Interview with Blogger AndrewBy The Pakistani Spectator • Aug 16th, 2008 • Category: Interviews • (3,534 views) • No Responses
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
My blog heading: My public diary, not my private one. Take it as fact at your risk. I am gay and I live with my long time partner in a highrise apartment in inner Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
I am almost middle age, I work full time shift work, we have a few close friends and reasonably close to family both here in Australia and back in England.
I have always been a letter writer and I can probably express myself better with the written word, rather than the spoken. I started reading other peoples blogs and found I was making long comments, so I started my own blog. What I write about is very varied and sometimes personal. It is my public diary.
Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
I think my writing has improved since I started writing a blog, others may not agree. Comments by others on what I have written often cause me to look at a matter from a different angle. It almost goes without saying that to improve oneself must be a positive thing.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
I once wrote about about some girls who I saw having difficulty when canoeing. I was on a bridge above them and snapped some pics with my phone and of course wrote about it. Sometime later I received an email from India from a person who was friend of one of the girls and she had come across the post. Another time I realised that the owner of a blog I had been reading for quite some time had served me in a shop when she was a teenager some fifteen or twenty years ealier. Co-incidences seem to happen quite often.
What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
Mostly by commenting on their blogs. While it is not intentional and I have had opportunities, I have not personally met anyone new via my blog, but no doubt one day I will. Odd working hours prevents me going to some social events, including get togethers by blog writers. I am in direct touch via email or sms with a few of who I call my blog mates.
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
Direct email lists by political parties. I am on a political party’s direct email list and the information and news can be overwhelming. It could never be done by conventional mail.
Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
Undoubtedly. It is a brave politician or bureaucrat who tries to indulge in overt deception and corruption in my country. If an official does something I don’t approve of or agree with, I might not take the trouble to sit down and write a letter, but it is very easy to type and send an email. Leaders can pick up the mood of people by what is said in emails, even if only their advisors read them
What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
I would like to say its brilliance, but really not very much, although sometimes I think I make too many posts and perhaps overwhelm people, but when something is half written in my head, it is better to get it out there. So if anything, volume but that is sporadic. One day four posts, the next day none.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
I am not sure that I am particularly successful. I survive which is I suppose is a success. I guess I try to look for what is the motive behind a person when they do something wrong, rather than instantly judging them. I then feel better about things if I can see a motive. For example, if an acquaintance was nasty to me for no apparent reason, I ask myself have I unintentionally offended them in some way?
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
I am pretty emotionally even, so I really can’t recall being delirious happy or terribly sad. Cruelty to animals or to humans in no position to defend themselves depresses me.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?
If the bills are paid, anywhere will do. I would like to see more of England. Brazil appeals to me, as does Sri Lanka because it would be an easier taste of the subcontinent than India or Pakistan.
What is your favorite book and why?
I think it would be The Cousin from Fiji by Australian author, Norman Lindsay. It is not at all intellectual, just a great read and it tells of earlier times in Australia.
What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Their clothes at first, but I quickly focus on the way someone walks. That is, do they carry themselves well? Big or tiny, tall or short, I like people to move and act gracefully.
Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?
Not that I can recall. I would hope people would encourage others to write and improve, rather than focus on how good or bad they may be.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
They can sell their souls to the devil and have paid advertising on their site. For me a blog is pleasure only, untainted by any commercial interest. I hope that doesn’t sound too smug.
Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
Clearly they don’t have a lot of time on their hands if they have a successful blog. A successful blog does not fall from the sky. It takes time and commitment. To write about things, you need to experience them or to learn about them. From my observations, bloggers are very busy people. As an old saying goes, if you want something done in a hurry, then ask a busy person to do it.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?
I don’t think personal blogs have much impact. On a personal level, I have learnt a lot about other countries that I could never have known by reading books or daily media, so it would give people a better understanding of other countries and cultures. If you treat others in the blog world with respect and politeness, you do set a good example. You may not agree with what people write, but that is not a reason to be rude.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
I don’t want to make a list and offend anyone who I may not mention and I have truly made some great connections with nice and interesting people. I will just say that below is the first blog I started reading perhaps nine years ago, and I am still reading it today,
and for a good education about Australia, an honourable mention for this one,
Plenty of effort goes into both of the above blogs.
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
It is difficult to remember a single instance, but often just a simple and brief post can provoke the most comments. The are some areas to write about that will be guaranteed to get comments flowing, but the subject does not necessarily have to be controversial. Oddly, a post that might take me a long time to write and/or research, may barely receive a comment, whereas as a couple of lines about something that has annoyed me on that day, could get a huge response. There aren’t any rules about reaction, although writing race and religion can be quite provocative
What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
It is only a view from afar, distilled by media, but I think it is a country being pulled in many directions by people with different aims and ideals. It is the poorest Pakistani people who suffer the most.
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
I can’t say that I have ever come across a blog writer who is unique. In a way though, we are all unique.
What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
Open corruption in developing countries comes straight to my mind. I am not foolish enough to think that corruption does not happen in developed countries, but it is not a daily part of most people’s lives.
What is the future of blogging?
I am not sure. It won’t disappear but may become less popular. Blogs written by professional journalists are relatively new and interesting but I like my news and opinion from the old media such as newspapers, television and radio.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
By educating me about some things and stimulating my interest in others, both professionally and personally. But I tend to keep my personal life separate from my blog, although I write about it at times.
What are your future plans?
Nothing beyond the usual. Hopefully to be able to continue to live much as I now do.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
We are all human yet all different, and we must try to tolerate each other’s differences. While don’t do it to your ultimate peril, do try to stand up for what is right and never accept in your head something which is inherently wrong.