I have been a regular user of social media since 2010. After a period of time I began to post my political observations and my quotations on Facebook and Twitter (I had been in the habit of writing them down over many years) under the titles MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY or AND ANOTHER THOUGHT. Here are two recent examples.
AND ANOTHER THOUGHT
The Governments response to the MH17 plane disaster and their treatment of Asylum Seekers makes for an interesting comparison. In the first instance I detect an open compassion even though it has an eye on the camera. In the second a complete absence of any.
MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Life is an experience of random often unidentifiable patterns and indiscriminate consequences that don’t always have order nor require explanation. The more we relate to others the more we get to know ourselves”.
Over a period of time I have built up a fairly large following of people from many walks of life both here and overseas. It is not unusual for me to get 100 responses to my posts.
I have spoken to some internationally on the phone and met for coffee with others in Melbourne. It would be fair to say that some have become close friends.
Gradually I started to expand on my political commentary and wrote a rather lengthy piece on Tony Abbott. It was first seen by respected journalist Alan Austin who encouraged me to write some more saying I should write a blog. A foreign word for me at the time. Then I had a message from Michael Taylor asking me to confirm that I had written the article and requesting that he publish it on his blog. He added a few extra facts to it and low and behold it went through the roof with 10,000 reads.
Overnight I became a blogger. That was in December 2012. Since that time I have published approximately 120 articles on many subjects together with my short stories and poetry.
I had joined the team at THE AIMN. I thought I had better educate myself as to what blogging was all about so I read some articles by Michael and a book titled “The Rise of the Fifth Estate” by Greg Jericho. “Café Whispers” gets a mention.
I looked at different blogs and realised the potential of the medium. The quality of the writing, and I was impressed by its capacity to give voice to people who really had something to say and who otherwise would not be heard.
What a joy it has been to write for THE AIMN. An online blog that is now ranked third in Australia of the independent blogs of its category. It is now approaching 5 million reads in a bit over 18months. Personally I think I am approaching 400,000 but other writers enjoy higher readership.
In some ways it reminds me of an old fashioned Sunday lunch where the whole family gets together for a roast. Many subjects are discussed and different views digested. They are not palatable to some and others suffer indigestion but we all come back again to see whats on the menu. And our appetites are never filled.
Since I joined, additional writers have been added, its appearance has been enhanced and technological changes have taken place. New updates in technology, content and functionality are planned (so I’m told). For me it hasn’t all been plain sailing. I had to convert from a creative writer of short stories to a writer of some journalist merit. A fusion of both has been inevitable. It was here that my grammar was found wanting somewhat. The barrage of criticism early on took me by surprise and at first I didn’t react so well. People’s ability to go of topic, or change its course, also staggered me at times.
Often disappointment would consume me when I thought I had written something worthwhile only to find little interest. Conversely I would write a crappy piece and it would go through the roof.
But what makes this blog the success that it is, is not its appearance, or its quality writers, or indeed the formidable amount of work the administrators do.
Its achievement can be measured by its followers who are many. They have the capacity to critic with reason, sometimes wit, and with expansion of argument at times that uplifts articles beyond their initial intention. We might argue, debate and disagree but it usually is well mannered discourse. Mind you I don’t see the comments that go to the trash bin.
This all brings me to the responses I had to my piece “My Last Post”. At the time of writing there have been 104 comments. I didn’t think people would take the title seriously. I was hoping to just have some form of discussion on the importance of grammar. Well I certainly got one and how enlightened it was. I learnt much from it. However, what it did empathise was the esteem in which people held me. How much they appreciated my work. So to all those who encouraged me to continue with my writing let me say thank you. I am far from perfect but I am determined. This blog and its followers makes it all worthwhile.
To Dan Rowden who made the one derogatory comment out of the 104 posted:
“John writes to a commendably good standard given his autodidactic history, but he also needs to accept that he’ll be subject to criticism given his considerable egotistical attachment to his identity as a scribe. It’s the territory”.
I would say this:
“Dan. I simply try to do my best. What I write I write in good faith. Your assumptions about my personality are completely off the mark and I am surprised at your presumption. But as you say “it’s the territory””.
A special thanks to Tim Jones the co founder of MARCH IN MARCH. A linguist who advances my love of language every day.
46 total views, 4 views today