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Blogging for Only One Reader

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 6 December 2012

Before he gets paranoid and I get a snotty letter from Kerman’s this is not a story about the life of Dick Gill. Nor is it about life on this blog where we seem to have more and more readers. Unlike certain places I could mention. But it is a true story from the world of academia and Bristol University.

I spent a happy Sunday afternoon in a Bristol pub last week celebrating West Ham’s triumph over Chelski and met two academics who had been encouraged by the University to write a joint blog article for an in-house blog. That they had done and seemed to have enjoyed the exercise. So, er how many folks will read the piece I asked?

Easy, they replied. We can track it. Our article has been read by one person. Er… well it is behind a secure wall so few can access it and no-one is alerted to it. So there has been exactly one reader. Who knows, by now the readership could have increased by 100% or even 200%. But one is not a bad place to start. Some blog entries there do not even manage to get that many readers. So this blog post is 100% more read than some.

Does it matter? Well you might wonder why your taxes are going on paying academics to write articles which are read by precisely nobody. Or on a good day by one other state sponsored academic. Arguably Bankrupt Britain cannot really afford this. But if we can afford to give £2 billion for African windmills I guess this is minor luxury.

As for the academics? Hell no. In a sense it is good news that these liberal arts folk are writing articles no-one reads rather than polluting the minds of impressionable students with deluded lefty Guardian inspired nonsense. The point about writing is to enjoy yourself. If these folk had done that by writing that is a reward in itself.

I sometimes wonder if, when I write about Oakley or snow falling in Shipston, whether anyone really cares. Occasionally some folk suggest that I should stock to creating pizzas rather than writing. Fine. If it gives them pleasure to write such comments good for them. If it stops folk like Bulletin Board pest Bob Burnard from beating his wife, dialling into Asian porn or whatever else he does with his miserable existence that is fine. No-one pays to read my stuff. I am not asking for a state subsidy to write about Oakley and it gives me pleasure. So more Oakley articles on the way.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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