I was walking past
Nathan Philips Square
(site of City Hall) in
the other day.
In the south-west corner of the square is a statue of Winston Churchill.
As an honour to Churchill, there is a platform with a lectern just in front of the statue.
The space is dedicated to any person who wishes to talk about any topic of public interest.
This is not a new concept by any stretch, but as I walked by the site I realized that in the more than a decade that I have been in
and have passed by the site many, many times, I have only ever seen one person giving a speech there.
The gentleman was a Christian who was proselytizing.
I paid little attention at the time since he was, in my case, preaching to the converted.
But I did have a measure of respect for him as he was standing there giving his speech with the clear realization that few people, if any, were actually listening to what he was saying.
As I walked past the site the other day it dawned upon me that nobody takes part in public oration anymore because, among other things, there are blogs. I had already made the decision to start this blog, but it was interesting for me to realize that this blog is really a continuation of what has been a very long tradition. One need only think back to Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the scene when Brian is being chased by the Romans and ends up in a line of public speakers – all of whom, coincidentally, were also proselytizing and setting forth prophecies. Today the lineup is in the blogosphere instead.
On the one hand, launching this new blog is a bit of a daunting task as I wonder whether people will treat it like I and the many others did on hearing the gentleman speaking at
Nathan Philips Square
and just pay no attention. On the other hand, I also see this as a very liberating opportunity. You see, for the past decade I have been working for some of the largest law firms in the country. Many years ago, before blogs were in vogue, I created my own web site and sought to let people know about myself and my abilities. I was asked by the firm I worked for at the time to shut down the web site. The reason was that they had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars working with marketing analysts and experts to finely hone their corporate image. The last thing they wanted was some upstart young, entrepreneurial lawyer screwing up their branding exercise. So, the second they found out about my web site, they very quickly and very firmly instructed me to take down the site. The result was that visitors to ontariolegal.com were met with an “Under Construction” page for years (as subsequent firms I worked for had similar dim views of independent web sites run by their lawyers). Ironically, however, these firms have now come to the realization that blogs are a good thing – so long as they are created and maintained under the firm’s strict supervision. The more things change …
And that’s where the liberating opportunity comes in. For example, if I wanted to say that I like large breasts, I can now say this. I don’t have to answer to “the man” anymore. Now, two percent of the people who have read this far will have just been insulted to see the statement that I like large breasts. Three percent will be sitting at their computers scratching their heads wondering why I just came up with such an odd statement and may well wonder whether it’s actually true or not. And the other ninety-five percent will have immediately realized the statement for what it truly is – a cheap ploy to hopefully attract people to my fledgling blog that are otherwise searching for “large breasts” on either Google or Yahoo or some other search engine. As I understand it, the more times I have the words “large breasts” or otherwise incorporate the concept of large breasts into my blog article, the higher the chances that it will be picked up by the search engines for people doing this type of search. From my several friends who work in the IT field at large and small companies, it’s quite surprising how many people are surfing the web doing searches like this on company time!
The other advantage of this blog is that it will give me the liberating opportunity to provide timely, or sometimes not so timely but still relevant, information to my clients and others. The miserly part of my brain is cheering the opportunity to provide updates to happenings at my firm and elsewhere without incurring the costs of having my web designer (who is very good by the way) re-configure my web site. The “ornery old coot” part of my brain that is growing with each passing year is excited at the ability to have a forum to rant and rave every once in a while about topics that are hopefully of interest to people besides myself – and even if they are not of interest, it just gives me an opportunity to “vent”. The gossip part of my brain is looking forward to the ability to share interesting tidbits of practical information that will hopefully prove useful to other people. And, the volunteer part of my brain is excited at the opportunity of providing some basic information on new developments in the law or legislation that can impact upon the world of small business.
So, please drop by often as I will be making fairly regular postings. Above all else, I will try and keep the postings “light” and try to infuse whatever humour I can (although I will warn you now that my humour stylings tend to be of the “cornball” or “hayseed” variety – what can I say, I gotta be me). I will also try my best to provide at least some substance to the postings to make them worthwhile. Oh, and did I mention the large breasts?