July 24, 2003
Joanne Jacobs – an appreciation

Joanne Jacobs writes:

Twelve months ago today, I set Sitemeter running. I should hit 296,500 by the end of the day. I'm running at more than 1,000 visits a day during the week, about 600 on weekends. Not bad for an education blog. I'm not sure how many visits the grand total would run to: I started in January, 2001, but didn't keep count of visitors.

Not bad indeed. I haven't set up a Sitemeter or any other such device, because I'm one of those scrawny take-it-or-leave-it bloggers. I do my bloggings, and who knows what they make of it? Maybe the occasional thing sticks. Occasionally you see one of them getting some flash of insight which makes it all worth while. But a machine to see whose paying attention? Don't want to think about that just yet.

My point is that whereas this blog here is still a blog groping into proper shape and proper existence (a redesign and a reorganisation is in the pipeline plus any month now I may start doing some actual educatingwhich will liven things up here considerably), Joanne's is the real thing and has been for some time.

She has a great long list of blogs and non-blogs on the left. Good blogs, fun blogs, also good, good books. And what item is at the very top of her list of things? Well, by virtue of this being in the "edublog" category and by virtue of Brian starting with B which is very close to the start of the alphabet … (being called Brian does have its advantages) … yes, you've got it, this blog is the absolute top of Joanne's list. Ahead of all manner of aristobloggers and grandees of every sort.

This must have helped my traffic, and this is me saying thank you. When you get the drips from the biggest hole in a big bucket like this, you get a lot of water. It must be. Obviously some come here, take a look and leave it at that. But equally obviously, a few must be staying around. I don't go on about American edubloggers and their postings, because my aim here is to expand the edubllogosphere beyond the confines of the USA, but this is not something I can just ignore.

So, to make an exception, let's take a look at Joanne's latest posting. It's about some parents who put their twelve year old son and his friend in the trunk during a twenty mile car journey. The official version is that they did this because they were abusive monsters of the sort who can't be trusted to have children let alone raise them, and that junior should be taken into whatever they call "care" over there, which would be the equivalent of locking the trunk for ever, I would say. Well, what I mean is, the authorities didn't like it. The parental version is that the kids thought it might be fun to do, so they said okay.

Lt. Joseph Jordan, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department, said the parents are lucky no one was hurt.

All parents are "lucky no one was hurt", all the time. But I agree, that's not a reason to nail them to the kitchen wall or keep them in rabbit hutches, to educate them about pain, life, etc.

"Obviously, there was a lot of danger there," Jordan said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "They're supposed to be in seat belts. If there would have been a rear-end collision, they could have been seriously injured. So we feel that it was reckless to put the kids in the trunk," Jordan said.

Ah yes. Seat belts. I forgot.

Twelve year old boys, taking risks. Whatever next? And we definitely mustn't help them do that. Twelve year old boys who want risk must live a further three years without risk of any kind, and then do the adolescent rebellion running-away-from-home crazy-sex and crazy-drugs thing. There's a proper way to do these things, sir, ma'am. We're policemen, and we know about this stuff.

None of this could ever happen in Britain, because here we call it the "boot".

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:01 PM
Category: BloggingBoys will be boys
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