Mid-break blogging

While spending an enjoyable afternoon chatting over cups of tea with Norm in Manchester yesterday we talked (among many other things) about some of the pluses and minuses of this blogging business.

Spending time away from blogging, as I have been doing for the past week or so and will continue for another few days yet, does give you a chance to take stock of blogging and its value. I don’t want to count the hours spent in the blogosphere over the past 12 months but it is surely worth wondering from time to time whether it is worth it.

I’ll leave the minuses on one side for the moment but among the positives aspects we discussed was the way that blogging enables the creation of informal networks of people. A perfect example of that was in my email inbox this morning when a reader kindly informed me of the launch of a new Iraqi blog by a chap named Ali, called liberal Iraqi.

Forgive me some self-satisfaction, but it is pleasing to know via his small list of links that the liberal Iraqi has been reading and presumably appreciating this blog. Much more importantly it shows the real value of this medium – enabling an exchange of ideas and experiences between people all over the world. Thats why it is hard to call blogging a hobby.

Its certainly more than a hobby for my old mate Woody whose Tinbasher blog about the sheet metal industry has been a minor sensation in the business blogging world this year earning rave reviews from US business sites.

Back in Lancashire this week I had a few drinks with the Tinbasher, his American wife and Big Mart and conversation also drifted for a brief moment on to the topic of blogging. There was general agreement that the light-hearted end to the week provided by Dress Down Friday should be restored as a regular feature on Harry’s Place and so it shall – from next Friday onwards so email in your topic suggestions.

Here is one for starters – I’m staying in my old room at my Mum and Dad’s and have just looked in the half concealed top of the desk drawer which is, as these things so often are, a bit of a time capsule. It hasn’t been touched much since I was 18 and I haven’t looked in it for over a decade.

Here is what I found – A Free Nelson Mandela badge, a Beastie Boys badge, a Labour Students badge, a Human League badge, six golf tees, small change in East and West Germany currencies, a beer token from the Hearts of Oak Working Mens Club, a plectrum and a ‘Labour for NUS’ badge.

Thats a reasonably accurate time capsule – is yours?