Monday, September 17, 2007

Neil's English/ESL blog recognised - my congratulations

I tried to post a congrats comment on Neil's (Ninglun's) personal blog but met with a system failure that stopped me posting. Still, I think that it deserves a full post in its own right.

In an earlier post I spoke of the University of Blogging, comparing the world of blogging to the type of stimulation that I got at university before the days of the mass sausage machine. One element of this were blogs of a very high standard, blogs that both challenged and provided a resource.

Neil's English/ESL - and more is one such blog. Now I see that this blog is achieving recognition within the profession.

Blogs like this one do not just arise. They require work, thought and passion.

Not all of us want our blogs to become core reference points. The blogosphere is vast, with many niches. But for independents like Neil who want their blogs to matter, the way is long and hard.

I am not quite sure when Neil established the blog that has become English/ESL - and more. 2002? Since then there has been post after post.

Those of us who blog on a regular basis know just how hard it is to maintain regular content. It requires focus. It also requires a willingness to go on, even when you are not sure that your material is being read or is even of the right standard.

I am not sure how the blogosphere will evolve. I do believe, however, that there will be a small number of high quality blogs that will become benchmarks in particular areas. I also believe that blogs and blogging will become a central element in intellectual debate in ways that we can still perceive but dimly.

So congratulations, Neil. You set a hard benchmark for those of us who want to follow your route.


Anonymous said...

WordPress had a few woes over the past day or two, but your comment got through.

The blog began as some class pages in 2001 -- there's a funny story about that here. That entry preserves the original guest book where comments like this came from the students: "I realy have to reiterate that the page is gettin really really long, whitfield u really need to do something about it and put some links up for other pages. say one for AQOTWF, one for war poems, one for racism stuff. the page takes too @#%$! long to load up." He was right, actually.

In 2002 it moved from Angelfire to Tripod and became an ESL resource for me as the "Sydney Boys High School English and ESL Pages". A blog was added. The name changed as a kind of announcement of retirement.

Tripod is still there, but not added to any more. I moved most of it over to WordPress in December last year.

Jim Belshaw said...

That's interesting Neil. I knew a little of the history, of course, but not the full story. You never quite know how things will pan out!