My poor old blog has been somewhat neglected of late, and that’s largely because I’ve been writing so much for other outlets. That’s partly because I’m publicising a new book, more on which in a moment, but also because of a conscious decision to see how going to where readers are rather than trying to attract them here works.
I’m not giving up on the blog, as it’s useful to have some space totally under my own control in which to explore ideas and express thoughts. And it maybe that the shift in emphasis build audiences here and elsewhere. We’ll see. It’s all small beer compared to the issues most media brands are grappling with, but the difference is one of scale rather than substance.
My latest ebook, Sound of the crowd, looks at the culture created by football fans. It’s focus is Spurs, my club, and the efforts of the 1882 movement to boost the atmosphere at games, but it looks at the wider efforts by football fans to reclaim a culture that we see being sold back to us. I’ve included a section on the history of supporter self-organisation, because many of the younger fans I spoke to didn’t know about it – I’ve always said we should learn from our history – and tried to raise the question of how desirable it is for the game to attempt to control and permit fan culture it the way that it is trying to do. There’s a more in-depth article about it on The Fighting Cock website.
Some of the ideas in the book spin out of a strand the New Statesman has kindly allowed my to develop online, looking at the football business, fan culture and the game’s handling of dissent. You can find all I’ve written by Googling ‘Martin Cloake New Statesman‘. I’m also contributing regularly to Spurs fansite TottenhamBlog and, irregularly, to Spurstalk. The newly-established official IndiaSpurs website has asked me to contribute some features on the history and culture of the club, and they will be appearing over the coming weeks. It seems like a pretty vibrant community building up there.
I’m hoping to get back to writing more regularly for this blog, and especially to looking at media matters which have become somewhat neglected here. And there’s also a project that’s particularly close to my heart bubbling under. Watch this space.