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Webdiary: where to from here? David Curry's thoughts

Hello all. I'm back home in Queensland, starting to recover from the campaign and muse about Webdiary's future. Where do we want it to go? What technical innovations would we like? Would we consider an association with New Matilda or another online publication? Would we like to raise funds for investigative journalism, or would we like to keep the show volunteer only? Would we like keen Webdiarists to keep us updated regularly on ongoing issues? Would we like active moderation on some threads, to keep the debate focused and tease out the differences and the points of agreement? What is our role in the Rudd era?

I've asked the core team who've kept the old girl afloat well past her 7th birthday for their thoughts on the matter. David Curry is the first to deliver. Let's have a chat. 

Me, I'm around this month, then off to the mountains where no mobile gets through. This is a topic to chew over during the long hot summer.

Love to all Webdiarists for Christmas and the New Year and good vibes for happiness in 2008,


David Curry on Webdiary

A few weeks ago my wife, frustrated at the amount of time I spend on Webdiary, said ‘They’re really your community, aren’t they?’  I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms before, but it’s true.  Webdiarists are part of my community – my virtual community, anyway (although cyberspace and meatspace have become increasingly blurred as I meet various diarists face-to-face or over the phone).   

Like most communities, Webdiary is made up of very different people.  There are those I look forward to having a beer with, figuratively speaking, and having a good natter.  There is the pleasure that comes with just exchanging ideas or sharing a viewpoint, whether I ‘know’ the person or not.  Some I’m happy to eavesdrop on.  We all contribute quite different things to Webdiary.   

It sounds corny I’m sure, but I feel an extraordinary amount of affection for most long-term diarists, even those I regularly get into heated exchanges with.   

And there are diarists who nearly always rub me up the wrong way (just as I probably do to them).  It’s the nature of political forums that they attract people with strong convictions, and such people are often inclined to express those convictions by ridiculing those that differ.  We should all cross the street when baits are laid but it’s hard not to reflexively lash out.  I know I do.  Let’s face it, sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than a good vent.   

Invariably I feel regretful afterwards.  For me, the worst thing about Webdiary is the toxicity of many of the exchanges.  Even with the impeccable editing of the team, some threads are overwhelmingly dominated by vitriol and sarcasm.  I sometimes look at what is posted and think, if I was on this site for the first time I’d run a mile.  It’s water off a duck’s back now, but I remember how nervous I was when I made my first post.  Why would I subject myself to the remorseless ridicule just itching to attach itself to my post?  At one stage I was so disenchanted with what I felt was the predictably nasty and esoteric nature of Webdiary I couldn’t look at it for weeks.   

But it is an addiction.  I always come back.   

And I think it’s been a great year for Webdiary.  We’ve seen a bunch of new names (including one attached to a cat!) and the return of some long-absent diarists.  The Federal election campaign, the first for a long time to really offer the chance of a change of Government, made Webdiary positively hum with excitement.  There was no shortage of issues to get our teeth into – all the election issues, and then some - and chew them we did.   

How much fun was it to share the joy of Howard’s demise with the other diarists who had long awaited the day?  

Having Margo back was the icing on the cake.  Best of all, it was a rejuvenated, re-energised and life-loving Margo, not the heartbreakingly fragile person I met a few years ago during reports of the second death of Webdiary (much exaggerated, as it turned out).  Webdiary proved it could exist without Margo, but I don’t think a single diarist would disagree her presence improves it immeasurably.   

Jenny Hume wondered if Webdiary was redundant now that Howard is gone.  Hardly.  For one thing, I never saw the forum as a left-wing echo chamber, and the rich diversity of views on Webdiary proves it’s not.  Margo’s own politics have never been neatly left or right (whatever those terms mean now), nor have mine.  The Rudd government needs to be held accountable like any government.  They’ll make mistakes and they’ll implement foolish policies.   

And we’ll always have Iraq.   

Talking of left and right, one thing I’d like to see is some pieces from those who identify with the right and can clearly write, but whose main contribution is to carp at those they identify as lefties.  How about stepping up to the plate, Eliot?  Webdiary should be more than a shooting gallery.   

I’d like to see more of the superb citizen journalism we got from the APEC conference.  Charged pieces by Richard and others were powerfully evocative of the intimidation police applied to protesters.  You could really feel the shock and fear in that reportage.  Most of us have jobs and a myriad of other commitments, but there’s no substitute for reportage from the front line, when it’s possible.   

Stephen Smith’s piece from the Tally Room was one of the best election pieces I read, anywhere.  It was evocative, sharply observed, insightful and funny.  More please, Stephen!   

Jenny’s view from the land is a great asset to Webdiary.   

I’d also love to see more from Irfan Yusef and other Muslims, given the ongoing ‘Muslim issue’.  It is fine for us non-Muslims to sit around pontificating on Islam’s ‘problems’ - but only up to a point.  It can get ugly, no doubt, but how can we ever move forward if we don’t talk to each other?   

One of the best things about Webdiary’s broad church, if you will, is that all of us, if we’re honest, have had some of our assumptions and deeply-held beliefs challenged.  It’s uncomfortable, for sure, but crucial to genuine understanding.  That applies to any issue you care to name.   

I don’t think Webdiary should lose its political focus but occasionally everyone needs a break from all the angst.  Film and music might be a great circuit breaker.  As a music writer for The Canberra Times I’m biased, but there is a palpable sense of relief when a piece goes up like Roger Fedyk’s Two Old Musos and Jesus.  Even that thread inevitably drifted into religious differences, but for a while the sun came out as diarists fondly related some of their musical endeavours.  Perhaps we could see a new subject area with reviews of CDs and shows, and maybe interviews?  I’d be happy to kick a few off.   

It’s a recurring theme for me, and probably a forlorn hope, but I wish more threads were about genuine debate rather than scoring points.  I’m sure more people would post on Webdiary if the sarcasm was turned down.  It ain’t Habermas’ public sphere, that’s for sure.  But then, that’s the nature of ideals, right?  It’s enough, I guess, that once in a blue moon, when the light is just right and the wind isn’t blowing, Webdiary gets close.  It’s a precious thing.


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No place for Claude or his mates

Warning for Claude and his mates. I sent the good Scot on a 50km jaunt to the one shop left in our neck of the plains, (you know, the everything from a needle to an anchor sort of joint), to ask for some worm pills for the skinny stray that lives in the hay shed. The old bloke at the till just looked at him as if he was mad, shook his head and said:  I usually use lead.  

Advice for the Webdiary widows. Only one thing to do. Join the club like me, and then nothing gets done. That soon sorts them out.

But it has its upside. When you are away and the washing up is there for you when you get back, the I was too busy cleaning up the yard excuse can be shot down rather neatly.

I am sure Webdiary will survive, despite the comings and the goings of any of us.

Webdiary is a waste of time

Well Margo, I told you so. Webdiary is a waste of time.  We have been seduced, I didn't even know that we can have sex on WD. We know nothing (only watch Hogan's Heroes). We are addicted, where the ganja? My unseemly embarrassingly amateurish home video. Others' unreadable poems, reviews, and essays.

Since I joined the WD community, I have also stopped going to libraries, read books and ignore the tradition, even though I am a qualified Librarian. Never mind that I just spent bloody $30.00 buying a new book called: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of WW2. No wonder my wife yelled at me: "Why do you need a new book and waste $30.00, you got WD" the other day.

 It's all your fault Margo, all your fault. "Net dumbs us down: Nobel prize winner - New Nobel laureate Doris Lessing has used her acceptance speech to rail against the internet, saying it has "seduced a whole generation into its inanities" and created a world where people know nothing".

Precisely not dumbed, it's all talk

Ha ha PF, well spotted. Of course we would all like to go back to that world where people knew something, or was that everything? in the meanwhile I'll take the inanities of webdairy (sic, I'm trying to milk the pun) along with the profound.

In terms of content I think Webdiary is already very open to the interests of its community - commentary and reportage and reviews are all obviously welcome, I don't think they need to be prescribed.  The evolutionary model seems to be working well.  Respect, tolerance, democracy and passion, but the latter with a measure of moderation. As Margo said when it began, you (plural) make the content.

What I would like to see is a bit more non-virtual publicity for the site, forget kevin 07, where is my margo t-shirt, my Webdiary bumper sticker, my ethical, accountable and transparent beach ball? We must have some entreprenurial types here amongst the literary lay-in till noon latte sippers...  and xmas is just around the corner.

just call her Angel a of the morning

Angela Ryan, many thanks for prompt response correcting my incorrect spelling of Veeeeona's name as "Veeona".

What is this horror about blokes changing nappies, tho?

Do you think men would be so cruel as to deny women the fulfillment of motherhood?

And baby puke and all that...

No more catty remarks, I know (sigh). Actually am impressed with my cat, who always jumps up on the bed and sits on my belly staring into my eyes with intent concern when am a low ebb.

The dog is remarkable, too. Pearls before swine; animals are.

Bye, xmas etc.

A rose by any other ...

I think I shall change my name to Ermyntrude. Or Kylie.

Lark, Sheridan, Courtney, Fawn...

How 'bout "Britney"?

Fiona: No. Correspondence on this matter is now closed.

Not Malcolm

Please leave Turnbull alone! While I have no time for the man, he is the best hope that we have for a 'thinking' opposition!

Claude will just have to eat tibs!

Let WD be, not all things to all people

As an occasional visitor, I tend to agree with Paul and Evan. Webdiary is what it is. I would not visit more often for coverage of whatever, nor do I believe that Webdiary has the resources for ‘investigative journalism’.

Not only is that type of work immensely time consuming, requiring training and a broad background knowledge of the area being investigated, it requires massive resources to discourage and combat the pressures that such work inevitably stirs up in opposition.

To put it brutally money and influence can and will shut you up, or perhaps that ought to be shut you down!

Nor do I believe for a moment that having Howard gone makes Webdiary irrelevant. The Rudd government will have to be held to account; there are issues that we know will not be touched. In fact if climate change continues apace, there may be a great deal more to discuss as we attempt to navigate a new world.

As things stand there are threads that I do not look at, and threads that I take a quick look at and never revisit. Yet these threads often run for long periods, so they are obviously of interest to others.

There is, I believe, an immense amount of work for those who do the moderating. This raises the question of just how much, and for how long they are prepared to continue.

It is perhaps no bad thing if Webdiary waxes and wanes at times, lightening the load of those who serve.

No change

I agree with Peter, Webdiary should carry on the way it is.

I believe that in the next three years there is going to be lots to do keeping Rudd accountable. We will be lucky if we get 10% of what he promised, and it will not be long before they start to cancel things, with the excuse that it is not economically prudent. Climate Change will be right there up at the top, and that is why Garrett has been gagged. I just hope you are all going to to take the stick to Labor if they do not perform. Maybe, just maybe you have changed things in Australia for the better.

As far as I know nobody has been murdered on Webdiary [Fiona: though are times when the temptation is almost irresistible...], although a few have gone missing for a time. I wish you all A Happy New Year and may your god go with you.

Fiona: Thank you for that vote of confidence, Alan. As far as taking the stick to Rudd - just watch. It will happen.


FR As far as taking the stick to Rudd - just watch. It will happen.

Indeed Crikey.com has pierced the side of the Kevin Christ with a monster barb over his failure to evict the rent defaulter Howards from Kirribilli House.

Just anybody else - say a young low income couple with three kids under five years old - try the Howards' stunt, especially if they are guzzling all the landlord's expensive piss, running up huge 'phone and Greenhouse bills, while ruining the carpets with cigar stubs and spent cartridge cases.

Rudd should be burned at the stake for this profligate abuse of executive power, and Crikey, despite its usual daily tsunami of lame-brained incompetencies, deserves praise for saying so.

Surely the time is ripe for a half tonne of burley into the harbour, followed by the Howards and all members of the Opus Dei who have traipsed mud, blood, broken glass and semen-filled condoms through Kirribilli while good old Uncle Janette plotted from her kitchen nook.

Or perhaps a guillotine could be set up in the front yard to put on a little light entertainment for the homeless. But not a fundraiser.

Rabbi Dr Sir Jihad Jacques Woodforde, OAM, God's blood! Zounds!!!

it's all about Fish, Woody, good Fish

Wow, dear Robbi Baron Dr Sir Jihad Jacques W, what a post! I had trouble keeping down my Skippy greenhousereductiongas meal. Rare treat it was too. Akchurely matey, aren't you getting your seasons a bit mixed up? Spearing and spiking and burning with profligate abuse of executive power is more in keeping with Easter.

And watch those sedition laws Metoo isn't going to rescind – all that burley in the harbour may be mistaken for tea metaphor and redcoats-a-challenging and Lord Baron Beesknees will be back BBQing at Kirribilli giving tax advice and headache powders and finding another ambassador job for Tony before you know it. You did say Opus Dei didn't you? Well anyway, I guess now it will be Chunghei Dei and the Marshall Islands opposition party fundraisers.

And not enough sharks to do their duty in Sydney, I think off Adelaide would be far more cathartic. Glenelg. Great white meets grating white. Ick. Man, that guy looks so different on a golf course without the photoshop job for the election.

Thinking of that Dantonesque Kirribilli scene dear Woody described, as I approach the humble kitchen nook, with large knife, targeting one deceased adult roo already in handy choppable pieces and plated on appropriately black background polystyrene … naaa still the wrong season.

Back to basics, we are talking of the classics here, the evicted ones during a counting. Most get four weeks or less if furnished, immediate. Malcolm's Lucy has a spare pad in Canberra. Some other ex-ministers have too now.

We need a big nappy. Where we'll get three wise men is beyond me. A stable for the evicted couple. We have the asses. And the cattle.

Oh how sweet a nativity it could have been. And much less harmful to the digestion as compared to sharkfesting activities and bloodgushing spearings etc. Heavens we are talking kitchen audience appropriate here. Tut tut.

Happy xmas dear Irreverent Wood, I truly have loved all I understood and trusted to do so for the rest too. Rarely were ribs not cracked. Await with baited breath the Fish season deposts.

Tis the season to consider Bethlehem.

Cradles of the world and how it can all be better, with more palatial Roman columned architectural monstrosity imitation evictions. And better fish. Cartilaginous with real spines.


noahs ark

Yes, yes.

Angela Ryan mentions Adelaide's famous great white sharks. In the absence of much else over here, we take doubly great pride and joy in the mention of our universally-famous housepets.

And we do not let on to anyone "outside" about how much we pay the mugs doing the paddling underwater, just beneath the fibreglass fins.

And so it goes

It's two years, according to the gizmo that I have been a member of the renewed Webdiary. Two years - well done all - especially those cretinous bastards who have, at various times, tried to destroy it (from adversity comes strength), those morons who don't always automatically agree with me and the very tiny proportion of you, who if given the opportunity, woudn't vote for me.

It is rather like Union Night used to be – a free exchange of ideas within rules but, here, it is without the same time limit.

Thank you all for keeping it going and a plague on all your houses.

Let's just find the physician eh?

Mens sanis? Alios in corpore sano.


ARC Cartilaginous with real spines.

Oh dear. One is not carping, is one? arc, arc, arrrrrc ..... rhymes with myrrh, frankincense and rhodium. And palladium. All those Great Dyke metalliferous ingots. Ask Zimplats.

Don't forget that Bethlehem was about a census. And soon enough about massacre and refugee status. That's where the ass came into it. The Bethlehem to Egypt dash.

Crikey. Our Lady (navigator) and the Good St Giuseppe (at the wheel), plus the Baby Jesus (crew) and Erik the Donkey (courtesy of Citroën works) appear to have initiated the Paris to Dakar style of cross-desert rush. Cross cultural rubber burning. There were big cats in the Sinai in those days. The script of a great road movie is lolling there, one thinks.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, we shall make of you fishes, of men

An Xmas Wish For Dr Woodforde!

'Tis the season, jolly Polly, mistletoe and rum fruitcakes but rain, dear? Kirribilli capers will lodge anew, Bali in the soup, methinks, but what about Isis, is life a pyramid or merely a silhouette cut by a madman in the 1916 trenches, my darling, man the vickers? 

The Second Coming been and gone, Hinklers all destroyed, stay in the bunkers, pass the arsenic, will Iran survive the Elders of Zion, grapefruit or grapeshot, powder wet and no fish, make a wish, pish, pish, Neil Diamond for President or Bing or Bling, some say there's no such thing? Beware the chimney, someone coming, call the dog but what?

Cheers from Dr Daniel Smythe, PISXVW, Camel Driver 2nd class, Protector of  Small Blind Primates, Potential Pope, Paid Informer, Cousin of Judas, Seven Day A Week Bike Rider and Complete Capitalist Failure with Bar.



We may give you a plaice of your own, Daniel Smythe.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, pantrymaid to the rich and fatuous

Tee totalled

Having just read the exchanges between Angela Ryan, Daniel Smythe and Dr Woodforde, I am now completely convinced this was a bad time to go off the grog. Where do I get whatever it is they are on?


Believe me, little brothers and sisters, you really don't want to. That Severn-McIntyre water will get you every time. Ask St Barnaby of the Joist.

Dr William S (Burroughs) Woodforde, FRCP, FRCS (Edin) OAM, town doctor, Federation Goondiwindi, then to the Diamantina

I'll have what they're having...

I understand that it is called the Christmas spirit.

I'll stick to Hogmanay

Bah Humbug


I think a cat section could be a good idea: food reviews, grooming tips, which small mammals are on the verge of extinction, fabric design and perhaps even a Turnbull watch section.

Maybe you could get Diabetes Australia to sponsor it.

A few funny articles might help as well.

Fiona: Any time that you choose to put paw to computer, Claude, we shall be happy to consider the results.

small mammals on the verge of extinction

Information on "small mammals ... on the verge of extinction" may assist Claude in his mission to help them on their way, and would be of interest to the rest of us, but, on balance, it is probably better if it is kept confidential - from Claude, at least.

Perhaps we can convince Claude that Turnbull is a small mammal on the verge of extinction.

Fiona: Having had the honour of meeting Claude, Mark, my money would be on him against TOM any day.


I reckon we are all just about, Ishmaelites. What an odd agglomeration of souls, from the likes of Malcolm Duncan and Daniel Smythe through to Fiona ("or Vee-ona", as another Webdiarist recently called her), through the likes of David Curry to bods like Alan Curran, Marilyn Shepherd and John Pratt. And many, many others, including myself at times.

We often loathe each other yet won't stay away, despite whatever sense of righteous indignation may have caused us to "go where'st we will".

So it’s a virtual community. Better a virtual community than none at all.

There are those who would gladly keep ordinary people isolated as part of their reification, but after many years now the site remains a place for independent minded people of myriad political and philosophical colours, who think a bit more deeply about their world and life in general and seek others of a similar outlook for answers and/or reaffirmation as a useful tool in their negotiation of life.

perhaps a news list splat and cat food

Ello, Paul, it is indeed a special day when one gets away with V for Veeeona. "Fi" is a noun that gets shot down too fast to get any wind under the wings. Now that I have Claude's attention, my friend just beside me, Rexina Rotti, would love a Cat Watch site, yum.

And spouses can certainly be a bother, really can't they for once change the nappies and hold the bottles and cook the dinner and do the homework project due tomorrow, and read bedtime stories, stop the squabbles, sign the notes while we have a little dabble here?

Sometimes one has to do clandestine operations at early hours pretending bowel problems or extreme hunger. Perhaps that at times sets a tone mistaken for aggression but really just flighty typing with ears primed for the opening doorrrrr.......or indigestion from all of the above plus Eliot.

Thank goodness for overseas visits eh?

Alas, sanity prevails and REM calls.


PS would love a (what was his name?) Sanderman news bit that you had a while back. That was great to catch up on daily events and part of the attraction of Crikey is the local knowledge it gives to an otherwise bland news piece. Margo would be a wiz at this, as so stellar at local events , even if she does find international ww3 risk background power pushing "boring". I found it rather scary actually. And, just for the record, it is just as scary right now. But let's just shop for Xmas.

Citizen Journalism

I'm a sceptic.  Webdiary's readerships is spread across our wide, brown so I'm not sure local is the go.  More broadly I'm not really sure what citizen journalism is meant to add.  The political policy emanates from incredibly small groups of people.  The local slant on this are the 'human interest' stories that newspapers are already full of. 

If number of comments is any guide why people read Webdiary is to engage with, or at least express opinions about, current national political issues.  It seems to be pretty much a political newspaper - or perhaps a quicker and more accessible pamphletting press.

I guess the techies would need to look at page views and what not.

If we added other topics (reviews or whatever) I guess the layout may need to change a little.

I read Webdiary because it covers political issues that may not otherwise get attention, to read particular writers and to be able to comment.

Traditional journalism turned upside down.

A recent trend in citizen journalism has been the emergence of what blogger Jeff Jarvis terms hyperlocal journalism, as online news sites invite contributions from local residents of their subscription areas, who often report on topics that conventional newspapers tend to ignore.[7] "We are the traditional journalism model turned upside down," explains Mary Lou Fulton, the publisher of the Northwest Voice in Bakersfield, California. "Instead of being the gatekeeper, telling people that what's important to them 'isn't news,' we're just opening up the gates and letting people come on in. We are a better community newspaper for having thousands of readers who serve as the eyes and ears for the Voice, rather than having everything filtered through the views of a small group of reporters and editors."[8]

This might seem radical to some, but the idea that average citizens can engage in the act of journalism has a long history in the United States. Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea, a constitutional law professor at Boston College, notes in her article, Citizen Journalism and the Reporter’s Privilege, that:[9]

[i]n many ways, the definition of journalist has now come full circle. When the First Amendment was adopted, “freedom of the press” referred quite literally to the freedom to publish using a printing press, rather than the freedom of organized entities engaged in the publishing business. The printers of 1775 did not exclusively publish newspapers; instead, in order to survive financially they dedicated most of their efforts printing materials for paying clients. The newspapers and pamphlets of the American Revolutionary era were predominantly partisan and became even more so through the turn of the century. They engaged in little newsgathering and instead were predominantly vehicles for opinion.

The passage of the term “journalism” into common usage in the 1830s occurred at roughly the same time that newspapers, using highspeed rotary steam presses, began mass circulation throughout the eastern United States. Using the printing press, newspapers could distribute exact copies to large numbers of readers at a low incremental cost. In addition, the rapidly increasing demand for advertising for brand- name products fueled the creation of publications subsidized in large part by advertising revenue. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the concept of the “press” morphed into a description of individuals and companies engaged in an often competitive commercial media enterprise.

What has changed, however, is that with today’s technology, the average person can capture news and distribute it globally. As Yochai Benkler has noted, “the capacity to make meaning – to encode and decode humanly meaningful statements – and the capacity to communicate one’s meaning around the world, are held by, or readily available to, at least many hundreds of millions of users around the globe.”[10]

The freedom to participate in the art of journalism, the opportunity to be part of a global community, is what Webdiary does extremely well. Long may it  continue and grow. What would be helpful is feedback public or private suggesting ways to improve our journalistic talents, especially from those amongst us that are trained journalists. It is hard to know if what we type is considered worthwhile unless we get some sort of feedback. A big thanks to Margo and the team and merry Christmas and happy new year to all the webdiary community.

Cheers John

Expand Expand

Webdiary has a big future - but it needs to expand and present more news - real news. The Fairfax and News Ltd web sites are an absolute joke considering the amount of money they must have spent. Seek out some new contributers (and lure Irfan back).

News Ltd in particular is absolutely woeful. If I have to ring the news desk one more time to correct their copy I'll scream. They were at again today - running a headline that was a corker of blatant libel concerning Shappelle Corby. I noticed it was changed within the hour but I don't take full credit. I'm sure someone in there realised how bad it looked. One of the most annoying is Piers A. who I'm sure writes his blogs when he's tired and emotional. I often correct him on grammar (not that I'm an expert) and the b**ger changes his copy with no acknowledgement!

But this has happened at least a dozen times in the past year to my knowledge which means whoever runs the site is in some sort of dreamtime. Plus they are hours behind the world in presenting news as it happens.

Some real investigative stories would be great. We have to get onto this shocker of a state government which under the odious right-winger AG Hatzistergos (Morris is just some sort of political handbag way out of his depth) and that new plonker of a police minister look set to entrench the new nazi style police powers that Bob Carr could only have dreamt of but was continually held back by the very decent and honest Bob Debus.

The job of Webdiary is just beginning.

Over-expansion Can Burst The Balloon!

David, surely if Webdiary expands further and covers even more news items plus evaluation of CDs, video reviews, cooking courses for aging atheists, the philosophy of sustainable basket-weaving, etc, the number of threads will escalate even further and, resultantly, the comments will be spread even more thinly.

Should that happen, I will have to employ a full-time secretary to keep up with which threads I am involved with and, more importantly, who said what to who and why!

I believe that Webdiary needs to establish a clearly defined niche and stick to covering that properly rather than try to become all things to all people. 

Just a thought!

Thanks David C

Namasté, David Curry.

You've articulated much better than I could both something reflecting my own experience of Webdiary as a community (my wife has exclaimed much the same as yours) and my wish for Webdiary's future.

Namaste Craig

Thanks for your kind comments, Craig.  It really feels like a time for new beginnings for me, and hopefully for Webdiary.  Have a good Christmas and New Year, look forward to seeing you about on Webdiary.


Oh and Dave, Craig, Bob, Peter, Paul W, Marilyn, Big Whigs Margo, David et al, and all the fun writers like David D, Eliot – so reliable in style, Paul M – so patient, Geoff – always so balanced, Dylan – so like your name sake – where else does one find so many wonderful Right Wingers ,and Alan – so in the mould always. Such a diverse bunch and yet … and yet … I have found areas of common thought with all, even if at times it was just perfunctory.

And it doesn't matter who is in power when things like this happen.

Happy Xmas

Webdiary Wishlist

Hmmm. David has some good ideas here. I'd love to see CD and movie reviews done on a regular basis, whenever anyone has some new music or a movie they'd like to share. Anything to lighten things up a bit from time to time. It would also be good to see Webdiarists write about their hobbies and interests outside of politics, or things that have a tangential relationship to politics. A lot of the time Webdiary has a one track mind.

My favourite pieces were by Irfan Yusuf. It was great to be able to read articles about Islam and laugh, the perfect antidote to Paul Kelly, Greg Sheridan et all. (More please Irfan!) Plus the piece by Stephen Smith from the Tally Room was a corker.


With regards to journalism, I'd love to see Webdiary pursuing a couple of stories and providing actual news that is not available elsewhere. If Webdiary could break a story or two then other media would have to carry Webdiary news, although I feel this work would have to be done voluntarily, part of what Margaret Simons in her book The Content Makers called 'the gift economy'. Perhaps people interested in a story could work together in a group, or individuals pursuing a story could ask other Webdiarists to help out.

I also think it would be nifty if Webdiary had an events calendar, where people could submit upcoming items of interest.

Webdiary Still Relevant

Many of us are rejoicing at the demise of the Howard regime but no-one must think that Big Kev is entitled to a free run. There is still plenty of work for Webdiarists to do in ensuring that the new federal Labor government stays on track and the sins of the Coalition era are uncovered. I think that Rudd and crew will backtrack on deep investigations of many of the most distressing sagas of the past few years - Dr Haneef, AWB etc.

Besides, I'm hoping that those I have digs at - David Davis, Eliot Ramsey and a few others - will join me a campaign to now expose the shocking NSW state Labor government and the dreadful legacy of Bob Carr - one of the greatest disappoinment of  Labor Party history.  

Fortunately today state Liberal leader Barry O'Farrell ( a decent bloke) has spoken  of the need for reform in his party. I'll be right behind him, having torn up my state Labor party membership years ago.


I think the Rudd government will well and truly need to be held to account.

I surely don't want Webdiary to be just 'progressive', a kind of faux GreenLeft Weekly.

Columns on stuff other than politics would be welcomed by me. 

Mea culpa

Margo: "I've asked the core team who've kept the old girl afloat well past her 7th birthday for their thoughts on the matter. David Curry is the first to deliver."

Oh Margo, you know how bad I am about personal deadlines. OK, I promise to have some thoughts together in a day or so, though they won't be nearly as eloquent as David Curry's.

Margo: Hey Fiona, slow down - it's summer!  

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