Born Free or Why I blog

I am not sure whether this is a momentous occasion or not. This is post number 701.
It may be a good time to take stock and think about the purpose of blogging - or rather, my purpose for blogging:

1. I enjoy writing extemporaneously about general topics of interest that inform my work and area of activity.

Sometimes the conversations I have in the blog are those that I would not have in other contexts. In part this is because, unlike real-world conversations, I can set the agenda without diversion - unless I want to. The 'conversation' in blogs is discrete from the kind you might otherwise encounter because the comments of others are post post.

In any case, I call the blog ThoughtSpurs because, hopefully the material will provoke your thoughts and ideas on topics that promote your own creativity and enquiry (which are inter-related). I may be talking into a void most of the time - but if just one person thinks different as a result, then my mission has been a success.

2. I like to write. Free form journalling in a public space is something of a discipline as well as a distraction. But it does require a certain commitment.

3. I look back over the posts and I have a record of the things that have interested me since I began - tentatively - to post in November 2004. I don't have as complete a record of any other time in the preceding 41 years.

4. I have connected with several people around the world I would not otherwise have 'met'. While it is fun to give a map the measles (like stamp collecting when I was a child) it is not quantity that matters so much as quality. The people who have come looking in desperation for Led Zeppelin tickets following my comment that Led Zep are reuniting to play the Ertegun benefit in the Millennium Dome has attracted a lot of visitors are 'traffic' but not really the audience and I am sorry if I have disappointed them. I don't really care about total numbers. (I can measure key word use from my traffic reports - I use the excellent free, invisible counter)

The criticisms of blogging by the likes of Andrew Keen - that we destroy culture when we pay attention to bloggers - is utter codswallop and demonstrates a lack of understanding of both culture and economics. Neither are static. Anthropologists, who study cultures, don't entirely devote their attention to whatever the local equivalent of the Elgin Marbles or Mona Lisa is. They observe the high and low aspects of life and form a more richly shaded view (higher resolution).

If you imagine that 'culture' is a preserve or reservation where only the refined (according to your taste) have a place then your view of the world is like a kids petting zoo, rather than a broad savanna.

When we blog we are the culture (or an aspect of it) and a reflection of it at the same time.

The Luddites may not like that - especially those who haughtily assume that the media was theirs as of divine right.

The clever amongst them will adapt. As I have quoted before "If you don't like change - you'll like irrelevance even less."


  1. Congrats on passing the 700 mark David.

    Your point about connecting with people around the world is, I believe, one of the unexpected benefits/pleasures of being a blogger.

    It's been great getting to know you, even though I've never actually met you.



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