Well, what can one say about ‘2005:Blogged‘ that hasn’t already been said?
In terms of the ‘great typeface controversy’, I can’t say that I find the ‘tags ‘n typeface’ approach to Tim’s introductions overly obtrusive – it actually works fairly well on short intros but perhaps gets a bit much on some of the longer ones where Tim has a bit more explaining to do.
Still, nothing worth worrying about overmuch.
Appearing in there myself has had one pleasing if unexpected side effect – ‘Dad’ has gone up several shades of cool in the estimation of his 13-year old son since appearing in print, which is no bad thing in itself, not least as this has enabled a return to conversations in English with the oldest of my two offspring having spent the last few months becoming fluent in Grunt just to convey even the simplest of messages like ‘It’s your turn to do the washing-up’ and ‘If your room’s still in that state when I get back you’ll be grounded until the next Lib-Dem government’.
It also meant getting sent a freebie copy, just one more reason why I owe Tim a review.
Next observation – a quick scan of the blog index left me wondering just how the hell I was going to cope with adding another 25-30 blogs to the 150 or so I track at the moment by their RSS feeds. While there was a quite a bit of familiar material in there, there was also plenty of stuff which was either completely new to me or that I’d missed out on at the time it was posted – much easier than trying to play catch-up with an RSS reader, let me tell you.
Best of all, not only does THE BOOK show just how good some of the writing is out here on the electronic fringe but it does a fine of job of putting over the essential character of British blogging. From ascerbic and howlingly funny one-liners to the fine art of the obsessive ‘Fisk’ one can’t help but be impressed simply by the sheer weight and range of ideas that Brit-blogging is generating.
This is an element of the ongoing dialogue between bloggers and the UK’s dead-tree press that’s often overlooked, especially by professional journalists who’re invariably keen to impress on their readers the virtues and superiority of their own editorial process. Quality, in terms of the writing itself, is only part of the equation – and one where bloggers like Justin at Chicken Yoghurt acquit themselves extremely well. But where bloggers really score over the MSM is in the range and diversity of ideas they can bring into play, the freedom they have to express themselves without constantly having to look over their shoulder at the latest circulation figures or being lectured by marketing drones on the importance of hitting the right market segment with their work.
Bloggers have the freedom to pitch ideas that the MSM daren’t touch, to play with day’s news stories from angles the MSM often wouldn’t contemplate and call the world how they see it, not how it needs to be to sell newspapers and advertising copy.
This facet of blogging is something Tim expertly puts over, not just in his choice of articles but in his own short intros to each piece. Hell he deserves a round of applause simply of having the balls to include ‘Tampon Teabag’ amongst the featured blogs – can you imagine what would happen if the Grauniad tried that? Five days of impassioned diatribes and polemics on sexism and bad taste from its female op-ed contingent with Polly Pot firmly in the vanguard, no doubt.
Lay out your hard-earned cash for ‘2005: Blogged’ and what do you get for your money?
Great writing, brilliant ideas, humour, serious bits (some of which, especially Random Acts of Reality’s apology to a patient leave a lasting impression) and a whole load of different views of the world around you that you may never have realised existed, yet alone contemplated – and all packaged neatly into something you can safely read while taking a long, relaxing bath.
Could anyone ask for more?