Another year has passed and Macfilos is 11 years old today. That’s quite a record for any blog and it has demanded a great deal of commitment from me as chief cook and bottle washer.
Finding something to write about five days a week is a daunting task and it works only because, first, I am interested in what I do. I love writing, especially. Macfilos has also assumed the status of a job in my retirement. It’s unpaid work, of course, but it keeps me occupied and I have met many like-minded individuals throughout the world as a result.
However, far from being a money
We are still managing to produce over 150 articles a year. According to my Grammarly grammar checker, which serves as a first-stage electronic proof-reader, the site has published just under a million words in the past twelve months.
There is no record of the word-count in the previous ten years but, overall, we have probably exceeded the impressive 4.6 million words churned out by Charles Dickens in his lifetime. Quantity, though, rather than necessarily quality in our case.
We’ve published 4,751 articles and received 10,381 comments — most of these in the past three years as readership and interaction has increased. For the first few years, comments were few and far between. Receiving just one response was once an excuse to pop a bottle of Prosecco. Now, as you see every day, the interest is rising rapidly.
When it comes to comments, however, we appear to be a gentlepersonly lot at Macfilos. All published comments are constructive and courteous and we have avoided arguments and, worse, personal criticism. This, I think, is an attraction for for readers fed up with internet sniping and bad humour. One reason for this could be the decidedly mature profile of the average reader.
Spam, of course, is filtered out. Since changing to WordPress from Squarespace earlier this year I am now seeing spam these comments for the first time. It was shocking to find over 1,000 carefully crafted bits of nonsense sitting in the spam box every month. They are filtered out by software, as they were on Squarespace, although I never saw them then. The majority of such observations are of doubtful provenance and many are of inscrutable intent.
All spam comments contain links to other sites, malicious or otherwise, and are easily identified and suppressed. Is you sitting comfortable-like and is you oblivious to bad grammar? If so….
When it comes to moderation, however, I can tell you that in the past six months I have had to delete only two comments which were not exactly spam but which were offensive, in my opinion. Troll-like negativity, insults and politics are banned here. We just stick to photography and leave controversy for other channels.
Band of siblings
We are fortunate to have a loyal band of authors which enjoys (I hope) writing for Macfilos. Together, they have contributed 375 articles and have helped add tremendous variety to the content which, with just one author, could become boring in time. Our most prolific current contributor is John Shingleton from New South Wales who has penned no fewer than 77 articles for this site.
William Fagan in Dublin comes a worthy second in the current list, not that this is a game of numbers. Quality is the objective, which all our contributors achieve, and the table below should be read on the basis that some of ‘em have been at it a lot longer than others. Click on the links to see what they’ve all been writing about over the years.
- John Shingleton 77
- William Fagan 33
- Wayne Gerlach 19
- Kevin Armstrong 18
- David Bailey 16
- Jonathan Slack 14
- Jean Perenet 12
- Claus Sassenberg 10
- Dave Seargeant 8
- David Babsky 5
Sadly, our second most prolific though non-current contributor, Bill Palmer has stopped writing about Fuji because of a change of direction in his business life. Over the years up to 2016 Bill put together 66 erudite articles and attracted a lot of interest. Stories on Fuji are always popular. I keep hoping he will pick up his cameras and return with more of his insights into Fujifilm. In the meantime, David Bailey has stepped effectively into the breach.
Incidentally, I used “siblings” advisedly in the last heading despite the obvious brotherly nature of our contributors. I think it’s time we had a few female writers to add to our list. Any takers?
And, in terms of geography, we are over-focused on Europe and Australia. What about some authors from the North America (which accounts for the largest slice of Macfilos readership) and Asia? All contributions will be well received and, even if English isn’t your native language, I am happy to do some creative sub-editing.
We have also published numerous guest posts from occasional contributors. Frankly, Macfilos couldn’t continue without the tremendous support we get from our authors, all of whom put great efforts into writing and illustrating some fascinating accounts of travel throughout the world. Together, we’ve been up Everest and we’ve wandered most of Europe, Australia and South-East Asia, with several excursions into Africa and the Middle East.
Finally, why Macfilos and not Leica-philos or Photo-filos? When the site started in 2008, photography was far from my mind. I was keen to write about technology, with a strong leaning towards Apple: Hence the Mac, plus the ubiquitous and (I admit) clichéd “filos” or
It was two years later that I started writing more on photography and, gradually, the subject has taken over the site. Ideally, perhaps, I should have changed the name back in 2011 but it is now a bit too late for that.
However, the Mac might have bolted, but the stable is still here. With eleven years’ worth of comment indexed by Google and others, changing now would be counter