Tuesday 17 June 2008

What is the value of anything?

I have noticed, near my workplace, several newsagents selling 2008 Diaries. They are advertising these as 20% off the marked price. It makes me wonder what is the value of a Diary at this time of the year? Consider. A diary is valid for 12 months. It may have some extra information, such as holiday dates, multiple year calendars etcetera, but primarily a diary is based on functionality over a calendar year. It is now June. Effectively the year is half over. Shouldn't the diaries be selling at 50% off? Is not half their usefulness now been lost? If I was buying a diary now, would it not be more cost effective and more sensible to buy a financial year diary and get a full 12 months use out of it, for only 25% more than the discounted Calendar year diary? What do these shop keepers think we are? Stupid?

Saturday 14 June 2008

Some Background

Keeping a Diary has never been a priority for me other than travel diaries when I have been travelling. That is to say longer term travel while backpacking around parts of the world rather than shorter holidays. Therefore the idea of blogging has never held much attraction to me.
I also have the feeling that some people are attracted to blogging and others not. Before the advent of blogs the people who now blog regularly would have been writing letters or articles for newspapers or magazines etcetera.
Despite that I have also felt a need to keep in touch with people and let them know what I have been doing. I have chosen a lifestyle that means I move sufficiently often that I have gained a number of friends in various parts of the world and am pathetic at keeping in touch. So the idea of a blog where you broadcast to the world, or whoever is interested, does have appeal to me.
Since the late 90's I have prepared newsletters and sent them via e-mail or snail mail to family and friends. Those letters were also laboriously converted to HTML documents and placed on a web site. So to a certain extent I feel that I was blogging before we knew what blogging was as a concept. Mind you my early efforts were not bidirectional nor interactive communications by any means in the current accepted style of blogs.
I have used a number of free blog sites to attempt to keep up with the times. However I have always struggled with those sites for a number of reasons including that they weren't owned by me and they weren't branded as me. Neither were they entirely flexible in how they were presented. Until recently I have struggled with a very low speed internet access and this has also seemed to be a barrier to regularly updating my blog. Mind you even I aren't convinced by that argument as I never put much effort into composing anything to put up.
The modern crop of sites such as MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn etcetera do not appeal to me either. I am too old no doubt to understand the fun of poking someone on MySpace (or was that Facebook?) and have no interest in uploading a video of myself being stupid. Never the less I do maintain a presence on those sites as one day I may "get" them.
In my work I also need to understand them, their role in society and whether they have a work related function that I and my employer should be using. I have also been inspired by my friend Phil who has for many years maintained a blog which is an important method for him to maintain contact with his friends and family. I should note that Phil is a creative writer and fits my pattern of those who would naturally be attracted to blogging. Phil's blog is highly personalised and, to me at least, seems to be the model of how a blog of that nature should be. That is to say it is an extension of his personality and reflects the personality,thoughts and aspirations of the owner. It is also a great way of following where he is and what he is doing. I am not trying to emulate Phil, we have different personalities, but I certainly draw inspiration from his approach to blogging.
Which gets us to today. The problem of poor internet connectivity has been solved. The problem of where to host a blog has also been solved. The problem of developing my own blog and style is ahead of me as is the problem of motivation and creating content. I have all of the technology that I need to create content and publish. All that I need is motivation and mastering the technology.