A hiatus yes; a cessation no

Having been writing articles here, short or long, since March 2007, I’m thinking you may allow me a short hiatus.

But that’s what it is, a brief reflective interlude. I will continue writing here. In the almost 7,000 blog posts over the last 12 years, there are topics that retain my interest, which I feel that I should add to.

Tempting though it’s been, I’ll not be passing my opinion of the state of play with Brexit.

PS. How I’d love to aspire to Dickensian brilliance. I’ll settle for interesting topics, written without cliché, and an occasional insight of some kind. Wish me luck as I approach my thirteenth year of blogging.

Focus almost fully regained

We had a lovely Christmas holiday in Southern France, based in Aix en Provence, and visiting Arles, Toulon and Marseille. The weather was wonderful, clear blue skies every day, with day time temperatures in the high teens, in centigrade.

Developed a man cold on our return – wives/girlfriends you’ll know how serious that is. A cold for a blogger, like me, means questioning the value of what I may write.

This week I’ve listened to two talks, both by optimistic and enthusiatic speakers [more on them later], which has lifted me out of my self imposed lethargy, also, I’ve pretty much beaten my cold, so expect some words from me.

 

Gaining a perspective on UK defence matters

Writing about achieving the 1 million page views I bemoaned the demise of some long term blogs.

I was particularly thinking of the Think Defence blog, in which the author said,

After a decade, am calling time on Think Defence and shutting up shop. Think Defence has always been a one man band and that man has other things like work, grandkids and lots of other projects to absorb his time, my time.

I like to read a smattering of opinions on defence, and matters military. What choices have I to replace this website? Timely, the UK Defence Journal has listed a wide arrange of alternatives, which I’ll be working through to make my selection.

While not urgent, the choice is important as the UK Defence Journal recently had over a month of not updating its website – though it’s Facebook site was updated. My preference is always for a website over Facebook.

Meanwhile, here are some websites listed by the UK Defence Journal,

Lots more to choose from, and many contain terrific photos.

Dear readers, a million thank you’s

June was a record month for this blog, attracting over 17,000 page views by nearly 8,000 visitors. The blog had been inching toward the significant total of 1,000,000 page views, but then, as I say, visitors numbers to this blog in June propelled it to the million target.

A view is counted when a visitor loads or reloads a page. A visitor is counted when we [WordPress] notes a user or browser for the first time in a given period (day, week, month).

This blog began in March 2007, starting slowly, and now is over 11 years old. It seems that other blogs I encounter with a life of 10 years or more are coming to and end. For me it’s not a duty, but a hobby.

Ensuring this blog conforms with the EU’s data protection and privacy law

I apologise for the length of this blog post. I am required to publish a privacy policy, and this is a discussion on it. I will follow up by amending the ‘blogicy’ – my word for blog policy.

UPDATE: I’ve now amended the blog policy – see HERE.

I’m updating this blog’s privacy policy to conform with  the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulation on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. The EU’s new law comes into effect on May 25th 2018, so, I needed to act.

In reviewing the requirements of the law, it’s pretty daunting for all who hold personal data of any kind. I’ve checked whether all the requirement of the new law apply to this blog, and thank goodness this blog does not require registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Had it done so, I’d have given up, and possibly reluctantly deleted the blog.

Personally, as the blog author, I do not hold the personal information associated with this blog. It is held by WordPress who host the blog. WordPress are promising to provide tools to manage personal data on their hosted blog. To date, these tools are not yet available.

This blog, through its WordPress host, holds the following data, [the privacy policy of Automattic, the owners of WordPress can be viewed HERE.]

  • email addresses of those people and organisations who have subscribed to receive email notification of new articles.
  • the name, email address, IP address, and the text of a comment from any person, or organisation who posts a comment on this blog.
  • data connected with gravators.
  • traffic data on views to the blog.

To meet the GDPR requirements I commit to removing any such above detail when requested, and to do so in a timely manner.

To limit the personal information held, this blog will no longer hold opinion polls, not that it’s done so more than a couple of times.

This blog has never sent an unsolicited email to any of the many, many hundreds of email followers, nor will it do so in the future. It is only on rare occasions I respond by email to a comment made on the blog, and that is for confidentiality reasons.

This blog will continue with it’s policy of only allowing comments when the comment author has entered their comment name and email address. Strict comment moderation is applied, new commenters need approval by the blog author.

This blog does not subscribe to paid for traffic analysis, it has access to limited data on total views per blog post, and total views per day. It does not have access to attribute the view of any blog post, or specific issue, to any particular follower or reader.

I hope I’ve covered everything. Please offer suggestions, positive or negative, as you wish.