Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Blogging The Blog 13: Still Here After 5 Years

I have worried right throughout 2012 that I would run out of things to post in this blog.  I suppose if it dies from lack of issues to discuss then it dies.  Today, however, it is more about acknowledging the fact that five years on from beginning this blog it is still active.  As I wrote back in 2007 the typical life of a blog is 3 months.  It serves a particular focus and then it expires.  Blogs that last longer have something that keeps sustaining them.  I guess this is one reason why there are more blogs about fashion than anything else.  Fashion keeps changing, new styles come in, old ones are revived again and in between time there is room for lots of discussion not only about what the style looks like and how much it costs but how it looks on the blogger and other contributors to the site.  There is a constant refreshing of topics.

My blog has generally lack that regular refuelling.  In the first couple of years there was a large backlog of things that had been on my mind for many years.  Getting them on to this blog got them out of my system and I found that was good for establishing piece of mind.  In addition, bringing in my back catalogue of fiction, reminiscences and travel journals and photographs provided more material.  However, both of these sources were effectively 'fossil fuels' for the blog.  Similar sources were the various maps that I uncovered or 'borrowed' to put on this blog, though new ones do occasionally appear.  Counter-factual discussions are a finite source, but there are so many remaining that I could simply just do them as postings for the rest of this year and not run out.  Other more 'renewable' sources of discussion have come from the news.  The insane period in terms of the global economy and British politics we have experienced over the past five years and the deepening of social trends bubbling up since the 1990s have been a basis of discussion which is regularly renewing.  It is interesting how many people I have spoken to have felt that British society has seen a marked deterioration, primarily in respect over this period.  The UK in 2012 is certainly a much less pleasant place to live in even than it was in 2002.  That decade has also seen a decline in opportunities and the worsening of the quality of living for ordinary people.

Against this background, my own woes have provided far more postings than I ever would have envisaged back in May 2007.  At that stage we had been compelled to leave the house we had rented due to the landlord divorcing, but I was not yet aware of the fact that the landlord of the place we moved to had already defaulted on the mortgage and his father who acted as agent was set to intimidate us for months.  I was not aware either that I was going to go through two periods of redundancy and encounter two incredibly nasty line managers, though given what I have said in the paragraph above about the deterioration of the economy and British society, maybe I could have foreseen that that would have impacts on me personally.  If our landlord had behaved decently and if someone else rather than me had been selected for the first redundancy or even if I had been able to find work more quickly after that, then a lot of the entries on this blog would be missing. 

Now I once again face both losing my job and my house.  In many ways I am weary of the instability that the past six years have brought and just wish I had had less material for this blog.  On the other hand, without this blog, I know that I would have handled things far less effectively.  This blog has been a great release for me.  It is like a diary but one freed in large part from chronological constraints.  Not only has writing about the bad things that have happened to me provided release, it has also provided support, some of which has been featured in the comments on this blog but has also been 'offline' in emails.  It may be wrong to air one's troubles but the benefits have been great for me and I have no regret in doing so.  Perhaps in some cases it has even helped others to see they are not alone in experiencing these challenges.

I do think that this blog is nearing the end of its natural life.  My own life does not seem to be approaching any degree of stability and given the economic climate may not do so for many years from now.  However, I am finding that I have covered so many topics, that 'new' things I turn to write about seem very much like what I have written before.  Perhaps updates are all that will come to this blog in the future.  Of course, much of what I have discussed here is not what attracts the largest audience to this blog.  Certainly it seems that if I want to gain fame for this blog I should simply write essays on James Bond movies.  This along with counter-factual analysis which can be used in school level essays appear to be the main draws.  Naturally it was never about the audience, it was more about a the anger/despair management that blogging provides and this blog has done that service very well.

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