So its that time of the year for top ten lists, for looking forward and indeed looking back. Forgive me then for being a little indulgent by recording (for posterity sake you understand) the ten posts on my blog which proved to be most popular across 2012. They’re a strange mix – but here they all are in no particular order.
Perhaps the most surprising entry was this blog post – written in June 2011 (surely past its sell by date now!). Wivenhoe’s Big Society is a piece about how the Big Society can and will work in certain places but where its almost certain to fail in others. Looking back on it now it’s a slightly naieve and simplistic view but never the less an honest one.I seem to have written a lot about arts funding issues this year and two of those posts have made the top ten. The most recent is this one on the exclusion of creative subjects from the english baccalaureate – a piece which started as an opinion piece but which also collated lots of the press coverage about the policy change. The fact it easily made the top ten might have something to do with being linked to from an online piece in The Guardian! The second arts funding piece was about a subject I’ve been writing a lot about recently – philanthropy and in particular the governments drive to make arts organisations more philanthropic. My thoughts on todays arts and philanthropy figures was published in February and followed the publication of a new set of figures from arts and business showing that philanthropic giving was going down. 2012 was my first full calendar year working for Eastern Angles so its not surprising that several Eastern Angles blogs make the top ten list. I’ve been experimenting with what I’ve crudely called buzz blogs – written over the length of the show and bringing together reviews, feedback, audio and video from the show in question. Two made the top ten list – the buzz blog on I heart Peterborough and on Dial M for Murgatroyd (which is a blog post which will continue on into 2013 as the show runs into the beginning of Feb – details here). Given that 2013 is the year that Murray Lachlan Young‘s The Incomers ( a piece formally known as Burlesque) will finally tour its great to see this blog make the top ten. Look out for announcements about the forthcoming tour very soon.
Not all the posts focused on the arts. This blog went somewhat off my usual territory. It’s a piece about depression which followed the sad death of Gary Speed. The post in many ways is more valuable for the book list with which it concludes.
I’ve often used blog posts as a way of developing my thinking about a particular idea. Its a technique which I hope is not to infuriating for the reader but which I know is really useful for me! An example of that is this post called digital play from the days when Jeremy Hunt was Culture Secretary (seems a long time ago now).
Finally I’ve also used the blog to record my thoughts about particular arts experiences. Two of those blogs make it into the top ten – my review of the extraordinary version of Hamlet by the Tiger Lillies (see here) and an utterly unforgettable night at @colchesterarts in the company of Ann Liv Young (I feel physically sick – and quite like it)
Thanks very much for reading throughout the year – and here’s to 2013!