Picking Your Battles

I remain relatively new to this whole blogging business, and am still very much learning the ropes.

And while I am largely making it up as I go along, what with posting pieces on the culture and politics of two different nations, interspersed with classical music excerpts, architectural musings and the odd cat picture, I do try to stick to a few strictures passed down from others that seem to have served them quite well – post regularly, engage with your readers, link selectively, and so on. This seems to be working fairly well, but there are some occasions when the pieces of advice I have read or received come into conflict with each other. For example:

1. Post something, anything, about every important story that comes up. That way, people will learn to keep coming to your blog out of habit, your readership will go up, etc. etc.

and

2. Focus on quality. Pick your battles, and only weigh in on those stories where you have strong and original opinions. Your posts will be better informed and more enjoyable to read, and your readership will go up, etc. etc.

This is tricky for me. I tend to have opinions about most things, and if I had unlimited hours I could certainly commit a lot more of these thoughts to this blog. But aside from the time constraints, I often feel that by the time I come to a story, others have already dissected and analysed it in a far superior way. There’s no point in parroting the words of someone who got there first, without having anything interesting to contribute. And that leaves the question of what to do with all of the articles that capture my attention and interest, but about which I have few original thoughts to add.

For example, George Miller, writing at adamsmith.org., has an excellent piece reminding us that the recent failures of the private security firm G4S (contracted to provide much of the security at the upcoming London Olympic Games) should not be viewed as an indictment of outsourcing, or of the private sector in general. It is concise, well-written and chimes entirely with my own beliefs, but I have nothing really to add to it.

And therefore in future, rather than constructing a throwaway, waste-of-time blog post about such articles, or ignoring them entirely on my blog, I have decided to offer a kind of “daily summary” at the end of each day, with a few select stories of interest and a line or two from me about why they are worth a read. Hopefully, once this has a chance to bed down and establish itself, it will become a popular feature of this site.

I would be interested to here in the comments section below from any readers who have any other suggestions, insights or advice that they could offer.

In the meantime, I am going to proceed as planned.

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