E-mails and comments welcome from teachers and learners of all ages.  
May 27, 2003
and the man who helped me with the new look

namely Patrick Crozier.

Patrick Crozier is a distinguished blogger in his own right, being the boss and principle author of Transport Blog (to which I occasionally contribute) and the boss and writer also of CrozierVision (which is more definitely his own thing). He writes very well, I think.

But more to point here and now, Patrick has recently been acquainting himself with the mysteries of how to set up, clean up and generally sort out blogs. I had the luck to catch him at that special moment when he was determined to understand all this stuff, but not sufficiently confident of his skills to demand lashings of money. He made several visits to my kitchen and together we sat at my screen, trying this, trying that, seeing if this was how to do this, and that how to do that, both of us learning as we went along. I learned how to get this looking nicer, and he learned how to get things looking the way the punter wanted.

Since I didn't have a very firm idea of how I wanted things here to look, but instead wanted the chance to make up my mind in the light of actually visible alternatives, this was, for me, the ideal arrangement. And Patrick also seems satisfied to have had an early client who didn't expect him to know everything about everything either. On the contrary, the fact that he was also struggling gave me more time to think about aesthetics.

For further evidence of Patrick's growing expertise in this field, see his recent posting on CrozierVision, which reports on the developing duel between Movable Type (my and his preferred blogging software) and Blogger.

It was Patrick's willingness to make personal use of that transport that he writes about actually to sit next to me in my kitchen that made the biggest difference. We are now at the stage where things can be done by phone, but to start with that wasn't so. (The educational relevance of face-to-face contact scarcely needs emphasising, but I'll emphasise it anyway. For some purposes, including for many kinds of teaching, there is as yet still no substitute for face-to-face communication. Imagine trying to teach the violin entirely by phone.)

Patrick speculated to me during our most recent session that, since Movable Type is now becoming "easier", serious demand for his type of services might soon diminish. But with computers there's "easier", and there's actually easier, and this change is strictly in the "easier" category. Most bloggers are far cleverer at blogging (i.e. writing) than they are at setting up their blogs, and I don't believe that the sort of thing that Patrick offers will be superfluous any time soon. Everything involving computers is easy, provided you know about it. The trick is knowing.

So, if you live in or near London and you want to get blogging, Patrick could be the perfect man to get you going. Be warned, however, that the queue is already starting to lengthen.

And credit and debit, for the new look of things here, where both are due. The visual merits of this blog are the joint work of Patrick and of me. The visual demerits are my fault, and mine alone.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:34 PM
Category: BloggingThis Blog

Looks good -- well done, Brian and Patrick!

Comment by: Jackie D on May 28, 2003 05:26 AM
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