Why do I bother (blogging)


Some of you may have noticed recently that an awful lot of old posts started popping back up on Facebook and Twitter (maybe not). I thought I would explain the situation via a most interesting text conversation I recently had.

I noticed sometime mid August that this blog was offline. I made efforts to contact the former colleague of mine aho had generously offered me discount hosting space (it was the business he was in at the time). I went through all the usual channels but had no response. After 3 weeks of the blog being down I tried other contacts and got hold of his mobile number and texted him. the below is the full transcipt of the text conversation.

It’s an interesting one. You may think it makes me more shallow. I thought it’d helped me focus my writing efforts, but now a few weeks later I’m not sure. Ultimately it’s just a derranged conversation with a guy taking things far too seriously.

Love to hear your comments… and what you think of my blog too of course.

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TA: Mate I’m gonna move my hosting but I need a copy of my db… Can you give me cpanel access? Cheers

DC: Hi Tim, thanks for texting. I actually have spent a lot of time thinking about this and realised that i don’t care at all. Not in a nasty or sadistic way you know – i don’t mean any harm to you. I gave you hosting space in the first place because i just thought that it was a nice thing to do, and i didn’t want anything in return. But now i realise that i actually want someting back. I want you to listen. And not because i have anything to gain from you listening – i don’t actually beleive that you care about what i’m saying, or that it will change anything in the long term. But because it’s sad. Maybe you think that everyone does things to get something back, or maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter. That’s not important right now. What’s important is that you get your blog back, right? Your blog about marketing and being a knowledge manager and everything you’ve worked hard for. But why would this be something that i’d want to see happen? Why would i care? So that i can see a blog post about me, in my honour, saying how much you appreciate and respect my efforts in helping you out? No. Because i actually want to make money from you? Still no. Because i think that you’re a nice guy and you’ve actually got my best interests close to your heart? Sorry Tim, but i just can’t see it. So its not really a case of why i should give you your blog back, but more of a case of why should i? I know you probably think this is funny – ‘marketing knowledge blog held captive by cyber terrorist’ – and it is. It’s funny because it’s sad. But i’m bored now, Tim. I’m bored of this conversation. I don’t see how i can change your mind about anything that really matters to me. So unless you can give me a reason for giving you your blog back that i actually care about, and that doesn’t involve legal threats, promises of more money, clever marketing or personal gain, then i  honestly don’t see why i should. Ok?

TA: I was getting really excited until I read this line – “So its not really a case of why i should give you your blog back, but more of a case of why should i”…Until then it reminded me a bit of a plot in one of my dad’s science fiction novels… Did I tell you he’s published over 50 novels? maybe that’s why I blog – so i can say I’m published… I have no idea why you don’t think I’d care about what matters to you. I thought we were like minded. Geeks with a passion for music – I wonder who misread who. Funny thing is I can’t seem to find the effort to be bothered with this either

DC: That’s alright – i am happy to read this and like the fact that you think that it’s important to be published. That means that you want to make a difference, right? And that you’ll make a difference by writing things. Stories, like your dad. That’s why I like music –  because it changes things, asks questions. But science fiction stories usually have a purpose, they make people ask questions. How does marketing ask questions and change things that  are important to you?

TA: If u r asking why I do what I do it is obviously related to why I am who I am and that’s all about what I know. Although not a great writer or reader I was heavily influenced by sci fi and the fact that my dad could afford gadgets. You know my blog isn’t actually about marketing, it’s about technology, and I guess to that end it’s helping me feel that, living in this science fiction world, I am real. It’s a published conversation with myself. No other fucker reads it!

DC: You are real though. Talking to yourself, online or offline, isn’t going to help. People aren’t going to want to read your blog unless you have something to say to them. Technology isn’t making you any more or less real, and it’s not going to change that. To be honest, i didn’t consider that you’d actually want to be published just so you could talk to yourself. If everyone wrote books just so they could read them, they might as well just keep a diary or something. Less hassle and doesn’t have to involve technology and difficult people who don’t understand why you’d communicate just to talk to yourself.

TA: 2 things. In my darkest moments as a teenager I really did think I was an android boy; and secondly  leaving a trace, a foot print, extends the longevity of your reality I.e. It leaves something for others to remember you by – a legacy. When u have kids you want that more, but you also have to work ‘for the man’ to pay for them. Your challenge to me is a good one though Dave. I imagine whether or not you release my blog I will continue to write, but my opinion is rarely stress tested

DC: I can understand the legacy and kids bit. But wouldn’t you rather leave a legacy of changing other people’s opinions, rather than one about a blog that no-one reads – according to you – because you are just talking to yourself and trying to come to terms with some things about your childhood?

TA: I guess that possibility is always there. It’s not so much coming to terms. You asked me why. That’s my best shot this morning. It almost sounds like the tables have turned! You are arguing for me to blog, and now I’m not so sure…

DC: Ok. Thanks for answering my questions.

DC: And for the record, although you might not like to hear it, i’d rather read one blog about your perspective on childhood and technology, than a million marketing blogs. Because thats what people are really interested in – other people. And i think that’s a good thing. So maybe we were actually on the same side of the table after all, just not talking. Have a good day.

TA: So… about the blog! Will u let me back in?

DC: Gee, I stil don’t know Tim. I mean, you’ve given me plenty of reasons why you write your blog, and that it is good because, well, it obviously helps you. But i still haven’t heard a reason why it helps me, or anyone else that i know. I think this is what literature calls a ‘moral dilemma’. Is a good idea for me to give you the freedom of expressing yourself, if what you are saying is not going to help anyone else but yourself? And do i have the right to make that decision? You would say no. But it doesn’t change the fact that we both want something.   That is why we’re talking. I want to understand, challenge, and ideally help other people help other people. And you want to help yourself, your family and what is important to you. Do you really think that this makes either of us better – or more important – than each other? Do you think that  i want to judge you? Well i don’t. But it doesn’t change the fact that you’re not helping me, so why should i help you?

TA: Dave I’ve really appreciated our discussion today as, to be quite frank, I’ve never given the reason why I started blogging an awful lot of thought (other than Antony Mayfield inspired me). Didn’t we get into this situation coz you offered me the hosting in the first place? I have no idea how I can help you Dave, and at 42 I am happy to focus on my family and close friends so you and I may well have to say goodbye, but do you really want to take away all that cathartic writing I’ve done for the sake of not being arsed to reset your server? There’s a moral dilemma

DC: But it’s not about ‘not being arsed’. I’m talking to you, i’m helping you. The reason that i offered you hosting in the first place is because i wanted to help you. And guess what, even now, i still want to help you! Crazy isn’t it, that i would still want to help you, after all this time and that i  would actually think that this is the best way to do it! Especially since you’re so convinced that you can’t help me, at all. Do you think that ‘resetting the server’ is actually going to help us, in any way? Do you think that it is easier for me to do all this than just flip a switch? I’m sorry but i don’t actually think you’re interested in thinking about these things or answering any of these questions.  And that is what makes us different, me and you.

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That’s the point at which I gave up, bought hosting elsewhere, changed the name servers, re-uploaded all the files… only problem was that I never got the database. I copied and pasted 200+ blog posts from Google’s cache back into WordPress! That’s dedication for you! Gave me a chance to sort my tags and categories out! Good job for a knowledge manager!

Makes a good blog post doesn’t it!

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DC
DC

Fantastic! The amusing thing is - I didn't know why the server went down - I had just stopped paying attention to it. It also came back up totally of its own accord. So I guess you were supposed to get your blog back after all :)

DRV
DRV

Makes me want to physically harm him Tim. Better off without free hosting pseudo intellectual - I'm better than you 'cause I'm challenging you dude. Tell him to go pyscho(sic) analyse someone that cares.

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