It’s been such a long time since I started this blog, and both I and the blog have been through so many transitions I’d forgotten what time of year it was that I started it. So it was a complete coincidence that I thought I might look to see when the first entry was, and discovered it was precisely six years ago.
I started this blog as an experiment and decided not to make a media announcement about it at the time, as I wanted to test out how feasible it was for a politician to make a blog work in a genuine way. I was Leader of the Democrats at the time, in the lead up to an extremely unsuccessful election – in fact it was the worst in the party’s history, at least until the even worse one in 2007 which saw the Democrats (including me) disappear from the federal Parliament altogether). So I’ve gone from leader to non-leader to non-Senator to out of party politics to back into party politics and back into another election (and I don’t think the blog can be blamed or cheered for significantly influencing any of those transitions).
One thing I think the blog has been successful at is being a fairly genuine reflection and insight into at least some aspects of my political and other activities and views. In some ways, it has been so genuine that to some extent it has reflected the ebbs and flows of my enthusiasm for the whole blogging thing, as well as showing the impacts from the evolution of other forms of online communication that have developed in that time.
The frequency of my posts on this blog are as low as they have ever been. Part of that may be due to my sometimes feeling that I am going over and over similar topics. This point is at least partly demonstrated by the fact that my very first blog post on 17 August 2004 was about asylum seekers, mandatory detention and a Bill of Rights – topics on which there has been little progress, and even some regression in some respects.
However, I think the main reason why I do fewer blog posts in recent times is due to the advent of Facebook and Twitter, neither of which existed six years ago. I often used to build blog posts around interesting articles I’d read or things I’d been doing, but now I usually use Facebook and/or Twitter for those purposes and can do so much more quickly and without feeling so much like I should add a bunch of my own words to make it feel more substantive.
Anyway, if there is one thing that characterises blogging, it is the propensity to make people feel like they should blog about blogging. I think I’ve already done enough of that over the years, so I might take a fresh approach and head over to Twitter to tweet about it.
And there is this election thing happening on Saturday too, so I should probably also look at trying to encourage people to vote for me.