Dish readers know everything:
As an ornithologist, I must correct you here. Your photo shows an immature Mute Swan swimming across the lake at Stourhead, not a goose!
As I wrote in my article, a "good blog is your own private Wikipedia." An excerpt about friendship with readers and reverse reporting:
On my blog, my readers and I experienced 9/11 together, in real time. I can look back and see not just how I responded to the event, but how I responded to it at 3:47 that afternoon. And at 9:46 that night. There is a vividness to this immediacy that cannot be rivaled by print. The same goes for the 2000 recount, the Iraq War, the revelations of Abu Ghraib, the death of John Paul II, or any of the other history-making events of the past decade. There is simply no way to write about them in real time without revealing a huge amount about yourself. And the intimate bond this creates with readers is unlike the bond that the The Times, say, develops with its readers through the same events. Alone in front of a computer, at any moment, are two people: a blogger and a reader. The proximity is palpable, the moment humanwhatever authority a blogger has is derived not from the institution he works for but from the humanness he conveys. This is writing with emotion not just under but always breaking through the surface. It renders a writer and a reader not just connected but linked in a visceral, personal way. The only term that really describes this is friendship. And it is a relatively new thing to write for thousands and thousands of friends.
These friends, moreover, are an integral part of the blog itselfsources of solace, company, provocation, hurt, and correction. If I were to do an inventory of the material that appears on my blog, I’d estimate that a good third of it is reader- generated, and a good third of my time is spent absorbing readers’ views, comments, and tips. Readers tell me of breaking stories, new perspectives, and counterarguments to prevailing assumptions. And this is what blogging, in turn, does to reporting. The traditional method involves a journalist searching for key sources, nurturing them, and sequestering them from his rivals. A blogger splashes gamely into a subject and dares the sources to come to him.
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