Having got everything set up and explained who I am and what this blog is about it is now time for me to write the first proper post of the blog. The obvious place to start is to talk about how this blog came about and why.
I've been involved in the online world in one way or another for at least 10 years or more. In that time I've built many websites, got involved in online campaigning for the Lib Dems, looked after the website of a major national children's charity, learnt how to code and build databases, and loads of other stuff. But I was surprisingly slow to get to grips with the blogging phenomenon. It wasn't only until the Liberal Democrat leadership contest of earlier this year that I began to regularly read a number of the Lib Dem blogs and other political blogs that are out there on the blogosphere. I found reading the comments and arguments of the various Lib Dem bloggers immensely useful in helping me to develop my thinking and decide who to vote for. Special praise should go to my good friend Alex over at Love & Liberty whose insightful posts on each of the contenders were particularly valuable. Oh, I voted for Ming Campbell in the end if you're interested.
After the leadership contest was over I carried on regularly checking out the blogs and began to develop vague notions about setting up one of my own. Of course nothing came of this until last weeks Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton. During the week I spent a fair amount of the time hanging out with bloggers in one form or another. I was at the award ceremony for the first Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards where I saw the winner, Stephen Tall, give an excellent speech and then get rather swamped by the media. I also got to shake the paw of Millenium Elephant - which was cool. Later on I went along to the "bloggers dinner" and had an extremely pleasant, if expensive, meal and got to chat with a range of other Lib Dem bloggers. All this was lovely, but I began to feel a little left out. The terrible effects of peer pressure!
Also at the conference I was asked by a friendly journalist from Guardian Online to be one of four members of her "focus group" commenting on the major events of the week. I was asked to give my views on the key debate on tax, Charles Kennedy's speech, and Ming's leader's speech. I rather enjoyed the process of having to turn what I felt about these into a form of words suitable to be published. It was a useful exercise in having to think things through and I imagine was a very similar process to what is needed for maintaining a regular blog.
So on returning from the conference inspired, I made the decision to get on with launching my blog upon the world. The result being what you see here.
Steam at Perth in the 1960s
7 hours ago