November 2004 Archives - wibbler.com
When I was at college, in amongst the hormones, alcohol and downright fun there were genuine good eggs – people who no-one had a bad word to say about, who got on with life in the happiest way possible. One of these was Jack Perschke, who I assumed would bumble through life, just being… well, nice.
So you could’ve dressed me in tights and called me Mildred when he emailed me a couple of months ago, telling me he’s grown a beard, used to be a soldier and is currently an aid worker in Afghanistan having a “mad time” clearing bombs and suchlike. He’s a bit of a photographer too – have a look at his website for a “Jack’s Eye View” (does that sound a little rude?) of his peacetime operations out there. Good luck, Jack, you crazed fool!
*Don’t be put off by the title – give it a read. It’s not often I make a post without trying to raise a titter or two.*
It’s a funny old thing with weblogs. Some are merely places to share amusing or interesting things – links, videos, pictures and the like. People click the links, laugh (or not), respond, and wait for the next gem of linkage to appear.
Many others are like online diaries – a place where the owner can put down their earth-shattering, life-changing thoughts. Throughout the day, these people have ideas, brainwaves, criticisms and thoughts involving the three main staples of life – namely jobs, relationships and family. Just like any other person, you might say – only webloggers go one stage further. They write those staple thoughts down, invite comment, purge their souls and ponder awhile.
wibbler.com has tried to be both of those things, bless it. It’s stradled the strands like a true workhorse. But I’ve come to the conclusion that a diary weblog’s effectiveness is directly proportionate to its anonymity. I’ve thought of many things to write about over the last month involving those three staples, and almost every one I’ve vetoed on the assumption that the views – or at least the public airing of those views – would be at odds with at least one of the people who read the site. I’ve even on several occasions had to remove certain posts I’d already made, when people have protested that it doesn’t quite fit in with their views (one of which I did manage to tell you about). And I suppose it’s a symptom of a successful weblog that every contentious post is bound the touch the nerve of at least one reader.
I’m sure that people who know me will now ask the obvious question. “Was it about me?” they’ll think. The probable answer is yes, more than likely, at some point I may have wanted to say something a little close to the wind involving your good self. It may even – are you sitting down? – have been a positive thing. Who knows? No one knows, of course, because I couldn’t say it.
Of course, I can’t complain at the attention – in fact, I’m glowing with pride, puffing out my chest and announcing to all and sundry how successful it’s all been so far. As I put in a post the other week, wibbler.com has brought me all sorts of visitors, all sorts of positive feedback and all sorts of little web projects. 3000 people a week visit to read me droning on; 200 people subscribe to my RSS news feed. 1000 people a day visit my subsite Boriswatch – a fact that doesn’t please my hosting company. I’m at my busiest yet with out of hours projects, and I only have this little trojan of a website to thank.
But I hope this goes some way to explaining (along with the horrendous hours I’ve putting in at work and the going out having fun part, of course) why the posts have been few and far between lately – and why the posts that do appear may be sporting those clever little rose-tinted glasses. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say – it’s just that a lot of other people may not like me saying it. And that’s a sad thing.
You may be thinking that the lack of posts on wibbler.com shows the dull, slow-paced life I must be having. Quite the opposite, in fact, and that means very little time to post the wonderful, action packed events that have graced the last few weeks. For example, there was:-
– the paintball expedition, where I sustained bruises that were still coming out a week later;
– the visit to Fright Night at Thorpe Park, which entailed 2 visits to the wettest ride in the park, long queues for every other ride and even longer queues to get out of the car park;
– the leaving meal of my old boss at The Pier, which resulted in my first visit to chilly Oxford and a series of particularly appalling renditions at karaoke;
– the designing/building of part of the Fat Face website, done and dusted in little over a week;
– the designing of two other sites in under two weeks;
– the Grand Get Together with 16 of my nearest and dearest, all congregating in Zizzi’s restaurant in Guildford, on a table designed for 12 people;
– A visit to Nick’s house with Sarah and Michelle for a night of drinks, games and pre-birthday presents;
– A knees up with Nick last Friday in Guildford, where we cobbled together an ingenous business plan in a drunken haze.
– Visits to the gym four times a week with Michelle, with a view to turning my body into slightly more of a temple;
And last, but not least – Boris Johnson. Boris Boris Boris. He’s been in the news a lot lately for better or worse, and Boriswatch has been inundated with visitors – an average of 5000 a day for the last two weeks. And then last Friday in a hail of media fire, he was sacked. Cue calls from Sky News and the BBC, asking for comments and interviews – and it all came to a head yesterday, with your humble host popping up to the House of Commons for a lunch date with the great man himself.
So what I propose is this. I’ll blog a selection of these events over the next week of so, and you sit there with the patience of a saint. Sound reasonable?
I’ve been indebted to wibbler.com in many ways since its conception in the womb of my university’s academic syllabus. It’s allowed me to hone the prose, create a diary of amusements to look back on in a dull moment, and to reduce those always badly-timed but very welcome “So, how you doing?” calls from friends. It’s attracted attention from two magazines, spawned subsites that have been more popular than this one, and found its way onto Sky News and BBC News. It’s even got me designing sites for MPs, clothing companies and local firms. It’s frankly been a ball.
But a more negative turn came about this week, when my year-old post about Michel Harper, megabusinessman of Guildford, hit home with several visitors. In fact, a simple Google search for “michel harper” brings the post to the top of the rankings, a fact that please my inner geek, and the content of the comments was brought to the attention of Mr Harper. Cue an email a few days ago, and several calls since, from his lawyers and private investigators, asking me to cease and desist, and give up information on the commenters. In fairness, they noted my cunning lack of accusation in the original post but the visitors comments had to be censored. Not to be outdone, someone’s comments then appeared on the woefully underused wibbler.com Forum. Which is now equally cleansed.
So, the first sign that this blog actually affects the outside world. What next? Do you think I’ll be able to reverse the American election maybe?