As Teena in Toronto has kindly reminded me, today is my blog’s first anniversary — its “blogoversary”.
One year ago today I started the WordPress incarnation of Gary William Murning Online with this post and I haven’t really looked back. I liked the feel of WordPress and its flexibility from day one, and unlike the other platforms I’ve used (MySpace and LiveJournal) I can foresee no reason why I will ever up sticks and relocate.
It’s been an interesting year in the blogosphere for me. I’ve met some incredible people — fellow bloggers, new readers, one or two crackpots (I don’t attract anywhere near as many as you might expect!) and even one of Elvis’s old buddies, Marty Lacker (which I still get something of a kick out of) — and gradually developed my blogging “voice”. Given that I’ve blogged just about every day, I’ve made surprisingly few mistakes and have, on the whole, got by without making a complete dick of myself. People seem to like what I do and so I try to keep doing it.
But, of course, it wouldn’t mean a damn thing if people like you didn’t drop by and, on occasion, comment. Sometimes, I’m sure, my posts can seem rather acerbic and satirical — and I possibly come across as being a little intimidating and inflexible. But I’m not, as some of those who have contacted me would probably agree. I’m even quite patient with crackpots… for a while, at least! So never be afraid to comment, even if you don’t agree with me. Healthy debate is always welcome. It’s that that makes this worthwhile.
That and the megabucks some sucker publisher might offer me off the back of it one day!
Finally, I’d like to leave you with a reply to a question I was asked in an interview that I, along with many other bloggers, did for the Pakistani Spectator. I was asked what role bloggers can play in making our world friendlier and less hostile. To which I replied:
“Oh, this is where I believe the real strength of blogging lies! It is true that there are and always will be argumentative people out there in the blogosphere, people who just want to cause trouble. But on the whole, I find that serious bloggers — consciously or otherwise — make a huge contribution to breaking down barriers of nationality, political ethos, religious belief and so on. Great things can come of this if we only remember to treat each other with respect.”
A little “Miss World”, I know — but blogging is a powerful tool. With such freedoms, however, come responsibility. From an initial respect for the individual’s right to express their views (which isn’t the same as having a respect for the views themselves — it’s perfectly acceptable not to respect another person’s view) some of us, at least, can learn things we never otherwise would have.
And if that doesn’t make blogging valuable I really don’t know what does.