Monthly Archives: April 2009

A Few Reflections

I haven’t posted for a while because of things have been a bit hectic and to be honest I think I lost a bit of steam with keeping this blog going. So as a way of kicking myself back into gear I think it might be a bit useful to take a look at the some of the things that I’ve found useful in developing this blog, and highlight some of the things which might be usful for others trying to grow a fledgling blog.

1. The most important thing I’ve found out is that you need to post regularly. Not necessarily every day, but on a regular basis so that your readers can know when to expect having something to read. Readers will also check back more regularly if they can expect to find something new. It’s something I’ve been guilty of not observing recently and my blog traffic has suffered because of it. A good way of keeping blog ideas coming and being able to post regularly is to make lists of possible ideas of blog posts that you can work on at a later date, rather than having to come up with an idea every day.

2. Social networking is also a really vital way of bringing new readers in. I think Twitter is probably responsible for about half of my new traffic at the moment and facebook was really useful for letting all my friends know about the blog at first, most of whom are now regular readers and have sent links on to their friends. The thing with social networks though is that there’s so many of them and they’re constantly changing so it can be hard to keep up with them and really get to grips with more than a couple of them. However they are well worth using especially if you can use them to join up with other bloggers in a similar vein. I think the trick is to just try all of them and work out which networks are most effective for you. My project for this week is to really get to grips with Digg and work out how to use it to my advantage.

3. Commenting on other blogs is an essential part of blogging. It’s along similar lines to my point about social networking, but no-one is going to to just randomly visit your blog if you don’t tell anyone about it or interact with anyone else. I quite often try to seek out other similar blogs and comment on interesting posts they may have, partly to add something to the conversation, partly in the hope that people will then follow my comment back to my blog (there’s a setting on wordpress that turns your name into a link to your blog). I struggled at first finding similar blogs to mine, because I cover such a range of topics but WordPress’s tag surfer is quite a useful way to do this.


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Obama’s gift to Brown

Earlier this week, when Gordon Brown met Barack Obama he presented him with the gift of a pen holder, made from the timbers of the HMS Gannet, an anti-slave ship that was a sister ship to the HMS Resolute, which was used to make the desk in the oval office.

A well thought-out and meaningful gift no-doubt, but Obama’s gift to Brown has raised a few eyebrows.

The President’s gift to the Prime Minister was a box set of 25 DVD’s of classic American films.

A lot of people have used this to bash Obama’s diplomatic skills, and when compared to Brown’s gift for him it does seem a little insubstantial but I do think it’s a nice gesture. Hollywood film is probably America’s most popular and influential cultural export and its a nice idea to give something which represents American society. There’s a bit more information on the story here including the probable list of films.

It got me thinking though, what 25 films would I put in a box set to represent Britain, heres a quick list in no particular order.

1. Trainspotting
2. Brief Encounter
3. The 39 steps
4. Secrets and Lies
5. Four Weddings and A Funeral
6. Monty Python’s and now for something completely different
7. A Matter of Life and Death
8. Carry on camping
9. 24 hour party people
10. Goldfinger
11. If…
12. Look Back In Anger
13. Blow Up
14. Shaun of the Dead
15. A Hard Days Night
16. The Wicker Man
17. A Clockwork Orange
18. The Remains of the Day
19. The Crying Game
20. The Full Monty
21. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
22. Kidulthood
23. Bend it like Beckham
24. The Dam Busters
25. Dracula

There were a few others but I decided to limit myself to 25. I’ve tried to include examples from most of the major british directors and that cover a range of subjects that show britain. It’s not necessarily a list of the greatest british films, although I think many of them are, but it’s supposed to be a list which represents Britain, both past and present. Think I’ve missed anything or disagree with it? let me know what your opinions.

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Filed under Film, Politics