Legacy stuff

Adam Naming the Beasts by William Blake,
pen and tempera on fine linen, dated 1810.
The original is located at Pollok House in
Glasgow, a property owned by the National
Trust for Scotland.
'The antipodes' is another way to refer to Australia and New Zealand; "anti" meaning opposite and "pode" meaning foot. So it is a label that hinges on geography, and highlights the physical remoteness of the region relative to Europe, whence it was colonised in the late 18th century. But I think that while these two southern countries are both old democracies and belong to the developed world, their people are different from Westerners elsewhere. Indeed, their people are different from each other. But I use the label "antipodean" because I live in Australia and was born here, although I have lived elsewhere for an extended period as well.

The blog was launched in January 2006 at about the same time I enrolled to do a postgraduate journalism degree at the University of Sydney, where I was an alumnus having completed there an undergraduate arts degree (what some people call a "humanities" degree) some 20 years earlier. I had just moved into my own apartment after having shared a house for some years. I had a Woolfian room of my own in which to contemplate things. The blog has remained multifaceted and anarchic since its inception. 

You can also find information about me at my personal website, which was updated in early 2020. In February 2021 I started a new blog called 'Media Magnet' in order to accommodate posts about the media that I'd written in the past, and that, in the future, I would be inspired to write. The change occurred at the same time as I newly organised social media accounts for which I had access.

What you can do to help

If you enjoy a review or a piece of journalism or any other writing you find on this blog, I would love it if you "follow" the blog. The link to do this is down there just underneath the tag cloud. Or else put a comment on a post. You might not think much about this kind of thing but bloggers, in most cases, are conscious of what goes on with their productions. 


I have removed two posts from this blog after they had been published. One was about a man who had been arrested in a foreign country due to a minor matter and who had asked me to help him wipe the slate clean. Another post was about a journalist who had suicided. I'd made some suppositions about the cause of this and the post had been very popular but I decided in the end that the speculation was useless and even damaging for family members.

How the blog looks

There is information about traffic on the main page of this blog but there is no information there about the blog's changing appearance over the years. In real life I am a person who cares about my appearance if it enables me to be inconspicuous on the street but I have put some thought into how this blog looks to readers in the wider online world.

Most blogs were fairly plain and use of images was rare when this blog was established on 22 January 2006 with a very simple design.

Just after graduating a 2nd time from Sydney University, on 22 May 2008 I changed the blog's appearance. I made the stationery green, changed the font from Verdana to Calibri, and I also changed the subtitle and description. I changed the subtitle again on 20 December 2008 and on 29 June 2009.

After relocating my household from Sydney to southeast Queensland in June 2009, I reached the milestone of 1000 posts on 21 August 2009 and on 23 September I took the plunge and changed the name used on the blog to my real name; this was the day my first feature story appeared in a magazine.

The next 18 months saw a few minor changes. On 5 October 2009 I again changed the subtitle, and again on 2 November and also the next year on 26 April 2010. (This latter was a quote from Leon Battista Alberti, 1404 - 1472, the famous Genoese Uomo universale: "A man can do all things if he will.") Then on 16 July 2010 I deployed a new visual design that included switching the font from Calibri to Ariel. This is the design you see today.

On 5 February 2011 I stumbled and suspended posts because I had been posting daily over the previous year and had found that time taken up blogging was too much; I thought I needed to focus my energies on publishing stories. But on 15 May I resumed posting, though less frequently than I had previously.

The blog saw the first use of headlines on posts, a practice that I have continued, on 8 August 2011. I noticed a significant uptick in page views immediately after this change.

There had been a number of maps on the blog's main page, added over the years one by one, but I removed these out of concern for the blog's neatness on 1 January 2012. Blogger 'Pages' were added to the blog on 3 July 2012, including this page, because I wanted to say more about the blog but I didn't want to crowd the main page with too much detail.

On 28 September 2012 I changed the subtitle again, and again on 18 October 2012.

I put the 'Followers' widget on the blog's main page on 19 March 2013 and I added the quote from Gandhi to the blog's main page on 23 March 2013; I don't know where this quote comes from and there seem to be many different versions of it online, but I keep noticing it and because I think there is something in it I decided to add it to the blog.

On 4 May 2013 I added the 'Themes' page to the blog in an effort to better define and highlight the material it contains. On 5 May 2013 I changed the subtitle once again, and then again on 6 May (this time to include my name).

I had my website developer add the PayPal 'Donate' button to the blog on 21 May 2013 but eventually took it down because it was unsuccessful. Your encouragement is important and I've deliberately left ads off my pages because they can distract while reading. I want people who visit to have a pleasant experience and not be bombarded by commercial inserts for some random product.

Also on 21 May 2013, I removed the blogroll (the list of links to favourite sites), finding it difficult to keep it up-to-date there being no way to verify links other than to individually test them for currency.

On 10 December 2018 I started putting labels on the posts, creating a tag cloud, to make it easier for friends and strangers to find blogposts from the past. The interface kept giving errors periodically while I was labelling posts, and when this happened it would refuse to function. After waiting for a period of 10 minutes or so things would right themselves again and I could continue. Labelling posts is not difficult but it is time-consuming because you have to open each post and put in the labels, then save it. I kept labelling posts for many months afterward each time I found new ones people had visited that didn't already have a label.

I added the 'Reviewing' and 'Themes and series' pages on 29 September 2019 and on 2 October 2019 I changed the subtitle back to "Wide-ranging. Thoughtful. Imaginative." This had been the subtitle at the time the National Library of Australia had first asked to archive the blog. I put in pages for 'Paramontages', 'Painting', and 'Poetry' in 2022 and 2024.

Visitor stats

On 3 June 2013 the blog exceeded 1000 pageviews in a single day for the first time. September 2013 saw the blog exceeding 20,000 pageviews in a single calendar month for the first time.

On or around 29 August 2018 I reached the 1.3-million pageview mark, at which time the blog was getting about 10,000 pageviews each month. Sometime during the early morning of 29 August 2019 the pageview counter ticked over 1.4 million. At this time the rate of pageviews was about 7300 per month. Probably in the morning of 22 March 2020 the counter made 1.5 million; the rate of pageviews at this time was about 14,000 per month. On 19 December 2020 the counter flipped past 1.6 million pageviews.


On 12 February 2013 I gave the National Library of Australia permission to archive the blog in perpetuity, at their request, which involves them scraping it once a year, cataloguing it, and making its contents available to the public on the NLA website.


Anonymous said...

Hello there M.D. Here is a voice from your past!
As Mr Clarke said in one of you're English reports, and I para-phrase, " Mathew, You'll do okay and be one of the silvertails..."
You have certainly provided some vicarious pleasures to this old cranbrookian (yecchhh) with your online friendship by cyber proxy. Hope your mum bears up ok. I always thought she was the nice one out of your parents. Send us a hello when you get time, Roger.

roger of bangalow said...

Another attempt to say hello.....

roger of bangalow said...

I feel like a sailor lost at sea on a foggy night - one of these messages will get through, no doubt ( I'm sure messenger pidgeon was more effective ). Anyways, say hello M.D, when you get a free moment . Regards, Roger


I love the drawing you did of Henry Miller. Yup that's him all right. You are talented portrait artist. How about in future one of Leonard Cohen and one of Margaret Atwood I can make sure Dr Atwood will see it. Friend of mine .