Friday, October 05, 2007

I am 1

Hard to believe, I know, but 'Scots and Independent' celebrates its first birthday today. Yes indeedy, together with fellow 'Nat Pack' bloggers Tartan Hero, Davie Hutchison, and Mark McDonald, I've now been ploughing this online furrow for a whole year.

I have to confess, the blog very nearly didn't make it out of the maternity ward. Although I'd been writing for the 'Scots Independent' newspaper and associated 'Flag In The Wind' website for a good few years beforehand, I'd always managed to resist the temptations of blogging, probably because when I'd first had the concept explained to me years before, it had been as an online diary. Which I suppose, in a way it really is, or at least is if you want it to be.

Frankly, it all seemed a bit voyeuristic and self indulgent. So when an SNP press officer badgered me to do a short blog for last year's SNP Conference in Perth, it was my intention to do it as a sort of 'conference diary' type of thing for the duration, before stopping again as quickly as I'd started and getting back to the real world.

But something strange happened. I started to read and leave comments on other blogs. People started to reciprocate. I found that I actually quite enjoyed being able to rattle out a couple of hundred words whenever I felt like it, on whatever I felt like discussing, instead of turning it into 850 words of highly polished prose complete with sub-headings and text-breaks. And so, I kept on going. And despite a bout of writers block for a few days round Christmas, I've managed to keep things going with a post every couple of days or so pretty much ever since.

Although the main theme here is clearly politics, after getting past the 'conference diary' thing, I didn't really have much of an idea of how it should develop, so just left the blog to take on whatever character eventually emerged. That said, blogging as someone who works for politicians has left me treading a fine line sometimes.

I freely admit that I don't always commit to HTML every thought that crosses my mind, and I sometimes have to pull my punches a bit, not least because since I put a name to everything I do, it could therefore be used to damage those who employ me. Accordingly, the catharsis of occasionally being able to really let rip, sadly, can never be mine, at least not here. You'll just have to buy me a pint and wind me up in the pub instead if you want the benefit of more trenchant commentary.

Equally, I didn't want to end up with some sanitised piece of relentlessly on-message nonsense - some intellectual cyber-morgue which had no higher ambition than to simply regurgitate party press releases. For that reason, I've tried to share ideas, thoughts, virals and the like, which either interest or amuse me, while trying not to be too partisan (well OK, maybe just a wee bit!) in the process. While the result has been a bit untidy and eclectic at times, hopefully, like its author strives to, it's managed to be serious when needed, but without ever taking itself too seriously.

Anyway, if the SNP conference hadn't been put back until later this month, the aforementioned 'Nat Pack' could have been supping pints tonight to toast a year of keyboard-bashing. As it is, we'll just have to wait until later in the month. In the meantime, a big thank you to everyone who either links, comments, or reads what appears here. Without your feedback, the blogosphere would be pretty lonely, and not nearly such a fun place to be. Cheers!

1 comment:

Bill said...

Congratulations! :)