The Sunday before Christmas I finally got the dreaded virus that had being going around, it seems that even the flu jab won't protect you if its the wrong sort of flu!
Anyway after two weeks suffering I think I have finally accepted, possibly for only the second time in my life, that the best way to treat anything like flu is to have a complete rest. Forget trying to 'soldier on' with all those feelings of guilt because you can't actually do anything because if you can't do anything don't even try. I went into work last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and managed to last five hours (twice) and three hours on Friday before coming home and going to bed. Fortunately, with some careful planning, I can get through most days without having a great deal of contact without anybody else - one of the worst things about working in an office is that any virus can quickly become a circular event and by the time it has cleared up with one person another person has it.
The best part of four days indoors has led to a sort of 'stir crazy' feeling but it has also made me feel a whole lot better. One of the advantages of being at home is that I have managed to catch up on some reading (more about that later in the week) and listening to the radio. On Radio Four over the weekend was a programme about social media sites which featured a section on blogs. As I, and others, have noted recently the Interweb seems to have become a smaller (in the sense of diverse opinions), angrier place. One of the guests was Guido Fawkes (well the journalist whose pseudonym etc) who offered one of the most staggering facts I think I have heard in months, possibly years, about this form of communication. He said that 200,000 of the posts on his site last year were contributed by just 50 people - that's astonishing whichever way you spell it out, an average of 10 posts per day per person one one day alone about what is basically one subject - in its many forms.
I know when Gavins Station first started it happened to coincide with the quiet part of my professional year and I was posting quite a high number each day, ditto the various BBC sites, but that was on a variety of subjects. The other point that 'Guido' made, and again this is something that most of us who have been active on blogs, messageboards, comments spaces, acknowledge for years would nod in agreement with, is that a lot of humour has gone. I had to smile though because he said his site doesn't employ moderators it uses algorithmic software which recognises and rejects certain words, no doubt this is a variation on the software used in some American universities which famously rejected an essay from a student called Maryann because her name contained the word aryan. We use a similar software at work and suggesting that a certain word or phrase should be substituted by the computers suggestion does lead to some interesting results.