It’s hard to believe but it’s true: I’ve been blogging here on WP for ten years. Ten!?!
The weirdest part though is that I’m still enjoying it, and most of that is down to YOU. 🙂
Thank you to all the funny, quirky, compassionate, caring, clever, challenging people who’ve come to Meeka’s Mind and turned it into a home. You’ve become my mob, my community, my digital family, and I love you all.
Photo of evacuees on the beach at Bateman’s Bay, from the Twitter account of Alistair Prior.
This is the beach at Malacoota, on the Victoria side of the border. Photo taken from the Twitter account of Bluesfestblues.
This is, or was, the historic township of Cobargo, NSW. Three people are unaccounted for. Photo taken from the Twitter account of Siobhan Heanue.
Despite being ringed by fire, despite whole communities huddled on beaches watching their towns burn, despite the growing death toll due to these unprecedented fires…the Sydney Fireworks will go ahead.
What are we celebrating, exactly?
Both Gladys Berejiklian [Premier of NSW] and Clover Moore [Major of Sydney] have made glib remarks about ‘community’, and staging the fireworks for the community.
But which community? The ones with no homes to return to? The ones who’ve lost loved ones to these fires? The ones watching their towns burn even as I write these words?
Those communities don’t have tv’s to watch, but even if they did, do we honestly think they’ll enjoy watching pretty fireworks when their own skies are red with flame and ash?
Do we really think the fireworks will make the victims feel better?
Ah, but Clover Moore says she hopes the fireworks will make people donate to the victims…
Does she really think Australians are that callous, that selfish, that uncaring?
We didn’t need fireworks to donate after Black Saturday. We gave and we gave and we gave. We gave until it hurt because we all knew someone who knew someone who died in the fires, or lost everything. So much less than 6 degrees of separation.
We gave out of shock, out of survivor guilt, out of a genuine desire to help.
But it was more than that. We gave because it was the only way we could show our solidarity, our respect.
We gave as a way to mourn.
It was Australia and Australians at their very best.
No, the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney have nothing to do with community, or caring. They’re all about the tourist dollar, and as such, they are obscene.
We are better than this.
I won’t be watching any fireworks, anywhere in Australia, because we are still burning. Every state, including my own. And things are likely to get worse as the fire season progresses.
There is nothing to celebrate this year. Not a single, bloody thing.
Blogs are strange beasts. Sometimes they start with a bang and fade away to nothing, and sometimes they start with one, lonely voice and grow into a home.
Meeka’s Mind has been my home for the past eight years, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s ever popped in to say hello, or simply came looking for information and left a ‘like’. You guys are the reason this blog is still going strong.
You are the reason I still love blogging. All the very best for 2020!
I’ve had issues with the WordPress Reader in the past, but this latest one has me scratching my head. Have a look at how many screens I have to go through to comment on a post from the Reader:
This is a screenshot of the Reader. Notice the function circled in red? Comments are definitely available.
So I click on the heading of the article to read what it’s actually about and get this:
‘Share’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Like’ are still available, as you can see, but if you click on the ‘Comment’ function, WordPress just refreshes the page you’re on without allowing you to:
leave a comment or
see what other comments there might be.
You can, however, click the ‘Like’ function.
Something not shown in the screenshot [because it wouldn’t fit] is a very small link in the top right corner of the screen that says ‘Visit page’. I didn’t notice that link at first, and assumed that I was already on the page. But no. To get to the actual page, I need to click again, either on the ‘Visit page’ link or on the heading of the article.
Then and only then do I finally get to the poster’s blog where…glory be…I can leave a comment!
And, of course, with all these clicks needed to simply leave a comment, you’ll have to click back just as many times. 😦
Is this a WordPress change-in-progress that isn’t quite there yet? I hope so because this layering is annoying and will probably stop all but the most determined reader from leaving a comment, and that is bad for all of us.
WordPress is not Facebook. It’s a blogging community that interacts via comments. That is its strength and beauty. Likes are all well and good, but we all know that it’s comments from friends and potential new friends that puts the joy into blogging. Anything that creates a barrier between members of this community should be avoided at all costs.
Let’s get back to a format where the Reader provides not only tasty samples but also a directgateway to the main course.
p.s. And after all that, you can read Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog post here. 🙂
I’ve known that blogging was a way of making friends for a long time. What I didn’t know was the mechanism by which it happened. Now I do, and Renard Moreau is the blogger who triggered my little epiphany.
Quite simply, Renard asked ‘Have you been following too many blogs?’ But the question goes deeper than mere follows, it asks how many blogs any one person can reasonably interact with instead of just following.
Now I know that I have only about 500 – 600? followers all up, including both my blog and FB-Twit, yet even with such a relatively small number, I struggle to visit a 10th of those people in a month!
A friend of mine [who shall remain nameless] works his butt off every day, answering emails, replying to comments and tweets, and generally interacting with the hundreds of people he follows. But what of the people with tens of thousands of followers? Surely it’s not possible to interact with all of them? Yet how do we choose who we do interact with?
The answer, I believe, is that we unconsciously filter out 99.99% of the people we meet – either face to face or online – on the basis of ‘interest’.
For example, I’m interested in a fairly eclectic range of things, so that diversity is reflected in my posts. They dangle in the www, offering a certain type of ‘bait’ to the metaphorical fish that pass by. Those that like a particular type of bait will come to nibble. Those that don’t will ignore it, and me. Thus we have our first visitors.
But what makes those visitors come again?
I used to think the process was all down to luck, but now I think we are all subconsciously looking for others like ourselves, so when we bump into someone who may be like ourselves we stick around to find out. How we find out goes something like this:
– I stumble on a post I like, and follow the blogger who wrote it. If I really like that post I’ll comment. This is first contact.
– If that blogger keeps publishing posts that grab my attention, I’ll start to look out for their name. This is acquaintance.
– If that blogger stops publishing posts that grab my attention, the thin connection between us will fade away.
– If that blogger interacts with me in some positive way the connection between us will strengthen.
– If we discover that we have other interests in common, we may become regulars on each others blogs. Whilst we’re there, we may meet yet more bloggers who are similar to ourselves.
– In time, we discover that we have a small community going on. At the heart of that community are the friends we visit all the time. These are the bloggers we help without a moment’s thought. These are the bloggers we miss when they stop coming. These are our friends.
Radiating out from this core are
– the friends of friends who may become good friends in the future,
– regulars who may become good friends,
– acquaintances who may become regulars,
– and ‘blow ins’ who stumble in by accident and leave by design.
And that explains the odd graphic at the top of this post. We bump into each other almost by chance but stick through shared interests.
Apologies if this process was already crystal clear to everyone else. It all seems so obvious now, yet I really didn’t put it all together until about an hour ago.