The Completetosh.com not-very-FAQ
Q: Hi. I’m really interested in referring to everything you write here as the official, sanctioned view of Your Employer. Indeed, I’d quite like just to treat this blog as an extension of Your Employer’s Website. That OK by you?
A: No. This is the personal website for me, Neil McIntosh. You can find out more about me here. The views represented here are my own, not those of my employer. What is more, my views change with exposure to time and reason, so (given the length of archive contained herein) I wouldn’t assume my old thoughts represent current thoughts. If you’re unsure, do ask.
Q: I want to send you a press release!
A: Just. Don’t.
Q: You’ve deleted my comment!
A: Yes. There are lots of reasons I might, although deletions are very rare. When it does happen, there are the obvious reasons; principally, that I suspect your comment is spam, is offensive, or may cause problems legally. All said, it’s my blog, and if you don’t like how I keep things here you are free to go off and start one yourself, and see if an audience for whatever you do grows there. Good luck with that.
Q: Hahahaha – loser! You’ve named your site “Complete Tosh” which is, like, slang for “really rubbish”. Haha – how appropriate, given you hold views that are not my own! Lame! Loser! FAIL!!!!
A: The name is a deliberate attempt at self-depreciating humour, and – believe it or not – you’re not the first person to point out the other meaning. Tosh is easy to spell than McIntosh, it was my nickname at school, university and on the football pitch, and “Complete” prefixes it because this was originally intended to be a place where I linked to all my written work. Complete works, if you like.
These days I write less, but I still like the name. It turns out “Tosh” – if Peter Ackroyd’s Sacred River is to believed – is derived from the term “toshers”. Toshers were watermen who dredged the River Thames for flotsam bobbing around in its murk. Given I live in London, and cross the Thames twice a day, and that the purpose of any good blog is to dredge the depths for interesting things, I think the term Tosh is still entirely appropriate.
But don’t expect such nuance and layered meaning too often.
Q: This blog doesn’t write only about digital journalism / new media / thestateofjournalismtoday. Often you say nothing at all for weeks, and when you do there’s all sorts of stuff about a “Swindon Town”, your cat, London and food. WTF? Don’t you know a blog won’t be successful unless it’s all about one thing? And regular? What the hell are you playing at?
A: This (as the front page states) is my personal site, a home for whatever crosses my mind. As a consequence, it is not coherent or even regular. At work, I know how to target blogs, and how often they need to be updated to keep people engaged and interested. And, indeed, that work often keeps me quite busy. That means I write less here, because it’s best to say nothing at all when my mind is full only of stuff I couldn’t write about for fear of Giving The Game Away. With this blog I am not chasing traffic, notoriety or fortune, so if you’re after something else there are other websites available, I’m told.
Q: How long have you blogged?
A: Personally, since August 2001, when I started writing a fan’s diary as I followed Swindon Town around the lower leagues. Swindonlog.com is now dormant and archived on blogspot, although it used to have its own domain and a far prettier design which you can see an example of here. I’ve blogged professionally since November 2001, when I started Onlineblog (now Technology blog) at the Guardian.
I started this site in July 2003. The current design is a premium theme by Woo.
Q: You change things! After they’ve been published!
A: I do change what I write after publication, but only to correct grammatical or spelling mistakes, or to tidy sentence construction (I used to be a sub). I never invisibly change the meaning of what I said – I’ll always score things out (like this) if I need to correct something. I’ll also annotate the post to explain why I’ve changed the meaning. I don’t edit your comments – I only ever delete them (see above).
Q: I want to complain
A: If you have a problem with anything written here – and, by problem, I mean you’re upset and/or reaching for a lawyer – email me at neiltosh at gmail.com.