It’s been sometime since there was a post on Sparrow Chat. As reported in the previous missive, priorities have lain elsewhere due to the season, and frankly there’s not been much on the news or political scene to wet one’s interest and inspire composition.
Nevertheless, that Sparrow Chat must remain an ongoing project was brought home by the ‘Noblesse Oblige’ award presented to the blog by my good blogging pal, WiseWebWoman, though it’s fair to suspect, as this one involves some work, that it was at least as much a prod to duty as any meritorious decoration.
It comes with strings attached:
- Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.
- The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.
- Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts to support.
- The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.
- Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog.
The first two rules have thus been simply dealt with, but as to the blog’s purpose and achievements, they are a little more difficult to define.
When Sparrow Chat hatched back in 2003, it had little idea of purpose. Anyone and everyone was beginning to blog in those days and the technology was novel and interesting. ‘Blogger’ was the emerging platform, and template tinkering sufficiently exciting as to bind one to the computer for hours at a time – usually attempting to put right some ignominious cock-up that had shoved one’s blog title down below the footer, or left the latest post hanging in the ether somewhere between Rangoon and Nor-Nor-West Bohemia.
There was some unfocused notion it might become a writer’s blog. Of course, rarely does anything turn out as expected – at least in Sparrow Chat world – and before long the subject matter veered evermore towards the political scene, ably assisted by George W Bush and his band of inept political comedians.
A measure of achievement is also the gauge of success. Some bloggers apportion their accomplishments by visitor levels or comment numbers. Were this to be the yardstick for Sparrow Chat, then its greatest success would be with a subject bearing little relation to either politics or news.
On January 27th 2008, an article appeared on the blog, entitled, “Smart Car – But No Smart Gas Mileage”. It was around the time gasoline shot to three dollars or more a gallon. As with so much that ends up in Sparrow Chat, the inspiration for the post came from a NBC Nightly News infomercial (thinly disguised as a news story) for the lately introduced ‘Smart’ car from Europe. It’s appalling gas mileage figures, when compared to its European counterpart, was the subject behind the article.
Rather surprisingly, the title landed it in the top five leaders of Google’s search engine for anyone entering “smart car” or “smart gas mileage”. At that economically difficult period, it turned out to be a popular search. Sparrow Chat’s visitor stats shot from a modest three hundred or so a week, to nearer a thousand. Over the course of time, the main article and its four updates accrued sixty-seven comments, some of them quite lengthy.
They do still arrive, though the flow has now subsided to no more than an occasional drip. The last one was only a week or so ago. Sparrow Chat can be proud of the part it played in helping destroy the sales figures of that appalling engineering disaster, the American Smart car.
One cannot, however, measure success by a single triumph. Sparrow Chat is much more than that. Over the last six years it has been how I, R J Adams, have chosen to speak to the world, or at least, the small fraction of it sufficiently interested to keep reading.
There have been factual posts and opinions, but with all that’s been written the focus has been on honesty and accuracy. Sometimes, it’s caused contention; occasionally, pain. The subject matter has not always been to everyone’s liking, but the aim of everything ever written on Sparrow Chat has been to make people think.
Therein lies the measure of its success, or otherwise.
This “Noblesse Oblige” trophy –
– is, apparently, awarded for the following:
- The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs.
- The Blog contents inspire; strive to encourage and offer solutions.
- There is a clear purpose to the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding of Social, Political, Economic, Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.
- The Blog is refreshing and creative.
- The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.
One would like to think Sparrow Chat has aimed to achieve all of the above, even if it has, on occasions, fallen short.
As to the future, blogs rise and fall dependent on the whims of their creators. Since Sparrow Chat first took wing, many have risen to prominence only to fade into obscurity for a variety of reasons; some as mundane as boredom, or changing interests; others due to ill-health, or sadly, death.
For now, there is no intention to clip this Sparrow’s wings. Life does constantly change and evolve, though, so it’s likely the frequency of posting will rise and fall in tune with the rhythms of the planet, and its effects on the writer.
Now, in keeping with the rules of “Noblesse Oblige”, it behooves me to choose three recipients (there’s no number in the rules, but ‘three’ seems to be a popular figure) on whom to bestow this grand, pixellated, medal.
It’s not an easy choice, but out of many good blogs I’ve chosen:
- “How This Old Brit Sees It …” exposes the bad guys using more than a hint of adrenalizing alliteration.
- “Learning Curve on the Ecliptic” fulfills all the requirements for this award. No knowledge of astrology is necessary to enjoy the fine articles posted by “Twilight” (though I do skip through the star charts!).
- Finally, “The Nevin Politology” is a relatively new blog written by Nevin, a Turkish woman now living in the United States. Thoroughly recommended!
And now, all that remains is to find space for this magnificent trophy in Sparrow Chat’s sidebar.
Ummmm……the right side, I think……
Filed under: Worse than the Oscars