State of the Nation Speech

Did you ever feel like taking it nice and slowly for a while?  I think that’s what I’ll do for the next few days.  It’s been a busy week and although normally I can sit down and quickly hammer out some old blather for your entertainment or annoyance, time will be in short supply for the next few days.  I’m going to be busy with various projects, so posting might be a little sporadic.  I don’t know yet.  We’ll see how it goes.

This seems like a good time to return to a theme I occasionally visit: reader feedback.  It’s a bit like those signs you see on the back of vans: How’s my driving? except that I actually mean it.

I’d like to know what sort of things you’d like to see more of and what you’d like to see fade out a bit.  I’m not promising to do what you ask, but I do want to gauge the general feeling.  Over the last couple of years, as the world has gone insane, I’m conscious that the site has become a good deal more political in its slant than it was when starting out, but I think that’s inevitable.  You’d have to be blind, deaf and stupid not to become involved in the sort of issues currently afflicting everyone.

Likewise, various members of the  Bock Collective have come and gone.  New ones keep apppearing and I’m grateful to everyone for their voluntary contributions of time and talent.  I know it isn’t easy to find space for writing when more pressing matters are at hand.  So to all of them , I say Thanks.  That collective approach will continue.  As long as people are able to write properly (I’m fussy about that) and as long as they have something to say, there’s always space here for a guest posting.

So tell me.  Do you want more sport, more politics, more cookery, more music, more random blathering?  What do you want less of?

What sections could go in that we haven’t covered before?  What new things do you think would work?

Come back to me and say what you think.  Suggestions for improvement are always welcome, but please make them constructive.  I’m afraid comments like This is a shit site simply won’t cut it.

Also, I want to say one other thing.  The readership figures have continued to grow, for reasons that are largely a mystery to me, and now we have several thousand people visiting each day.  That’s good, but it would be really great if more of them spoke up.  So if you happen to be one of the silent majority, why not make a comment?  Nobody will bite you (much).

39 thoughts on “State of the Nation Speech

  1. Seriously

    more of everything, but please bring back the option to edit your posts for typos etc or so like you used to have. I think it used to be 15 minutes or so.

  2. That will happen. As you probably know, the site is under reconstruction at the moment and various features are being tried out. It looks very different now from the way it was three months ago and it might change even more before it’s done. When it settles down, you’ll be able to edit posts again.

  3. “So if you happen to be one of the silent majority, why not make a comment?”. Ah okay so. Here goes. Hello everyone.
    Phew. That wasn’t so bad.

    I think the site is perfect.
    More talk of sex maybe.
    Not that kinda site huh. Damn it.
    Ok, definitely more cooking, more music and more random blathering.
    Yes, yes and yes to all those.

  4. Grandad — It’s the famous grey-red widget, designed to keep people amused when they have nothing better to do. Now red now grey now red now grey now red now grey …

  5. Yeah, sport is superfluous! :-)))
    Who cares about a bunch of sweaty swearing men who are kicking, punching, batting some ball or other?

    But go on with politics and social stuff. I often learn a lot more about Irish politics and life on this site than reading the papers.
    I like opinion, if I agree or not. Ranting opinion isn’t something you find often in middle-class and corporate journalism. The news as such I can read myself.

    And foremost keep on the random blathering about this and that. I like quirky thoughts as well, be it about society in times of ghost estates or the sex life of mongrels or the smoking habits of dandelions.
    Observations in everyday life, reporting from below the official radar, that’s what I like to continue to read here.

    More reviews of interesting books would be nice, too.

    And it’s good that you publish controversial posts from readers. Though less so, it seems. It’s good to know about the other side, to know about what is out there, to be prepared for argument and keep the braincells firing. It’s rather boring to agree on everything. Don’t you think?

    I like your doggie by the way. Looks almost like my furry princess…

  6. I suppose all of Munster cares about those men, so I’ll probably have to keep sport, but I will have Grandad assassinated.

    I wish I had more rime for books. How life has changed. More of that then. It will encourage me to read like I used to.

    I think it’s time to move back to the nonsense blather as you say, so expect more of that as well, and I’ll work on controversial posts. Sometimes, people don’t understand that I try to provoke debate by throwing out challenging opinions, and they get very upset when I express a view contrary to the accepted position. But you know what? Fuck them if they can’t take a joke.

  7. Bock I would say more of the same.If it ain’t broke etc.Perhaps more of your wonderful photos? Don’t forget the silly things like the conkers,that brought a tear to my eye when I thought of my childhood in north Mayo,silly old fart that I am.About sport,just rugby please.

  8. More on Limerick. An odd request from a Tipp person but I lived there for 12 years and I miss the assorted carryon.

  9. It’s not a Limerick site. It just happens to be based here. That’s why there aren’t any Limerick posts, unless they happen to have a wider relevance.

  10. Is that furry luxury on a cushion really the feared street ranger. If anything in the way of improvements occur to me will offer my tuppence worth.

  11. Long time reader occasional poster , enjoy the mix of articles and opinions ( still ) , don’t think Grandad deserves to be liquidated though , miss the edit function too as I have me own particular version of English which requires editing more than most !
    Keep up the good work .

  12. What I mean is a full searchable section, let’s say you have cucumbers, bacon and cocoa available. Enter the search terms, and ta-da, if lucky, you get a suitable recipe including pictures, ratings, the whole lot.

  13. My first port of call nearly every day is BTR, makes my morning coffee all the more enjoyable. An occasional bock rant is always entertaining, you haven’t done one of those in a while, and they always send me scurrying for the dictionary.
    A lot of your discussions are about are about politics and the financial crisis, and are probably beyond my capacity to analyze and comment on, so I’m probably better off being part of the silent majority in that case!
    As far as I’m concerned, you don’t have to change a thing!

  14. An element of more general discussions where people could introduce topics, or have a good moan could be popular. A good example was the thread last week that took that direction and gave people an opportunity to vent. I think one of the best purposes served by blogging sites is to allow people to vent.

    Let other people introduce topics with a general thread and let the readership decide what they want to talk about or not. With good moderation this could be an intresting experiment.

    A lot of the time I would be the silent majority as descrbed above when I feel that people have a better handle on the topic than I would, and enjoy reading there research or opinion.

    Have you dropped the email notification for good ?

  15. More of the same but without the profanity. It may have its place in the spoken word but its a waste of time and energy in the written one.

  16. I’m not sure there’s too much I would change. The broad range of topics is a huge attraction. I first came here for the politics and economics, and I’ve stayed for the surprising breadth of topics, and the quality of the wit and writing. For an ex-pat like myself, your site gives me a sense of participating in an intelligent and witty debate about all parts of Irish life – good and bad, serious and whimsical.

    I enjoy the sports stuff (where is SecondsOut, or is he one of the departed that you spoke of?)
    The cooking is marvelous, and I’m also a fan of your photography.
    Your “Myles na Gcopaleen”-type pieces are a joy. I’d like more of them, but I suppose the muse comes when it comes.
    Maybe a few more of the occasional science or technology related articles (or those debunking charlatans).

  17. Just for the sheer hell of it i’m going to ask you to correct the grammatical error in part of your comments policy page :-)

  18. Oh how that sounded like a swan song; I certainly hope not!
    But by all means assassinate (or have assassinated) Granddad; but I agree with Carrig too; more reviews of interesting books.

  19. I have been pondering on your proposition and have come to the conclusion that I am satisfied as to the state of things on your site . Here in my mountain cabin in the dark of the artic winter unknown to the rest of Scandinavia , Finland and western parts of Russsia I with great joy do read and recyckle within the remote areas of my hypofys the beaming light of enlightenment radiating from your site . This injection of mental nourishment is like makeing contact with a one man resistence movement . I must admit to be weak for photography to the extent of recently aquiring a Leica de lux 5 with view finder and camera case with shoulder strap . So perhaps the odd photo from my ramblings can find it’s way to your site . ” Natur and animals ” could give a hint as to my preference .

  20. The first post I read here was the William McGonagall one(world’s worst poet),a few years ago now and I rarely let a day pass without having a look.Tis all good.

  21. Blind hatred and going straight for the throat when warranted, oh my days, by all means yes. Rudeness directed at regular posters, maybe, not so much. PLEASE DON’T HIT ME!

  22. I was under the impression that your were looking for feedback on your fine site. My post was a drunken, nuanced, well thought out opinion. That’s all I was talking about.

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