About Oxford Inciter

Incite means to stir, encourage, urge on, stimulate or prompt to action. Its synonyms include provoke, goad, spur, arouse, exhort, fire, induce.

The original subject of this blog, in January 2007, was the City of Oxford. The use of the word Inciter was explained thus:

Oxford is a beautiful city. If you are a visitor, Oxford Inciter aims to encourage you to come to Oxford, to stimulate your interest, to arouse your passion, to fire you with enthusiasm, to prompt you to see the parts of it which the tours miss, and to induce you to come back.

Oxford is also a threatened city. If you are a resident, Oxford Inciter aims to encourage you to protest about matters which concern you, to spur you to defend the place you live in, to arouse you from apathy about it, to fire your interest in things you may otherwise lose, to stimulate discussion and stir up debate, to exhort you to write to the local newspapers and to goad councillors in the hope that we can induce them to action where action is required and to inaction where that would be better.

The original statement of purpose has now been moved to a blog post dated 1 January 2007.

A sister blog called Oxford Agenda applied the same approach to things outside Oxford, inciting contempt for the then Labour government, for dim pen-pushers, incompetent railway companies and the other plagues of the time. Both were abandoned for a long time, revived briefly and abandoned again as the demands of my work (which itself involves a lot of writing) took over.

In January 2015 I merged the two blogs, together with a short-lived third one whose purpose was to write about some of my photographs. This is the result.

In August 2009 I discovered Twitter, which was only 6 months old when this blog was started. 41,000 tweets have flowed under the bridge since then, which perhaps explains why I had no time for proper blogging on top of my work blog. I still don’t have time, but so much passes by without being recorded or remembered that I thought I’d have another go.

When I set up the original Oxford Inciter in January 2007, blogging was just moving from its “What I had for breakfast” stage and seemed to me to have business potential. I said this:

This Blog is in part an experiment. Blogging may be a passing fad. It is predicted, however, to be the way that democratic and business interests are best brought to public attention in a way which is more immediate, more client-facing and much cheaper than other forms of marketing. I have a commercial interest in finding out, because if it works in relation to a subject which interests me then it can be made to work for others for a fee.

Shortly afterwards I set up the work blog eDisclosure Information Project. It has been the core output of my business ever since. When they were younger, my now grown-up children, when asked what their father did for a living, would say “He’s a blogger”. Which (though I hate the word) is true.

 

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