About me and the “other” blog site
February 2, 2011Posted by on
The story of how I got involved in blogging is a bit convoluted and having decided to do so some two or three years ago I eventually settled on the site called ‘My Telegraph’ (MyT), which was set up and sponsored by The Telegraph. My reasons for this were that it seemed to be the best offering on an on-line National Daily Newspaper. Providing an opportunity (I thought) to display any latent talent (journalistic or otherwise) on a site that would, occasionally, place selected posts from the MyT site in The Telegraph on-line front page.
On reflection, I think The Telegraph was hoping for some quality contributions, which in fact did appear quite often on the MyT site. I’m sure that in this, The Telegraph expected to attract an international audience to the on-line newspaper through MyT, and no doubt they had some success in this regard. Understandably, The Telegraph’s interest was primarily of a commercial nature. However, web sites are somewhat of a Pandora’s Box, which once opened releases that which can’t be put back in. MyT has undergone a number of transformations in the time that I have been posting on it, but each attempt to improve the site, both technically and in the quality of the material posted, seems like one step forward and two steps back.
While The Telegraph has been willing to fund the technical, and often questionable, development of the MyT site, they have shown little interest in the moderation of contributions to the site. What moderation is visible, seems timid in the extreme. Having avoided blog sites and chat rooms over a number of years, my experience when looking for a blog site took me by complete surprise. For the most part, blog sites are de-facto chat rooms in which the better quality sites are moderated quite strongly. This is understandable when you see the rabid and vituperative comments that accompany some postings, and indeed that are included with some of the postings. Such comments and postings are encouraged by the anonymity that most blog sites offer. Preventing subscriber traceability between those subscribing to a site is a reasonable precaution , but hardly one between a national newspaper and subscribers to its sponsored site. This is the case with The Telegraph as the MyT site sponsor, resulting in excessive spam, trolling, ad hominem, et al. Perhaps the greatest surprise to me still, is the territorial attitude held by the ‘soi disant old guard’ on a site, as though blog postings were under their aegis. In addition there is what I can only describe as the ‘alpha male syndrome’, though not restricted by gender.
You would have thought that even the most rudimentary research that may have been undertaken by The Telegraph would have shown this. Instead of the Telegraph establishing a procedure that would see a quality site develop and grow, it seems to be directing MyT like a Dickensian Mr Micawber, constantly travelling in the hope that ‘something will turn up’. In my view, the MyT site is probably at its lowest ebb since its inception. I stay with it because there is a core of people, now albeit very small, whom I have become acquainted with over my two or more years of MyT membership. Unfortunately most such people, and especially those who assisted The Telegraph in the setting up and the launch of MyT, have migrated to an alternative site. Nevertheless, MyT remains a site with a potential that has yet to be realised.
My first impressions of MyT from two years ago, were somewhat expressed in my parody on ‘The Major General’s song’ from The Pirate’s of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan. My most recent impression of MyT is expressed in The Rime of the Nascent Maunderer:
It is a nascent Maunderer
And he stoppeth on MyT
“My God you’re weird” they all did cry,
“Is this a ‘pop’ at me”?
“The blogrooms pores may open wide,
But we are of thick skin,
We’ll best you yet, you’ll soon regret,
Deciding to come in”.
He scolds them all this MyT band,
“You’re in for it”, quoth he.
“Sod off, you’re crazy you buffoon”.
“Poltroons”, came back from he.
He holds them, twittering forbye,
All MyT best do chill,
They listen to his ramblings wild,
Till Maunderer is still.
The MyT best with hearts of stone,
Let out a mighty cheer,
But on he spake this nascent man,
No tongue-tied maunder ‘ere.