It’s two years since I decided to put the blog on WordPress. Since then I’ve made about 320 entries, a little over three a week. The blog gets about 1200 visits a month, which might sound good until you realise that my website on social policy gets more than 1200 visits a day. My initial plan was to use the material to spark off new ideas for my written work, and I’m still hopeful it will help with that. Looking up sources has been particularly useful in filling out my knowledge of the field. I also owe particular thanks to those of you who’ve commented on blogs, because that’s one of the key ways that I learn things I may have missed.
One of my teachers may have disapproved. In Richard Crossman’s Diaries, he comments on the reaction of Brian Abel-Smith when he was invited to be editor of the New Statesman: “all that ephemeral journalism!” Brian was hardly an academic purist: a distaste for ephemera didn’t keep him away from all that politics. He did tell me once, in a good way, that I ought to be a politician. I’d had loved it, but unfortunately, I suffer from three impediments: a contrary disposition, a tendency to put my foot in my mouth for the sake of a good line, and the absence of anyone who’d want to vote for me. At least I can vent on the blog, where it does no harm.