Peer idol

Lord Norton

Thanks to Amy Hopkinson for drawing my attention yesterday to the G2 section of the Guardian. Stephen Moss has written about this blog. I’m not sure that the author quite knows what he is letting himself in for when he writes: ‘Lord Norton has grasped the key rule of successful blogging: write about yourself.’

I don’t win many awards, but some years ago, a local rag in Hull, the Hull Free Press (which no longer exists), kindly awarded me the title of ‘Self Publicist of the Year’. As I understood to be the practice on such occasions, I immediately issued a statement thanking all those who had made it possible.

10 comments for “Peer idol

  1. 08/04/2008 at 2:09 pm

    Well, you seem to be a nice chap so why not talk about yourself?

  2. ladytizzy
    08/04/2008 at 5:01 pm


    OK, Guardian mentioned a few times, tick. Now, what makes The Times your newspaper of choice, Lord Norton?

    Meanwhile, as the Marmite gabfest rumbles on, would you be prepared to reveal whether you tried it before or after university?


  3. Senex
    08/04/2008 at 7:48 pm

    Blogging or forums are not for the faint hearted or pompous.

    We normally discuss things in conversation with someone we know or someone who respects you. There is often a hierarchy. By choice we tend to avoid those who give us a hard time.

    Blogging though is quite, quite different.

    Introspection happens when somebody strongly disagrees with what you have to say and you concede the point, at least to yourself. Sometimes you write something that you wish you had not. My own nemesis is bad spelling or grammar. Its exhilarating and terrifying at one and the same time.

    So talking about ones self, can at worst, only causes an inner conflict.

    The guardian article:

    Is noteworthy in that Stephen Moss does not provide a response blog with which to disagree with his viewpoint. Is this the power of the press?

    Even King Edward III (a) had problems, his response:

    Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

    Lord Norton you and your fellow peers are doing just fine!

    (a) Source:

  4. lordnorton
    08/04/2008 at 9:44 pm

    Britney British: pretty much my sentiment as well!

    ladytizzy: The Times historically has been a paper of record. Fewer typos as well. It’s not a secret that I hate Marmite.

  5. 08/04/2008 at 9:45 pm

    I think the other reason that your blogs are more popular is that they are short and to the point (including short paragraphs). You also have an accessible and funny style.

  6. ladytizzy
    10/04/2008 at 4:00 am

    Senex, you bring up some good points on blogging. I admire the bloggers who reveal their true selves here and elsewhere, whilst you, me, others are allowed to be anonymous (mostly) and vent our spleens. I’m not that brave.

  7. lordnorton
    10/04/2008 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for the encouraging comments. Some of Senex´s comments are very relevant to a later post I plan. I am certainly not that faint hearted when it comes to expressing my views on various issues, at least those on which I think I am qualified to speak (being an academic, I am prone on occasion to say “I am not sure I can comment – it´s not my area”!) Glad to hear that blogging is not for the pompous. Some people think I can at times be a little patronising, but what do they know? They are only my closest friends.

  8. Bedd Gelert
    11/04/2008 at 8:30 am

    A colleague of mine [from some years back] had to go through one of those awful ‘re-apply for your own job’ exercises which he had found rather traumatic. He took to posting the following notice on his desk..

    ‘If you don’t blow your own trumpet, someone else will use it as a spittoon !’

    I agree that the British sense of modesty is a good thing, and I wouldn’t want us all to be like the Americans all the time, but some self-promotion is essential if we are not to be overlooked in the race.

  9. Senex
    11/04/2008 at 7:23 pm

    LadyTizzy you said:

    “I admire the bloggers who reveal their true selves”

    Thank you, but have I achieved a one with everything?

    In the words of the Desiderata:

    “Speak your truth quietly and clearly”.


  10. lordnorton
    16/04/2008 at 1:51 pm

    Just on Bedd Gelert’s point about blowing one’s own trumpet, it is important to have a tune to play! My view is that one needs to work hard and have achieved something in the first place, and ideally let one’s achievements speak for themselves.

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