2008-04-02

The Fifth Column: First Year In Review - The Commentary

The Fifth Column has become perhaps not what I was hoping for when I first planned on writing Internet columns when I retired, which was to make a real name for myself with my self-assessed great writing. But a lot has happened since then, primarily the invention of the blog and the proliferation of blogs and bloggers, including many more dedicated and better than I could ever hope to be. There are some really great blogs out there and I am privileged to be in their company, even as a minor blogger.

I suppose with almost 5,000 visits by 3,670 visitors in my first year of blogging I should not feel too bad. From checking my stats I do have a sense that I do have some regular visitors and I know some bloggers have linked to me, either to the blog itself or particular posts. I do feel good about that. My biggest disappointment is in the lack of comments and I am not sure how to interpret that.

I do wish I had a greater sense of who was reading the blog and why and how many regular readers I have. I plan to post some poll questions in the near future to try to assess my readership better.

The blog did seem to take off, relatively, when I started posting daily (weekends and holidays excluded), in September, as well as when I became listed on Progressive Bloggers and New Democrats Online. I try to post at least one substantial post a week as well as shorter observations on the other days. I do not always follow the pattern and sometimes it is primarily medium length commentaries that get posted. I wonder if trying to post daily reduces the quality of the posts but then I think if I consider myself a blogger I should be able to have something to say everyday.

My blog also tends to be not just a political blog but to sometimes be a more personal blog.

The main thing that keeps me writing for a relatively limited audience is that I am also writing for myself. One of the first jobs I applied for after university was as a journalist but I did not get that job. Then I ended up working for the House of Commons where I was paid to read what Members of Parliament said and figure out what it meant. I left when the job was essentially dumbed down by new technology that allowed the work to be done faster by fewer people. The blog gives me a chance to write and express my own opinions after reading and analyzing other’s opinions for most of my life.

Lately I have found myself, more excited about blogging and thinking of more things to write about, even thinking that perhaps I should post on more than one subject per day. One thing I do try to do is to not just follow the “party line” but analyze the situation and call things as I see them - to be a progressive minded, but independent blogger.

1 comment:

zoom said...

The comments are the icing on the blogging cake, aren't they? Congratulations on your first year - in many ways the first year is the toughest. One thing I learned from my first year is that you can't resist a blog's tendency to evolve into something different from what you originally intended it to be.

Cheers,
zoom