Thursday, 12 February 2015

A million words

I have now been on G+ for 12 months. I wandered in here accidentally, having closed my Facebook account in despair. 

I was looking for a place to organize my legal opinions, lectures, writing and a couple of photos - and found a neat match on the Google platform.  I assumed that I would be able to get it done and dusted in a couple of weeks.

So, 12 months on, have I achieved what I set out to do ?


Together in this blog and the associated G+ stream, I have now published about 1,000,000 words - the equivalent of 6,000 pages or 30 small novels in 12 months. This figure is derived from a word count of the archival material.  I was taken aback by this number - but using a couple of online tools and looking and averaging the last 50 posts, the number looks accurate enough for my purposes.  

This is about 20 pages of written material a day - not novel material by any means - in raw terms the comparison is illusory - a novel has structure and form. About 50% of the material is structured argument. 25% is repetitive or reiterative (polished drafts as I move initial ideas from G+ to the blog). The rest is dialogue - question and answer or pure social - most unstructured and formless. 


So far I have been able to publish about 20% of my legal writings and chunks of a couple of novels. This is probably a good start.  I would have published far more but discovered, very early, that people read what I publish. So the process of publishing has slowed to match my capacity to review and rewrite.

The platform has been a tremendous adjunct to presenting seminars. One lecture on risk based legislation has attracted a great deal of interest. The capacity to know of that interest and then explore questions like who and where and why are wonderful tools.

Social Interaction

When I came here, I did not expect to interact with real people. I live a long way away from people - not quite the "never-never", but almost. It is a daily joy to talk with so many - every one so different. I am constantly being taught important lessons about the law, life, preserving, music and so much more.

This unexpected social dimension has fostered my interest in photography and pushed me to learn new skills - time lapse, complex editing, stitching, animation, 3D animation. I am still not all that good - but watching your adventures with photography - and taking many hundreds of shots myself - give me the odd one worth sharing.  The one I post here is probably my favorite - one I posted earlier this year - and probably something I could not have taken when I first started.


I am constantly surprised at what people like looking at.  Some of those images I seek long and hard are sometimes ignored (generally for good reasons :) ). Others snapped of things commonplace seem examined with intent.

Decent pictures paired with interesting stories can lead to unexpected results.  A shot of a Gould's Goanna paired with a developing yarn, had 36,112 views (when I looked today).  

In comparison, a shot I thought impossible, of two eagles had 17,600 views, without a yarn).  

In comparison, a once in a lifetime shot of a lyrebird attracted 1,300 views. 

The numbers are probably dodgy - how they are counted and what that means is the subject of lots of debate. Still, probably a bit of a guide.  I learnt that I am not very good working out what you want to see - so, instead, I post what I like :)

I have enjoyed doing animations - but I am keenly aware of the size and image quality issues.  This new skill itself serves me well in lecturing - driving the process, keeping me focused and getting engagement.  

Perhaps the most difficult animation, one of a brain scan I found terribly confronting, and hesitated in publishing. 

Feedback through +1s and sharing was muted, although the image itself has attracted a fair few views. Perhaps, like me, people disapproved of the subject matter, but took a look anyway.

An unexpected boon has been the capacity to tell stories, some true, some for fun.

I have particularly enjoyed starting to tell the story of the Long Tailor, although being vaguely concerned that the bit that attracted the most attention involved someone being thrown to the ground and being kissed.  

Maybe I should write more along that line.

Elsewhere, I was greatly surprised by the attention given to two posts.  

The first was a brief story about Bungendore pubs

The second, one about "The Killing of History" - a book in my library - that is slowly eating some of my other books

I am enjoying the collaborations G+ has engendered. I enjoy watching collaborations.  Out of this platform, I have now done a couple of documentaries, have published a couple of podcasts in a series with thought leaders and have been working with some amazing people on the long term Imaginary Cities project.


Until recently because of opinion pieces on the Chinese economy, I had a decent number of visits fro that country - this stopped with the imposition of a firewall.  In addition to the Chinese government blocking this site, a couple of Australian Governments have as well. I do not take this personally - any site with a hint of social engagement is blocked by our forward looking politicians.


The lesson I draw from this is that there is no secret formula here.

This is simply a nice place to be. To listen and watch.  To tell stories and to connect to some pretty wonderful people.


Peter Quinton
February 2015

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