Hi, I'm Ben Hazell. I used to blog here about the media, but now I work there I don't write here anymore.
I'm the Web Publishing Editor at - I find better ways to tell stories, developing tools, training and practice for journalists.

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, LibraryThing, Spotify, and occasionally writing on

The Blog

Rarely updated now, used during Journalism MA at the University of Sheffield.

Too busy to blog? Ha

Sunday, 27 April 2008
Having trouble finding time to blog.
Oh what spectral flashes of genius have flitted away into the night whilst I lack the energy to put finger to key.

If there was wi-fi on trains into London it wouldn't be a problem. There bloody well should be for the ticket price.
Now I'm doing twelve hours a week on rails I'm searching for ways to make the time productive.

I'm reading, sure.
Last week I got through the Telegraph, Guardian, Metro & Evening Standard every day, with Time, Private Eye, Wired, PC Gamer and a couple of novels about space on the side. (Won't somebody think of the trees and buy me an E-Paper reader?)

I'm glad my Linux laptop won't play games or DVDs, or I'd probably wind up in Brighton or Nottingham before I remembered to pause and look around.

But what I want to be doing is working - something I'm largely incapable of doing without an internet connection.
It's not just a question of uploading posts. I need a connection to write half the time.
Perhaps it's an over-reliance on my outboard brain, but I have a compulsive need to check every fact online as I write. My opinions are clear, but the facts and details are a kind of haze. I don't bother to remember things because the sum of human knowledge is never more than an instant search away.

This is probably most obvious if you've ever tried to tell me something in detail, to which I usually reply - 'can't you just e-mail me?'. And I've long since given up remembering names when I can pull them off social networking sites.
I know that that's not just me.

One option is micro-blogging. Instead of waiting to get online and research and edit my way towards a traditional blog post, I could just upload quick notes from my phone. No space for evidence or explanations - result! I can probably add more to society in 140 characters of wit and observation than 140 lines of formalised speculation.
But is a Facebook status really the place to develop my thoughts on user generated recession, or review a website?

Or perhaps I'm just making excuses and should free myself from anxiety and just write. The trouble there is that when I do get online to post I have to read it back, and inevitably tweek.

I vaguely remember Wordsworth issuing some imperative about throwing down our books to give space for creation.
The quote is somewhere in my brain haze, and the details are online - but I'm trying to write offline so I won't go look it up.


Michael Szollosy said...

Want that. The Kindle. I like. I'll have one if you've got one going spare.

Ben said...

Aye - I don't exactly want the Kindle, I want a decent E-Ink screen on a divice, and the Kindle wins as it has wi-fi to subscribe to newspapers and blogs.
But right now it costs more than my laptop, and could do with some nice leather binding!

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