How is it going so far?

It is now just over three months since I began blogging on slugger with 127 entries so I thought it was about time to get some feedback. The feedback I would like from everyone is about the range of topics, my style and the choice of images I have blogged in the last three months. Also as I am a Unionist blogger, are their issues and themes of particular interest to Unionist commenters and readers of slugger that I have consistently overlooking?

NB I am not seeking feedback of my opinions in the blogs or on my comments. Views on those have already been expressed in the relevant threads and I am listed as a politico blogger so no claim to “neutraility” is made by Slugger or myself.

  • Carsonite

    All postive from my seat! Read this blog every other day. Great stuff!

  • slug

    Keep up the good work!

  • Pete Baker

    Hmmm..

    “that I have consistently overlooking?”

    There’s always room for improvement, fair deal. 😉

  • lib2016

    I hope you aren’t offended by a ‘pass with honors’ from this poster. 😉

  • Sterling

    The only criticism I would make is that you do not post under your own name and that goes for all posters who do not poster threads under their own name. For commenting purposes, its not so bad (but then I would say that!) However for writing threads, it would be nice to have real names.

    Otherwise keep up the good work!

  • fartrick

    i just think youre a wanker….far better suited to trolling the left handed websites with bertie and the health care proffesionals who know it all

  • bo shank

    You’ll do even though you are infuriating lol

  • Enjoyed it so far.

    A suggestions for the future; perhaps trying more of the reflective open posts like the one you tried with “the offensive symbols” last week? OK, a lot of the time, certain people will ignore the core of such posts, simply because of your political leanings, but they’re not the only people reading and I think it’s something worth perserving with.

  • Nathan

    You don’t tend to self-indulge in every minute nut and bolt that passes for politics in NI. Moreover, you keep your posts user-friendly for the readers, particularly the ones like myself who are not N.Irish. And like Mick, you don’t automatically assume that the readership necessarily has an in-depth knowledge about the topics you pursue.

    I hope you have enjoyed your blogging experience and that you’ll continue to blog on Slugger for a long time to come.

  • PHIL

    For me as an English nationalist I like to have an understanding of the unionist perspective in NI and you certainly make your points in a clear and understandable way for me.

  • Canadian

    “user-friendly for the readers, particularly the ones like myself who are not N.Irish.”

    I agree with Nathan on this point.

  • pid

    Spelling and grammar a bit ropey today, FD 😉 but your well-named.

  • Spelling Bee

    “Spelling and grammar a bit ropey today, FD 😉 but your well-named.”

    Notice anything wrong in your post, Pid???

  • Paul P

    FD,

    You were doing well until this post which communicates insecurity.

    Just keep posting and to hell with what others think!

  • fair_deal

    Thanks for the comments, anyone else wants to throw in their tuppence worth please do.

    Pete

    “There’s always room for improvement”

    It’s why I asked 🙂

    Sterling

    “The only criticism I would make is that you do not post under your own name”

    I had considered that. Some sluggerites are aware of who I am. However, it seems that my cyber identity has more credibility than my everyday one. Over the years on slugger my real identity has came up in discussion and this has usually been followed by highly personal attacks and even the odd libelious statement that had to be moderated. So using my real identity would probably lead to a decline in the quality of debate on my threads.

    Paul

    “more of the reflective open posts like the one you tried with “the offensive symbols” last week?”

    I’ll bear that in mind. I think the fact I had peeved off a number of the republican commenters on another thread meant the argument from one got carried across to the other, killing off that particular example.

    bo shank

    “You’ll do even though you are infuriating”

    I try 😉

    Nathan/Canadian

    I must admit I wasn’t consciously thinking of making my blogs accessible to international sluggerites but good to know. I avoid the nuts and bolts as they bore me.

    Pid

    “Spelling and grammar a bit ropey today”

    I wasn’t planning to blog today then spotted mick wasn’t going to be about so have been trying to do multiple things at once. As for my poor standard of English it is society’s fault innit 😉

    Paul P

    “until this post which communicates insecurity”

    LMAO first time I have ever been accused of insecurity. Don’t worry I wasn’t planning any self-censorship as a result of this thread.

  • joeCanuck

    Fair Deal

    You’re doing a great job in blogging a wide range of issues and asking thought provoking questions.

    To me, asking for public feedback demonstates a confidence in oneself coupled with a williness to admit that all of us can improve.

    Best regards

  • Fair Deal.
    Whilst I’m an Irish nationalist and would have opposing views on the North, you have always been courteous and civil to the nationalists on this blog and you always debate with references to back up your argument. In fact sir, you are a gentleman.
    Praise where praise is due.

  • miss fitz

    FD
    Although we come from different sides of the ring, I enjoy your posts enormously, and feel that you are an important facet of helping non-unionists explore, if not always agree, where you are coming from.

    I feel that this exposure of differing opinions is the way forward for all of us to establish commonality and the elusive shared future.

    I will not be asking for feedback when I reach 100…… I get too much as it is!

    Go raibh maith agat

  • Jo

    Well done, a 2:1 so far. 🙂

  • m

    I enjoy your contributions, nice to see how the other half?quarter? lives.

    The micro community opinions/experience elements, regardless of verifiability, are a believable value added element, more of that please.

  • Penelope

    Nathan –“You don’t tend to self-indulge in every minute nut and bolt that passes for politics in NI. Moreover, you keep your posts user-friendly for the readers, particularly the ones like myself who are not N.Irish. And like Mick, you don’t automatically assume that the readership necessarily has an in-depth knowledge about the topics you pursue.”

    I agree 100%. I too am an outsider. Forgive the essay for I’ve only recently started posting and I feel like I need to give some background as to who I am.

    I fell in love with a Belfast boy 18 months ago and I’ve been coming onto Slugger for well over a year now. It’s been just a facet of the o/l reading I’ve done as I’ve been learning about this complex, beautiful, frustrating, bewildering, compelling place called Northern Ireland. I’ve followed the links and read more, dug into the archives etc. Having voices from both sides is invaluable and rational, reasonable ones even more so.

    Speaking of both sides, my beloved is a catholic unionist so it just adds another twist to things. If you ask him he’ll say his id is Norn Iron more than anything else and unionist from a constitutional point of view.

    I once made the off -hand remark to my partner from my naïve American point of view that if half of NI would be unhappy to have London as the capital and the other half would be dissatisfied to have Dublin but if both sides agree they are Northern Irish then wouldn’t it be logical to have your own wee country?

    Little did I know about the Third Way and that it was considered ultra-right wing and radical!!! Irony is I am the farthest thing from a radical right winger you’ll ever meet… LOL !!!

    I began to see that things were not so black and white. Like a Belfast sky in January there are endless shades of grey. No one side is a saint, no one side is a sinner, both have done horrible things to each other and to their own.

    Before I met him the only point of view I had of NI was from the hunger strike days and what the US media presented i.e. Brits=bad, IRA=good. My beloved didn’t try to *convert* me to his point of view but rather like Fair Deal would present a point logically, allowing me to do my own follow through.

    As I said, I’ve spent endless hours reading about the troubles and NI in general, from the serious to the silly. Our relationship has progressed to the point where I’m planning to make the move, and if I adjust well to Belfast life marry soon afterwards so it helps to know what I’m getting myself into.

    TBH if asked I wouln’t be able to say if I’m unionist or nationalist. I don’t have family ties going back hundreds of years affecting my viewpoint one way or the other. All I know is I love the place and one boy in particular. Ulster is so very beautiful and I’ve met many people with the warmest hearts 🙂

    I appreciate bloggers like Fair Deal who, whilst being clear about their position, present their arguments in a rational matter, are open to criticism and feedback and when it warrants are not afraid to express their disgust at the bonehead actions of those from *their* side.

    corkman – “Whilst I’m an Irish nationalist and would have opposing views on the North, you have always been courteous and civil to the nationalists on this blog and you always debate with references to back up your argument. In fact sir, you are a gentleman.
    Praise where praise is due.”

    I’d say by that statement right there you have rightly earned the name Fair Deal. Fair play to corkman for also being gentleman in making his statement. Keep up the good work FD 🙂

  • Penelope

    extra kudos to corkman in light of m’s backhanded compliments… really now you think you’re being clever but you come off sounding like a 12 year old reguritating a thesaurus *sheesh*

  • Penelope

    ach… forgive my spelling!!! :$

  • willis

    Thanks Fair Deal

    Just want to echo the positive posts. I have been delighted by the breadth of your interests. Tho’ I would echo the view that there is no need for the nom de guerre even tho’ it is a good one.

    Cheers

    Long may you run

    Willis

  • páid

    Spelling Bee, you got me.

    you’re instead of your.

    Yours sincerely,

    A humbler pid.

  • Donnacha

    You’re playing a blinder. While I don’t agree with your politics, I admire the range of topics you have posted. One of the reasons I have become addicted to this site is the range of topics covered and the fact that bloggers are posting from several sides of the issues. It’s also the best place for finding news from home, especially things that are not picked up by the media down here in post-colonial wonderland. So keep it up, and more power to you.

  • TAFKABO

    You’re doing a grand job FD, keep her lit.

    Fuck the begrudgers

  • McGrath

    FD,

    Uninformed readers may well be suckered into thinking how well you research and write your opinion. While I agree you are well read and informed, you are however, a clever wordsmith. You have a tendency to omit / construe facts and you have a tendency to respond to only the parts of posts that can further your agenda.

    I can only assume that your intermittent use of balance is to further the debate at hand, but I do not view you as a problem solver.

    You did ask.

    I would however, like to attend your next OO parade with you and you can introduce me to all of your OO brethren.

    I have learned from you, you have broadened my opinion, plus you have taught me to read very carefully.

    McGrath

  • fionn

    FD I come from dublin and as such have NEVER had an opportunity to hear the unionist point of view (apart from the usual suspects on tv). very interesting to read and definitely educational.

    won’t agree with everything you say, but i certainly want to keep hearing it.

    keep up the good work 🙂

  • BogExile

    Fair Deal,

    A- from me. The only criticism I have is that you rearely indulge in splenetic and personal over reaction even when goaded. Oh, no, that’s a good thing?

    I would like to see more/something to explore and recognise collusion between the local catholic community and republican terrorists along the border. I realise that this is contentious issue and it may even be untrue but it is a story which is not much heard and certainly drowned out by state-terrorist collusion theorists.

    But, good man, anyway!

  • fair_deal

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

    m

    “The micro community opinions/experience elements, regardless of verifiability, are a believable value added element, more of that please.”

    I’ll try to remember that but I will have to try and live a more “interesting” life.

    McGrath

    Thank you for the feint praise. Slugger has taught me to be careful precise and where possible verifiable in what I say. In a forum of debate it is easy to make throw away comments that can’t be supported and thus undermine an entire line of argument.

    I provide the links (as much as I can) as part of the debate with others for a number of reasons.
    1. In a NI forum there is a degree of distrust of what the other is saying so 3rd party verification is useful in overcoming that. Also in time if you demonstrated you can support what you say other commentators begin to take you at your word.
    2. I am a firm believer in the adage when facts change opinions change. By providing links to 3rd parties I hope it may contribute to someone reviewing their position.
    3. I find debate about Northern Ireland can think that the world revolves around it and that issues trends etc are unique to it and directly linked to the conflict. This is often not the case.
    4. I tend to find the practice encourages others to do likewise and improves my own knowledge.

    As regards my commenting style, I am a firm believer in the power of a narrative. Our old narratives have become self-perpetuating cycles hence the need for some new ones.

    Bog-exile

    The issue of collaboration with the IRA will be a difficult one. As with the rest of the blogging team I am largely at the mercy of what appears in the media or online but I’ll see what I can do.

  • German-American

    I’m not a regular commenter on Slugger, but I do agree with others that I am glad to see people like you, Chris Donnelly, and other politicos from the various parties and positions participate as posters and commenters. (In this respect the Slugger approach is a welcome breath of fresh air compared to typical US political blogs, which with very few exceptions I find to be tedious and unreadable no matter what their political slant.) I especially like the fact that you actively participate in comments threads, as opposed to just posting and then walking away.

    I do have one comment about your doing “reflective open posts” (as another commenter termed them). I think “reflective” works better for someone like Mick Fealty who cultivates a relatively non-partisan persona in his posts and comments. I’m used to each of your blog posts either making a pretty identifiable political point or being relatively straightforward reporting of news. If you get all “reflective” then it throws me off somewhat, as I try to puzzle out what you’re getting on about. (I did this with the “Emblems and Space” post in particular.)