Happy Anniversary ThinkingShift!
One year ago today. What were you doing? I was toying around with the idea of starting this blog. And so I started ThinkingShift one year ago today – January 26, 2007. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I started the ThinkingShift blog on Australia Day. Good timing, even if I didn’t realise it then.
It’s been a great year. I’ve managed to upset quite a few people on social networks – the climate change naysayers particularly. Matt Moore has outed me for having “something of an obsession with the uses & abuses of surveillance technology”. And I’ve collected a lot of LOLCats obsessed people and a few alien believers along the way.
I’ve had over 82,000 visitors in the last 12 months, which is about 6, 800 visits per month. Thanks to everyone who’s been a regular reader, has left comments or emailed me suggesting topics. I’m way behind on a few of these special posts for particular readers, but it will happen!
So, I thought I would look over what have been the most popular topics and photos over the last year. What have people most enjoyed? Well, the photo that has been looked at the most is this little fellow:
An unusual species of flying fox recently discovered on Mindoro island in the Philippines, not long after it was said not to exist.
This cutie was closely followed by these two.
The first is a squirrel clearly chilling out and the second is of Max. Lots of people have emailed me asking why collies appear regularly on ThinkingShift and are there two collies or is there just one? Well, to clear up the mystery: the photo above is of Max, the wonder collie. And the photo below is of Tyler, Max’s brother and top dog.
Max and Tyler belong to a great friend of mine but I count them as my godchildren 🙂
The top post was ThinkingShift Species Watch number 3 on the top 10 animals that are about to disappear due to human encroachment, deforestation or loss of habitat. This was closely followed by a post on privacy and surveillance (yeah, I’m not alone!), which outlined the disturbing piece of US legislation known as the “Thought Crime Bill”. In fact, mostly any post I do on privacy and surveillance attracts good readership, so hopefully that means I’m not the only person concerned about these issues. The most controversial post (which had me accused of being a Neo-Nazi) was Creeping Fascism, a post that had me in an email tussle with some 18 year old dude in the US.
You may have noticed that I’m not doing daily posts at the moment. This is largely because I have taken up photography again and been sidetracked by participating in various photography groups on Flickr and practising with my new Nikon camera. My current photographic obsession is with urban fragments: graffiti, urban art, decaying buildings, peeling paint, abandoned objects. I might try to do some sort of photo journal approach this year.
But recent emails have asked me to follow-up on special topics, one I particularly wish to get my teeth into. The question to me was “Why is it that people don’t seem concerned about surveillance and eroding privacy?”. Yep, good question; I ask the same one. Another one was: “Does increased surveillance mean a decline in democracy?”. So I’ll get onto these questions and keep bringing you interesting, curious, bizarre or amusing things.
Meanwhile, happy Australia Day to all Aussie ThinkingShift readers. And to all my international readers, I leave you today with a photo that I recently took. I was lucky to capture this superb butterfly who was literally waiting on a flower camera-ready. He was very patient with me while I fumbled around trying to get my best shot. I suspect he’s had many an amateur photographer desperately snapping away!