It has been a month to forget, or should have been, were it not for the many individuals who offered unexpected advice and support, time and technology, friendship and common sense, and generally nursed a bedraggled Raccoon back to normality (or what passes for normality in these parts!).
Not only but also. Not only had I taken a pair of kitchen scissors to the database, but the ever generous Andrew Withers and SadbutMadLad who made every effort to keep the blog going, found they encountered severe difficulties, entirely unrelated, with the host server, and then when we did track down an intact version of the database, we found that it was so large it caused all sorts of hiccups to reload. The site has been up, down and up again, reappearing with half the posts missing or half the comments missing – you must be thoroughly fed up!
Were it not for the talent of Neil Mathews of wpdude.com – who is henceforth knighted as an honorary Raccoon – the site should never have seen the light of day again. Then again, were it not for the unflagging support and encouragement of Matt Wardman at the Wardman Wire and Laurent at Wikio E-blogs, I doubt that any attempt would have been made to resurrect the site.
Matt Wardman in particular made me think long and hard about why I had started the blog in the first place. I realised that unlike those who say they have ‘lost the rage’ and therefore given up blogging, I had never had a rage in the first place. Indeed, the blog had never been about making my voice heard at all.
The blog had always been about providing a space where others might make their voices heard – and by others, I don’t just mean other posters, but the commentators. I saw myself in the role of pub landlady – and I have blogged in the past HERE about the way the blogosphere has replaced the denigrated role of the pub in society – as such, my putting up a post each day, sometimes two or three times a day, was not about me ‘shouting out’ – but a way of getting the conversation going.
The comments, the repartee, the wit, the satire, the information, the sheer effort that went into those comments, meant far more to me than any desire to get my point across – and invariably, my point would turn out to be two or three different ways of looking at the same news item! I personally learnt so much from my commentators – not least that there is no apostrophe in MPs – they were a daily education, and not, I suspect, just to me.
I realised that in closing the blog, I had not just removed myself from the line of fire of some deeply unpleasant people, I had also closed down a meeting place and information exchange for many other people.
It’s back up there, as intact as we can make it. I know there are still some holes in the database; it’s as good as we can do.
Andrew Withers and SadButMadLad will continue to write for the site, I hope others will join them; there have been some memorable contributions in the past. It’s your site really, not mine.
I’m sorry, I apologise.