Macfilos: A great Christmas and a wonderful New Year to all our readers
Christmas and New Year greetings to all Macfilos readers. I value your support immensely and I look forward to continuing to develop this website in the future.. Thank you for brightening my year in 2016.
In a few months Macfilos will be nine years old, having started primarily as a technology site, majoring on Apple products (hence the Mac in the name). From 2011 photography took to the front row. I've been a keen but very amateur snapper most of my life. But developing Macfilos has opened up a whole world of new friends and interests. Many of you have become close friends although, not surprisingly, most of you I have not met.
This year, perhaps for the first time, I sense a much greater level of support, evidenced by the increasing number of intelligent and helpful comments from readers. Several of you have become regular commentators and I welcome your input and feel that we have become friends. It says something, I believe, that almost all comments we receive are positive and constructive. There is hardly any spam and no negative trolling, so perhaps we are doing something right.
Early on in my blogging career — which started only after retirement — I read somewhere that a successful weblog is based on regular postings, ideally daily. I’ve tried to keep to that goal over the years although it is often difficult and sometimes a source of pressure. Try as I might, I am seldom more than a day in advance and many days I wake not knowing what I will write about in the next few hours.
Fortunately I have support from some talented and knowledgeable colleagues, including Bill Palmer here in the UK, our Fuji expert, and William Fagan in Ireland. He is a friend from the Leica Society and brings tremendous insight into our knowledge of older cameras and equipment. John Shingleton in Australia, too, is a blogger specialising in motor sport but he is also a keen Leica photographer and keeps us supplied with useful stories and excellent pictures. Whenever I am struggling for a theme I find that Bill, William or John suddenly come up with an interesting angle — and some excellent photographs to back up the narrative.
Unlike many blog sites, Macfilos is totally without sponsorship or financial support. This is how I wish it to be. Although I am often under pressure to accept advertising from dealers and other suppliers I prefer to keep commerce out of it. For one thing, accepting advertising brings with it responsibilities and pressures. I like to be able to criticise if I wish without feeling guilty.
On the other hand, if I find dealers or products that I like from personal experience I am happy to make recommendations. I think readers appreciate this.
What do I get out of it? The most important benefit for me is psychological. I was lucky enough to take early retirement and for a year or two I was kicking around looking for something to catch my interest. The ideal of having absolutely nothing to do soon becomes boring. Perhaps I ought to have taken another job but I didn’t because I wanted to travel. Instead, though, I treat Macfilos as my own little job. My co-workers are all over the world and the website has given me tremendous pleasure and interest.
For starters, I enjoy writing and I love taking photographs to illustrate what I write. I am not primarily a photographer, I think of myself as more of a photo journalist. I started my working life as a journalist, testing motorcycles, writing features and reporting on sporting events. Now, at the other end of that working life, I am writing about photography and technology — not to forget pens and handwriting — purely as a hobby.
Macfilos keeps me sane and provides a series of goals and incentives. There is a certain sense of achievement and I marvel at all the friends — those who I have met and the many more virtual friends — that I’ve made, especially over the past couple of years. It is now hard for me to imagine not having a blog to keep me disciplined.
As we move into 2017, Bill, William, I and other regular supporters look forward to continuing our photography and writing. Above all, though, we look forward to hearing from you by way of comments to articles and by direct email. Where possible, it is good to meet readers and we hope to do more of that in the next twelve months.
On a practical note, a number of readers have suggested a regular Macfilos photo walk and we are thinking about organising something during 2017. We’ve done it in the past on an ad hoc basis but perhaps it is time to flesh out the idea. We would be interested to have any comments, particularly if you would be interested in taking part.