October Blogroll

A new month, and a long over-due hat-tip to other writers.

First, some friends and colleagues. Fay Young is an Edinburgh-based journalist, getting to grips with the blogging medium after being given a blog for her birthday…

Polish-Canadian emigre Michelle K also resides in Scotland’s capital city. She is the programmes director at New Media Scotland, and chronicals the merging of art and technology over at The Hive. She also highlights some very interesting stuff on the concepts of public space and urbanism, and its through her I’ve come accross sites like Spacing Wire, the web-log of a Toronto based magazine. There is a lot of overlap between the ideas expressed there, and those explored on Demos, which has by far the best website of the UK think-tanks.

Its appalling that I haven’t managed to blogroll The Sharpener until now, given that I am now on their list of writers. My output so far has been meagre. I think this is partially to do with the intimidating weight of their collected knowledge and years, but more to do with the worry about ‘letting the side down’, thoughts that do not really arise when I post something here.

That’s not to say that I don’t think before publishing something here. One feature of recieving regular comments from the likes of hard-nosed libertarians such as DK, PG and Longrider (who also, belatedly goes onto the blogroll) is that one starts to pre-empt and address their arguments. I hope it makes for better, conciliatory writing, but it often comes at the price of spontaneity. I have never managed the fire-and-forget funniness Pigdogfucker, for example, whose less-than-tactful one-liners often hit the target in a way I would never have the nerve to do.

Harry Hutton’s blog is called Chase Me Ladies, I’m in the Cavalry. Deep down, we all wish we were Harry Hutton, and that we were in the calvalry. Also recommended are the cartoons at Bearskinrug, by US-based illustrator Kevin Cornell. Mojo the sock-monkey is endearingly obnoxious.

April Blogroll

This is actually the March blogroll, but I have not actually had the time to make the post until now. The best laid plans…

How convenient it is to have people on hand to scrutinise your blog posts. Both The Pedant General at Infinitives Unsplit and Clarice have been taking me to task recently, for woolly thinking, careless throwaways and gaping leaps of logic. Banter here has inspired dear Clarice to update her site at Conceptual Reality to a WordPress blog. She’s already taken a few people to task, namely those that ask for kisses, idolise iPods or watch Star Trek. Perhaps that’s why she’s been quiet at this place.

Doctor Crippen the NHS blog doctor is compelling. Several friends and members of my family are doctors of varying specialisms. I keep forwarding his posts onto them, and his dissection of the NHS management culture is truly clinical.

Both Tim Worstall and The Daily Dish are both well established, and hardly need my endorsement to boost their statistics… However, I read them both daily, and they are always linking to interesting pieces elsewhere. Furthermore, Tim has pioneered the weekly Britblog Round-up, which has been a primary channel for people coming here. Cheers Tim!

New Year Honours

Happy New Year everyone. Time to announce some additions to the blogroll.

I am delighted that a few high profile sites I read regularly have added this site to their list of recommendations, and I am more than happy to return the favour. Chicken Yoghurt, and fellow Edin-bugger Devil’s Kitchen are pretty prolific hubs, of the type that have to post messages of apology if they do not post anything for more than 24 hours! I am not sure I will find a political soul mate at The Kitchen, but as one of his other endorsements declares: “I disagree with him quite a lot of the time but I actually have to use my brain to articulate why.”.

Stef at Famous for Fifteen Megapixels probably leans more my way. He presents articles that are thoughtful, amusing, or both.

The rise and development of the Internet is a subject that fascinates me. We are still at the beginning of the communication revolution, and those who campaign for good practice and good design deserve particular praise. A List Apart is a “website for people who make websites.” As well as carrying a fantastic design, it is impeccably coded and offers advice on how designers can mirror those traits on their own sites. Website design should be so much more than simply visual design for the screen, and these folk are the best advocates. Elsewhere, the simple site by Clay Shirky carries some concise and perceptive essays on the Internet and the digital revolution.

It is an oversight that two organisations I have collaborated with on a few projects are not present in my associates list. Radio Magnetic are a Glasgow based radio station, perennial nominees for online station of the year awards. Digital technology opens up whole new ways to communicate, for those with the confidence to try.

Radio Magnetic have commissioned a series of podcasts from Scottish artists, giving an insight into the process of creating new music. The FOUND Collective bring us the first podcast in the series. its quite funny.

Inaug-roll

I’ve been waiting for a little while before adding anyone to the blogroll. This is partially because I’ve been fretting over whether or not to call it a ‘blogroll’ or whether to opt for something a more conservative description. It is also because I wanted to write a short yet coherent justification of each entry, and why they should be so honoured on www.robertsharp.co.uk.

Today I decided I should get my head out of my arse on both counts and simply get on with it.

I find myself leaving comments frequently on Pickled Politics, and I think they have hit just the right tone: balanced in places, yet with a rightly indignant fucking attitude problem in others…

Clive Davis has to be one of the most well read people on the planet. Ultimately, I disagree with him politically, but the articles he highlights always deserve a consideration, which I think will make my opinions better. His thoughts on culture, and especially the blogosphere, are particularly enlightening.

I came to Clive Davis via Jenks at the thames, who claims it was Clive who persuaded him to start a blog. I could confess to a vague nepotism with this one, as Jenks and I apparently share a couple of genes somewhere along the line… but I do enjoy his vignettes on bringing up three kids. Let’s hope this addition to the blogroll squeezes a few more out of him, eh? (edit: That would be blog posts, not kids…)

You could accuse me of cronyism when I include … by ste curran on the roll, since I am pre-aquainted with him too. But even if we had never met, I would still delight in Ste’s writing. I just would not be able to imagine the cheeky chancer beavering away at his keyboard, wiping a tear of neat emotion away from his RedEye. If they can behave themselves, the Triforce may get an entry one of these days too.

During the various happenings in Edinburgh this summer, I saw both George Galloway and George Monbiot speak on the same day. Galloway’s rhetoric has always entertained me, but there is nowhere near as much substance as Monbiot. If anyone should be ‘Gorgeous George’ its the latter, not the former.

There’s a couple more sites I have been reading recently, which I would like to add… but these five will do for now. No need to open all the Christmas presents at once.