Is it just me or are bloggers getting a hard time of it? No you're right, it might just be me...
First of all, a (perhaps unexpected) apology. In relation to today's article I think I owe David Maddox an apology given my bleary-eyed, early morning, knee-jerk post so rather than bury it somewhere deep in this post I'll put it front and centre. The man is a journalist, I rolled a pass to him along the 6-yard line. What else should I have expected him to do but ram it into the back of the net?
He did get his facts wrong but only because I got my facts wrong. To that end apologies extend to all manners of people but they will be (or have already been) done in person.
As a wise woman said to me earlier, today's newspapers are tomorrow's fish supper wrappers so all in all it's no big deal. Although I will confess to losing sight in my right eye at around 4pm for a short while due no doubt to some sort of latent stress. It's ironic that one tries to build a profile with their blog, even occasionally peeks into Google News to see if their website has been mentioned anywhere, and then as soon as it is, one wants to put the genie straight back into the bottle.
It begs the question, what's the end game with blogging?
Seemingly out of nowhere, bloggers are the focus of a lot of attention. There has been Wardog, Universality of Cheese, my getting done up like a kipper good and proper today and, deeply regrettably, I know there's another blogger facing deep difficulties out of nowhere but I will say no more than that.
We're not lawyers, we make mistakes, not every t is dotted and every i crossed with requisite care and attention. If healthy debate is to be scrutinised to the extent that online chatter is deemed not worth it then what hope is there for the current mood of anti-politics to be lifted?
The interest does not merely rest with what appears in the newspapers. In the past few days I've had unexpected emails from a tabloid journalist, one from my old chum David Maddox of course, been added to BBC Democracy Live, been in The Times, and that's not to mention a few other things that I can't disclose.
And in an hour's time Newsnight Scotland may well have a segment on political blogging. How do I know? I was asked to do a ten minute interview. I politely declined accurately asserting that I'm better behind the keyboard than I am in front of a camera. And we've seen today that I'm not that good behind a keyboard! Mercifully I suspect that Fiona Hyslop's, em, 'career change' will take up the majority of the 20 minutes.
It would take a remarkable turn of events for bloggers to be the story. The fact that the Spring Conference bloggers' breakfast can somehow be newsworthy has really opened my eyes. Again though, I will fight the temptation to take it out on journalists too much. They have a job to do, as frustrating as it can be for some of us. If I don't want to write something, I just won't switch my computer on. Journalists are not afforded that luxury.
As for other questions regarding this regrettable story, Stuart Winton asks some searching but perfectly fair questions so I will answer them there.
If a news day is slow enough, the story is newsworthy enough. I guess it can be too easy to forget that as we express ourselves over the unforgiving internet unchecked, unedited and uncontrolled.
That of course is as it should be in theory, freedom of expression does extend to the net and a blogger should only be worthy of a story if something truly extraordinary has taken place which is rarely the case. Sadly, reality and theory are not always the happiest of bedfellows. If blogging isn't enjoyable and substance-based banter then it is nothing.
And with that in mind, I see the Lib Dems have been trying to lecture others on how blogging should be done. Well, I'd rather be blogging in scandal than blogging in sandals.
Where is blogging headed? Who is to know but in the heat of an election campaign, a growing focus from the media and given the past few days it looks increasingly like the destination, for me at least, is an alarming precipice.
Consequently, December may be a very light month on here.
Cheers for now.
UPDATE: In the Scotsman article I am quoted as saying that I was "ordered" to take a post down. That is a faithful quote from Mr Maddox but, again, also an inaccurate one due to, ucht, who knows what, it was the wrong word. I was 'asked' to take a post down as I had disrespected the midnight embargo on a Saturday night. I thought I had good reasons for ignoring it as I had not received the email within the mailing list. We argued the case for a short while and in the end I decided for myself that I was in the wrong and it would be appropriate to pull the post which I duly did.
The post was merely a poll that was out that night but my posting it might have compromised a few Sundays running it so, once again, I learned a lesson.
People may think I'm rewriting history but I can assure you that is not the case.