What’s happening here

First things first. I have upgraded to WordPress 2.5. The new admin panel takes a bit of getting used to, and it is a little bit buggy for my liking. But then again that is probably because I am using so many plugins.

For the first time I upgraded using the astonishing WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. I’ve been meaning to use it for a while, but forgot about it until James O’Malley reminded me. So thanks for that James. Upgrading vee8 and doctorvee was flawless, although something funny happened to Scottish Roundup. Fixed it in the end (I hope), but it did make me scratch my head, especially as the other two upgrades went so smoothly.

Another thing to point out is that I have finally got that OpenID plugin installed. It doesn’t work exactly how I’d like it to, but it will do. Don’t be freaked out by it if you leave a comment and you don’t know what OpenID is. You can leave the OpenID field blank.

You might be wondering if it was even worth me upgrading this blog. It is rather shit of me to have posted next to nothing for the past three weeks and come back with a dull admin post. Well here’s what’s happening.

Last week in the comments of this increasingly quiet blog, a very public sociologist wrote:

Looks like F1 has stolen you away from us.

It’s kind of true. When I launched vee8, originally I had every intention of posting here (almost) as often as before.

What I was forgetting was that because of my mad hectic busy important 24/7 lifestyle and / or laziness, I was blogging less and less here anyway. In all seriousness, I am in my final year at university. And while I still have luxuries such as not having to get up before lunchtime, it does mean that I get shards of guilt searing through my conscience every time I write a blog post or open Google Reader. After all, I should be studying.

For around — ooh, let’s see — the past year, I have had hardly any time to blog, or indeed read blogs. Google Reader always has 1000+ items for me to read. I think I’ve only got it down to zero about twice in the past year.

Plainly, even pretending that I can keep on top of all my RSS feeds is a nonsense. I have come to realise that I don’t have the time to read blogs in the same way as I used to. I have probably gone for weeks without even reading blogs actually (excepting Scottish blogs which I have to read for the Roundup). And the thing is that I don’t really miss the blogosphere — especially the politics blogs. (My years at university studying politics have ironically made me deeply apathetic.)

“Boo, hiss,” I hear you cry. But that’s the way it is. Once I got fed up with Guido et al, it was just the start of the ball rolling and reading hundreds of posts like this is no longer my idea of fun.

This is not to say that I will retreat from politics or political blogging — and definitely not blogging as a whole — altogether. But I have to face up to the fact that as a student I have increasingly found that I do not have enough time to engage in it properly.

So many of the posts I have written over the past few months have been about topics that were lingering in my head for weeks or even months. For instance, the one about road tolls was written in my head in December as a response to Calum Cashley. I didn’t get the chance to actually write it until March. See if you can spot more (a fun game for long journeys, I’m sure)!

And that’s what it’s like when I am a lazy student bum! So what on earth is it going to be like when I actually get a proper job?!

At the same time, last month I launched vee8, a dedicated Formula 1 blog. The original intention was to spare the many readers here who do not like F1 from having to read what can at some points during the year become a blog almost exclusively about F1.

But in its first month I think vee8 has quite unexpectedly taken a life of its own. I am enjoying every minute of it. It is such a refreshing feeling to be blogging about something that actually matters rather than that politics nonsense! 😛 Seriously though, I have been staggered by how much fun I am having with it and how successful it has been.

I try to avoid talking about stats because inevitably someone takes offence at the showing off. So I’ll say this up-front. The following may be a reflection of how bad this blog is. Readership here has, after all, stagnated over the past 2 or 3 years which shouldn’t really happen (as someone once told me, telling me off for showing off my stats, “it’s a viral thing”).

But at vee8 — which, I remind you, is little over a month old — I am already getting as more “returning visitors” than I am on this blog. As I say, that is probably partly down to the fact that I post here far less often than I used to, while there is usually daily content at vee8. But I’m still amazed at how quickly it has got a solid readership. Obviously it helps that I had plenty of F1 fans reading here originally, but boy — if only I found it this easy to get readers the first time round!

Long story short. I am now running three major blogs. Scottish Roundup has to have a new post every Sunday, so a lot of my Fridays and Saturdays are spent making sure that happens. vee8 is fresh, new and exciting and this season looks like it’s going to be a corker, so a lot of my attention is now focussed there. This one is my personal blog, so I don’t feel like I owe it much attention.

Just two years ago this was my only blog. Now it is just part of my wider blogging activity. With that fact along with impending adulthood, I am having to steer a new path for this blog.

I am probably being melodramatic (it is 4am), so I will say that probably not much will change. In fact, the changes have already happened and I just need to adapt to it.

I stopped being part of the conversation in the wider blogosphere a long time ago without ever meaning that to happen. I just don’t have the time to follow it. So that probably means writing fewer, more in depth posts on a miscellany of subjects.

You might well have noticed that already. The previous five posts here were about coffee, Autechre, income tax, Freeview and Radio 5 Live — quite a mixture. And that takes us practically to the beginning of March. To think that I used to write an average of six pithy posts per day about the day’s current subjects!

It won’t pick up any time soon. Those shards of guilt will be extra painful as it’s exam time. But I have just three exams, and then it will all be over! The difficult part comes after that — looking for a job. (My status as a person, incidentally, is another thing that it making me more reluctant to blog here… Google and all.)

I just remembered that almost a year ago I hilariously joked about giving up blogging. Now I am looking back on the past year thinking it was actually quite prescient.

Anyway, please forgive the navel gazing. I am planning to return tomorrow with another post here, but whether it will interest you is a different matter.

4 comments

  1. You become an adult when you leave university? Bugger. I was sort of hoping to delay it a bit longer, like until I’m 87.

    I’m not even 4th year and I’m already struggling to find anything – anything! – to say that isn’t “must write report” and “must hit deadline before design client mauls me”. Blogging, which for me has always been a personal thing to keep friends up to date, has lost any lustre it had. I don’t have many opinions uni couldn’t sue me for publishing. But I still keep randomly updating because I feel compelled to do it, or have something random to say, and – sure as – my readers have dropped off, but I sort of prefer it that way as the people reading now are mostly people who know me, people who don’t care if things are pithy or not! So it’s all going a bit full-circle, really.

  2. It don’t get any easier once you enter the real world mate. I’ve only just found a decent work/blog/life balance. I think (he says typing past midnight).

    Interesting what you say about politics. I’ve almost completely gone off political blogging. There’s a few who do it well and the rest are, frankly, a bit dull or outraged for the sake of being outraged.

  3. In the age of google it’s always wise to keep your name and any identifying markers off your blog if you’re worried about that kind of thing. If you are not, then let it all hang out!

  4. Yup. A few years ago, when I was maybe a year or so into the blogging game, I decided I needed to work out if I was going to be anonymous or not. I decided that it would be best to be open about my identity, or at least not to hide it.

    Of course, that was a few years ago when the kinds of decisions I am making this year felt like a lifetime away. But it’s rather difficult for me to go anonymous now.

    I don’t mind really. I doubt I would like to work for a company that would frown at me expressing my opinion — within reasonable limits of course. But when you are hunting for a job, everything I write here is potential evidence so it does restrict what I can say about myself in certain areas.