When people start talking about the "blogosphere", they talk about this community of people who have never met, but "get on" and, if you like, become friends. I have done that with a few people. But blogging has done more than that. Let me explain.
I like my occasional Everton chats with Dizzy, whilst I have enjoyed the postings of Paul Walter enormously and have had some e-mail to and fro with him on various points. There are others too, whose comments I seek out (apologies if I don't mention you all).
However, possibly the best thing for me has been re acquainting myself with friends and colleagues who I have lost touch with or now move in different circles from. Featuring notably in this group are Duncan Borrowman and Neil Fawcett, two people who were enormously important in Norman Lamb winning North Norfolk in 2001, and people I have admired and respected for some time. They are excellent Lib Dem campaigners and tacticians and I have learnt from them both.
A more recent blog that I have found interesting, but rarely agree with (sorry Justin) is Justin Hinchcliffe's blog. Justin is perhaps better known as "Tory Boy", boasting a Harry Enfield character created in his honour. But Justin is also good friends with friends of mine and we did meet many years ago. At the time I kept quiet whilst he and his Tory friends chatted about target seats in Lambeth. I didn't say a word. Honest ! So it has been nice to get to know more about him and what he does now, learn something of his views, and I also get to hear about mutual friends through his blog.
Again, very recently I have also discovered through the blogosphere Ed Maxfield, who recently started his blog. Ed, for those who don't know, was Norman Lamb's agent in 2001, was enormously motivational in the year leading up to the election and is an amazingly funny guy. Just looking at his blog reminds me of all the silly and amusing comments he would make about anyone involved in politics who thought they were too important. His blog is well worth a read.
Finally, and coming almost full circle, from those who helped the Lib Dems win in North Norfolk in 2001, I come to a man heavily involved in our win in 2005, that being our Tory opponent, Iain Dale (sorry Iain). I've written before about the fact that I loathed Iain during the campaign, and for a long time after it. However, we've buried the hatchet and I have been grateful for the help and advice he has given me regarding my blog and am grateful that blogging has allowed us to appreciate each others qualities in a really positive way.
The best thing about blogging is ... It could almost be a new meme ... NO !!!!!!!!!!!!