Thursday, October 19, 2006

Webdiary Temporarily Down

I edited some comments on Webdiary at about ten o'clock last night. On coming back to the site ten minutes later, I found not only the comments for current pieces had gone missing, but also those for articles in the archive.

With any luck normal services will resume asap. In the meantime it's sad to see the site in a coma.

I've only been involved with Webdiary for eighteen months. I'd been emailing Margo Kingston the odds and sods I'd been finding about Halliburton for a while when she invited me to do a piece and gave me some coaching on how to go about writing this. After this Margo and Hamish set me up a blog on The first entry became linked from the blog page of Halliburton Watch, and I've been added many of my newer posts to that link. It's become a diary of what I've been observing, and has this week arrived at a hit total of 10,000. Some of my pieces have also been published as news by Halliburton Watch, in particular those relating to Scott Parkin's shameful deportation and the identification of corrupt practices in Ausaid.

If it wasn't for Webdiary and the sibling team-supreme Margo Kingston and Hamish Alcorn I would 've been battling to get the word out. This applies to many other people in similar situations.

These days, as MK and Hamish pursue other activities there's a few volunteers keeping the site going, a trickle of donations covering running costs. The site often hosts over sixty comments a day on various subject threads, and is still a meeting place to thrash out ideas. Every now and then it shows a glimmer of becoming a gestalt, a group mind working on projects together.

I'm sure Webdiary will one day be the force in citizen journalism that Margo envisaged.


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