costs of being able to use a computer connected to the Internet). That's it, that's all. It's up to people to create something interesting with it. Find your niche. Write to your strengths.

UPDATE: more reality-checking from Sigla.

Finally, a little treat for some of you out there to chuckle over. As the (former) regular commentator hands from the 'Freedom Institute' blog will recall, the impetus for this blog was my getting tired of the heavy censorship (and outright deletions) which have become the norm with the wilting flowers over there. Who can dish it out (under sock-puppet aliases) but, alas, can't seem to take it.

So, just imagine my guffaws at the sheer chutzpah on display when I fired up Safari and discovered the following FI announcement:

"Announcing Comment of the Week
There have been lots of really great contributions in the comments of late. As you'll know if you read them, they're a good mix - often critical, but usually constructive. Many are excellent and we're very grateful for them. We've decided that once a week or so we'll be posting the 'Comment of the Week' which is our way of recognizing top-drawer comments and to give them a second outing. There aren't any specific criteria we'll be doing this by, but likely contenders will be substantial, on-topic, constructive, and well-informed, adding value that wouldn't be there otherwise. Agreeing or disagreeing with the FI's position isn't a consideration [...]"


"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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