Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Demise of a policeman

Well, I have to report, once more, on the demise of a blog. The Policeman's blog was always amusing and, one felt, rather too close to the truth for comfort.
Sorry about the lack of archive and the fact that there is only one post up at the moment. Recent events have somewhat caught Mrs C and myself by surprise and I am virtually submerged by the large number of friendly e-mails. I never suspected that the blog, written as it is by a police officer with no secret or even special knowledge to impart, would become quite so well read and appear in the national press.

I always thought I'd be able to type in my own brand of nonsense and nobody would take the slightest bit of notice, like what happens at work. Anyway, to my surprise, this hasn't happened and I'm faced with a few choices I never thought would come my way: despite it all, I actually like being a policeman.

The Mail on Sunday (I'm not going to link to them because they're cunts) decided to print large extracts of the Policeman's blog. They did not ask permission and, one imagines, that DC of that blog has been faced with some kind of ultimatum. Obviously, his superiors do read The Mail (why doesn't that surprise me?).

The Mail on Sunday did not ask his permission, and neither have they paid him a penny. Once more, thanks to the MSM, another entertaining writer has been forced off the blogosphere. Quite apart from that, the Mail have breached copyright and should be sued: however, since that is not going to happen, I imagine that this stuff will continue to happen.

This also gives rise to another problem, and partly concerns Timmy's book of bloggers (go on: buy it today with my little link to the top left. Provide some entertainment for those using the downstairs loo, and earn me some money into the bargain. Who can say fairer than that?).

Currently, as a recent survey showed, blogging is a very little known activity and many confused it with dogging (I suppose that, by employing a laptop and wireless network, you could in be blogging and dogging simultaneously. Maybe some people are already); becauseof this, many of us are able to get away with writing pretty much what we want, secure in the knowledge that our bosses or clients will, almost certainly, never see it.

Tim—and, indeed, myself (but then I have no boss)—would wish to see this book do well, and raise the profile of bloggers (and we have a couple of other ideas brewing in The Kitchen too) because blogging is a worthwhile thing. There are hundreds of excellent writers out there (as opposed to hacks like myself), with opinions on everything under the sun; it is a tremendous resource, and fun for those of us who do it. Blogging politics, traffic-hunting, the sheer joy of being able to write stuff that people will read, the arguments, discussions and conversations that we have—all are part of a rich, and—to an extent—exclusive, communal experience.

However, if the profile of blogging is raised, might we get more people being forced to remove their blogs and archives? Will this raised awareness lead to more regulation of what we are able to write? I hope not, but unfortunately I suspect that we will see more blogs being pulled down as more employers start to realise what their employees are up to.

Let's raise a glass and hope that I'm wrong, though, eh...?

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