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WITHER THE STIRRER?

19-05-2010

The Stirrer

“Bloody hell, I’m tired,” reports Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg – as he opens a discussion about the future of the website.

Today, just like every weekday for the last four years, The Stirrer has a selection of articles on the “front page” as well as the usual lively contributions on the Forum. But you know what? We can’t go on like this.

When the site started, it was planned as a platform for my documentaries, but quickly assumed a life of its own – so much so that making the films has now become a practical impossibility given the (admittedly self-imposed) workload involved in generating, following, and commissioning new stories.

I’ve no complaints about this. Some of the best things happen by accident, and through The Stirrer I’ve met new friends, established valuable contacts, and enjoyed the privilege of establishing my own unmediated mouthpiece – a real gift for a gobshite like me.

The question now is – where do we go from here?

For the last two years, I’ve been working the nightshift at Talksport and despite the unsociable hours I love doing the show.

Then there's my Birmingham Mail column, and now I’ve got a weekend gig at BBC WM too. Not forgetting the missus and two kids of course.

It’s simply not feasible to carry on with this kind of workload ad infinitum, and so the time has come for a long hard look at what we do. Something has to give – and that something is The Stirrer.

At this point, I should put in a word for our dedicated webmaster Andy Goff who works like a Trojan to keep the site going on the technical side.

He, like me, regards it as a labour of love but can’t keep up with the workload of an increasingly popular site.

Here, then, are our three options for the future. We’ll make up our own minds, of course, but would also welcome feedback.

1) Close the site altogether. Maybe we need a clean break. This might be bad news for a few readers, and the all wonderful contributors who’ve found a home on The Stirrer, but it’s only a website, nobody died, and we’d all get over it.

2) Stop updating the “front page” altogether and maintain the Forum, which provides so much of the energy of the site. More “one dimensional” than what we have at the moment, but less hard work, and still opportunities for the usual slanging matches and, er, intelligent debate.

3) The halfway house. Keep the Forum and the front page – albeit with the proviso that the latter will only be updated on an “ad hoc” basis, with no expectation of providing a breaking daily news service. Some days there’ll be nowt. Other days there might be two or three articles depending on contributions and whatever moves me.

So there you have it, albeit with one more proviso – if someone with a real vision for The Stirrer wants to take it over and drive it forward as a platform for community news and views, we’d be more than happy to hear from you.

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