This site is English – get used to it…

A good style


A Good Style

This church is over 600 years old and on the site of a fort that was there 1,000 years ago.

This church is over 600 years old and on the site of a fort that was there 1,000 years ago.

Sunday, 06 March 2011

A good style: how to blog

A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident.  ~W. Somerset Maugham, Summing Up, 1938

I do try to make writing look easy and make it flow. I get confused by some things; like why do Americans spell things simply? Why do they try to abandon the semi colon? We could all end up abandoning commas and full stops (periods); and simplifying words like you to; u. I like semi colons; they give me a pause longer than a comma and shorter than a full stop, this is important when you write comedy.  I had a good week with this blog, I started with a blog entitled Great Expectations; people are still reading that one. I posted it on the first of the month because I wanted to make a start; my goal this month is to double my page views. I didn’t think it would be easy, I did well in February. Great Expectations wasn’t a resounding success but picked up a few readers every day; today being the best day and it’s not over yet. Then I tried to make people a little more aware that I blog about Farmville which is a game on Facebook if you’re not familiar with it and has about 30,000,000 active players each month.  Intended to post my Farmville blog on Saturday but first came the Thrifty Thursday blog followed up the next day by the Frugal Friday blog .

The recession has come to an end according to many pundits, but the people I know are complaining of rising food, petrol and energy prices. The poor are getting screwed and people are protesting around the world. There have been protests by trade unionists in Wisconsin, students in the UK and just about everyone in the Arab world. There have been protests in China but they have responded by giving some of the poorer workers pay raises and beating the crap out of the protesters. I think people need an answer to the greedy bankers, governments and speculators. I think many people feel uncomfortable taking to the streets and getting the crap beaten out of them by riot police and so need an alternative. I think I have one; become thrifty and frugal; you can already see the affects as profits drop for Wal-Mart in the USA. There are reports of people spending less and tweets are sent out constantly with the words #savemoney, #thrifty and #frugal as the searchable tags. Social networking is helping people fight back against the greedy, word is getting around we can do something passive to fight back against the bankers with their multi million pound commissions and bonuses. I have put money into social lending; peer to peer lending cuts out the banks and bankers.

In the UK we used to have The Trustee Savings Bank before Margaret Thatcher and her government stole it and sold it.  We also had building societies that were owned by members that provided mortgages but most of them turned in to banks under the new regime of capitalist greed inspired by Thatcherism. They sold off everything that wasn’t nailed down and once the family silver was gone what did we have if there was a recession or worse a depression. It had to come and it was made worse by Gordon Brown; the fiscally responsible man himself, selling off the gold on the cheap. It’s about 5 times the price, just a few short years later.

Social media is the latest craze and social lending in the form of peer to peer lending doesn’t have branch on every high street like the building societies used to, but it is growing. It is international and works in the interests of its members. The most popular so far is Zopa (Zone Of Possible Agreement) that brings lenders and borrowers together in a social setting where they can communicate via an internet forum; and cut out the bankers (and their bonuses). Zopa is a limited company and not a mutual like Credit unions; but maybe credit unions could take a hard long look at the peer to peer model for lending. For too long the media has decried high interest rates because they are borrowers and have no interest in the welfare of the savers who are mostly retired. The government also sees elderly people as unimportant except when it comes to getting their votes. I think peer to peer lending will not only grow but influence and hopefully influence the credit unions movement and friendly societies too in the UK. You can find Zopa here and get interest on your savings that offers a real (above inflation) return on your savings. They also offer loan to people with a good credit rating to pay off credit cards that have interest rates that will keep you in debt (especially with all the hidden charges).

It would seem the various forms of social media on the internet are having an effect on societies around the world. LinkedIn changing the way people do business; Facebook changing the way people make friends, peer to peer lending challenging banking, Windows Live and Skype providing free peer to peer international communication, MySpace offering new opportunities for musicians and performers, bloggers democratising publishing (including me) and we are sharing information, videos, photographs and a while array of data. The bankers, stock brokers and speculators could be in for a rough time; but who else? I have been making friends around the world for a long time; what happened to our old enemies? I know help students in China, the Chinese are no longer the yellow peril and there are no commies under our beds. The people are breaking down barriers and they are international barriers; this is a greater if slower event than the Berlin wall coming down. The aggressive stance of governments squaring up to each other could become very unpopular with the people and so too could the manufacture of arms. In 1914, soldiers on both sides of the divide that was World War One decided to ignore the governments and cancel the war for a while and celebrate Christmas. It began with German soldiers lighting candles, a simple gesture of goodwill; the British soldiers had a clear shot and didn’t take it. The goodwill spread and soon they were out of the trenches chatting to the ‘enemy’.  All it took on December 26th was a German officer to fire two shots and the war was back on again.

If this party gets going; will we let someone spoil it?

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2 responses

  1. Grannelle

    Mike, as usual you have placed your finger squarely on the pulse of what is happening in our global society. You are a forward oriented thought leader; may your crusade continue to lead others to an enlightened POV.

    Though you know, it would help us Americans out a lot if you U.K. folks could learn to speak English…

    6, March 2011 at 7:35 pm

  2. I know, I have an accent and dialect; Shari keeps saying let’s Skype; I can phone but will she understand a word? 🙂

    6, March 2011 at 7:45 pm

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