News came through yesterday that Matthew Gibson has hung up his quill and has closed his Solution Focused Politics website as he is to busy to keep it going at this current juncture. With a full time job and studying for a PhD (basically making himself smarter – note to self – don’t stand too close to Matthew as people will confuse it with evolution and I won’t be the latest model if you get what I mean) he feels that it is time to shut it down as he can’t give it the attention he feels it deserves.
His farewell post follows (taken from this link):
I started this blog over 2 years ago now and in that time it has done better than I thought it would. The time has come for me to close the blog as I have other priorities that need to take precedence. But before I close I just wanted to say thank you to all who have read, commented and recommended this blog, it has been very much appreciated. I would like say a special thank you to ChrisB for his support and critical appraisal of my postings and I have enjoyed our conversations. I hope one day we will meet. I would like to say thank you to Helen Duffett who provided some great feedback which probably made me keep it going for longer than it would have. Thank you for your support and I hope things are going well for you in London; I’m sure we will meet again. And I would like to thank Neil Monnery, a friend I made through blogging and I wish your blog all the best and hope to see you at conference sometime.
I know that Matthew has struggled with this for a while as he’s been a busy boy and has sadly been the victim of some quite nasty personal attacks. This is never the type of thing that really encourages people to blog. Blogging it a strange beast in a way as you know that not everyone will agree with you and the detractors will often be the ones who’ll actually let you know that they don’t like you/agree with you whereas many more probably do agree with what you say but don’t bother saying a thing. I suppose that is just the nature of the beast.
The reason SFP was so widely respected was that it was different. It wasn’t your standard blog like this where I blog about whatever it going on in my mind. He had a plan to educate people with facts and show how the Lib Dems could move forward with realistic ambitions. The title itself rings deep to my core. I hate negative politics. I hope I can keep that up and don’t get dragged down into the muck like the rest of the activists (in all parties – we aren’t saints – the whole ‘Labour can’t win here’ shit riles me right up).
I think one of the main reasons I liked his blog and his style of writing was it was intellectual but it was well sourced and didn’t seem to be someone pretending to know what they actually didn’t know. That is one of my pet peeves. I know on this blog I write many things but I don’t write about things I know nothing about. Most of the stuff I write is solely opinion based and if it isn’t it is sourced. This was I think one of Matt’s biggest strengths in his writing style. It was smart and not pretending to be smart. You can really tell the difference.
Yesterday I tweeted that if Matt ever wants to guest blog then there is always a spot on this site for him. I’d be delighted if he wanted to scratch that blogging itch on this blog. Also it was extremely kind to namecheck me in his farewell post. We both liked each others blogs and we met at Conference when he was hanging around trying to talk to Helen Duffett. I sought him out and then spent several hours with his mate watching Matthew grill the aforementioned Mrs Duffett in a hotel lobby. It was Paxmanequse. No doubt we’ll bump into each other at Conference or at other events and I would say he is the first friend I made through either blogging or joining the Lib Dems.
Lastly I just want to write something about blogging in general. We all have different motivations for blogging. I know mine was driven from deep down being a frustrated journalist. Seven years ago I graduated from university with a degree in Journalism but during my three years actually doing it I lost my love. That love is slowly returning and even if this blog isn’t read by millions it is read by enough people that I feel it is worthwhile. Having said that with no real narrative apart from whatever I’m thinking about I don’t exactly have a regular following but as the what two odd years have gone on this hasn’t been as important and my style of writing has evolved from short pieces to longer writings.
Blogging is a personal thing but I think the more people air their opinions then the better for the world. There are so many brilliant minds out there who quietly keep their thoughts to themselves. Without blogging then I suspect many opinions would go unheard and that is why I’d always implore anyone who wants to write to just write. Even if it is just for yourself or you think no-one will care or even ever read it you’d be surprised.
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