Sometime later tonight or tomorrow morning that critique will appear and you will have ample time and space to air your opinions as to who won or lost, who made the most salient points or who made no sense at all.
Please don't post comments about the debate to this post, wait until that post appears, tentatively entitled... 'LIAR'S CLUB'....
Since I last wrote a 'Housekeeping' article, readership and participation has actually taken a satisfying spike upwards.
You may have noticed that the little counter of monthly pageviews in the right margin has been climbing slowly, but surely, and now shows over 50,000 views per month.
This counter is not particularly accurate but it gives a sense of where we are and in what direction we are going.
Here is a more accurate snapshot of readership, a detailed study by Google Analytics.
You will notice that the pageview count is much, much higher than what is shown in the margin each day. Google is actually reporting over 75,000 pageviews last month.
Before I go on to talk about the comments section specifically, I want readers to understand that this blog is viewed and your comments are read, all over the world.
Last month we had visits from over 100 countries in over 1400 different cities.
Our blog is read in embassies and consulates and the halls of government across the world.
I know this because of the contact I have with many who make private inquiries via email.
I also have the ability to see the town or city from where readers arrive, the blog posts they read and the links that they click on.
I can tell you that it is always surprising when a visitor from Washington, Beijing, or London follows a link to a political story about Quebec, written in French!
I'm not boasting, I'm just trying to get you to understand our impact.
And yes, our blog is followed closely by the vigile.net crowd, who as I said before are attracted here like moths to a flame.
I find it amusing that we are denigrated as 'angryphones' a pejorative that I wear as a badge of honour.
I do however correct all who refer to me as such, because I am way past being angry and more appropriately like to think of myself as a 'furiousphone'
I take great pleasure in the fact that each time militant sovereigntists visit our site, they are subjected to insulting cartoons or photos and are subjected to your unapologetic comments.
Militant separatists are a largely grim and serious lot with decidedly thin skin. It hurts a lot!
Nothing but nothing annoys these people more than being mocked on a worldwide stage and I am happy to oblige.
Now to the comment section, which is an integral part of this blog.
Many people write to say how much they appreciate what goes on in the comment section.
We have a fantastic corps of contributors, varied in opinion but sharing some common traits, being extremely literate, well-read, educated and knowledgeable.
Their posts are informative and interesting.
I again want to stress how many people around the world read your missives and so I'd like to offer a little friendly advice.
- Take a few minutes to review your post and ask yourself if it is interesting to others or is it just self-gratification.
- We are not obsessed with spelling or grammar, it is opinions that count, but it wouldn't hurt to use a spell-checker.
- Rage is fine, but sometimes adding a gratuitous insult takes away from the discussion. If you want your opinion to be considered by the opposite side or those who are neutral, you really aren't helping your case with a profane, cruel or ad hominem attack.
- Also, it goes without saying that it is never a good idea to comment when over-tired, angry or under the influence. Resist the temptation!
Now this does not apply to those who are not comfortable or proficient in English.
They are always, always invited to write in French.
But we have a surprising number of Anglos and ethnics who are perfectly comfortable writing in French and do so on and off. Actually it is very impressive!
I would hope that they would reconsider. Most of the people coming to this blog from outside
Quebec don't speak French and many comments are, as they say, 'lost in translation.'
The francophones who visit with us all understand English, otherwise they couldn't comment, even in French.
This is just a very gentle suggestion, do not feel obligated.
One last point about the comment section.
As editor and moderater, I try not to interfere in the comment section other than to remove unfit material.
I READ EVERY COMMENT.
But I add my two cents rarely, because I believe that the comment section is a tribune for others.
I think 50-75% of the comments are fantastic and believe me, I change my mind about issues constantly after reading your posts.
Strangely, or perhaps not strangely, the longer comments usually seem more interesting.
It is easy to dash off a one-liner, but to write out a well thought out comment, a couple of hundred words, takes a lot of concentration and effort.
I do appreciate the time you take to develop these responses and congratulate you on your effort.
You are commended and perhaps rewarded, (like all writers) in knowing that many, many people all around the world are interested in what you have to say.
At the other end of the spectrum, write a banal one-liner, with an insult attached and everyone just skips over it.
And no, I'm not referring to one of our prolific commenters, S.R, who I actually like as a contributor.
When he is at his best and he writes something sarcastic and biting, I laugh, even when his target is aimed at me.
There is no room for a thin-skinned here!
As for promoting our views, a lot of readers ask me how we can get the message out and how we can encourage more people to visit our blog.
Here, I must ask for your help.
The best way to get people to read this blog is to promote it through the social media.
If you find a story interesting please use the FACEBOOK icon to post a link to the story on your personal page.
This is by far the most effective tool for propagating our message.
You can also add a link when commenting in the comments section attached to news stories in mainstream media.
One good link in a national newspaper can steer 200 or 300 people to our site.
Some of you with TWITTER accounts can re-Tweet a link to a blog post to those who follow you.
And by the way, a special shout-out to ERIC who does re-Tweet religiously.
Another thank-you to THE CAT for helping out with translation, it is much appreciated and of course I want to again thank my lovely wife for editing and critiquing this blog before going to sleep each night. Sometimes it is a chore, but she never fails me, she is a jewel!
(We are married for almost 40 years!)
Thanks to all for your contributions and let us remember that none of us are paid to do this, it is a labour of love.
To those who are shy and wish to remain lurkers, I do appreciate you visiting our site regularly. You count!
In fact, everybody counts and contributes!
Come to think of it, I wish the separatists would understand that concept!