I was just reading a piece on New Matilda noting the five year anniversary since that online publication first appeared. The piece explores the evolution of the online environment for news and opinion in that time, as well as the continuing discussion about the future (or lack thereof) of ‘quality journalism’.
All of which made me suddenly realise that I completely missed the five year anniversary of this blog, which first appeared with zero fanfare on August 17 2004. – not surprisingly, ath first post was about mandatory detention under our immgration laws. Many things have changed since then for the blog and for me (although sadly, the laws regardng mandatory detention haven’t changed, even though government policy in this area has).
In August 2004 I was in the Senate and Leader of the Democrats. In August 2009 it is over a year since I left the Senate, and there are no Democrats left at all.
I’ve also been blogging semi-regularly over at Crikey for nearly a year now, which is part of the reason why the number of postings on this blog have diminished – although a bigger reason is that I have been spending more of my time exploring doing things I couldn’t or didn’t do while I was in the Senate. Also, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the past, the fairly limited and repetitive nature of some of the comment threads on this blog tends to discourage me from being overly prolific with my blogging.
When I first started blogging, I was thinking it would be something akin to an online diary, but I fairly soon started to shift away from that approach towards more general information and opinion. A higher percentage of my posts these days have a bit more of diary type element to them, but I’m still not overly keen on that sort of post.
Besides, five years ago, Facebook was barely heard of and Twitter was unknown – both of them work better for me for diary style things than blogs do, although they also can reinforce each other to some extent.
In the context of this blog’s five year anniversary, the one thing I would note above all else is that there is still fairly limited genuine personal online interaction between politicians and the public. There is some – mostly lightweight – engagement from politicians through Twitter (which is none the less a desirable thing), but still not much genuine two way interaction. We’ll see if the next five years brings any greater advances in that regard.