Thursday, April 04, 2013

The importance of the individual writer and blogger

In one of those give away phrases that shows where my thoughts are heading, on my public Facebook page I used the phrase "Media/News/Publishing" as the short tag before the more detailed description. In this context, the two pieces I wrote yesterday (Sniffyness abounds in New England - Joyce, Windsor, Torbay, Katter and McIntyre - and the Express has fun! and The political importance of New England - a primer) I had a useful reaction on twitter. four retweets  and two new followers. Of the retweets, one came from a NSW National Party MP, a second from the Sydney Branch of the Party, a third from a journalist.

Now in the broad scheme of things, that's tiny, but for my little empire its quite big. Nine of my followers are journalists, excluding fellow bloggers and writers. Just in purely New England terms, one new follower was Claire Coulton (@claire_coulton). Adam Marshall (@A_J_Marshall) was already following me, so I now have the two presently leading National Party candidates for the Northern Tablelands seat on my follower list.

I know that that all this sounds minor, and indeed New England is only one slice of the things that I write on, but it does keep me in touch. It is also part of my readership platform across all my outlets (print, blogs, Facebook and twitter). In all this, I am slowly learning to write for particular audiences and indeed particular readers. Its quite difficult at times and indeed not especially profitable. But its also part of the process by which we individual bloggers and writers more broadly can have an influence.

I have made the point before that our personal influence will always be limited, although sometimes each of us can have an impact. However, it's the collective influence based on interaction that is important. It's the value that each of us adds to the other.

I guess that's the point of my little boast, of my wish to share it with you. I suppose that I want all of you to keep writing (I have just been cleaning out my blog list and am conscious of burn-out among us), to explore your views. I also want you to continue contributing to others, to promoting stories and people that you consider to be important.

You don't have to agree with them, just that they have said something worthwhile or interesting. Give recognition, engage. Then you provide an alternative voice.

This post has gone in a different direction from that I intended. I had actually intended to segue into the changes at News and Fairfax. Still, perhaps it's no worse for that.   


Japji Travels said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

I'm wondering if you've ever struck a problem which I seem to run up against sometimes, and am smarting about presently: that of my innate politeness being mistaken for either weakness or just plain naivety?

Or perhaps it's just me being overly sensitive to the 'between the lines' dismissal of comment made in good faith.


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi kvd. Yes, it happens and in a variety of fields. On the second, I hope that it wasn't me?!

Anonymous said...

No Jim, not you.

I just wondered if you'd come upon it in your travels. The particular turn-off I have is sentences beginning with "in the real world'.

Anyhoo - avagoodweegend.


Jim Belshaw said...

Good. In the real world, kvd, anybody who begins a response with in the real world can probably be safely ignored!