Thursday, 15 July 2010

Folding up the Wallcharts

When Mark and I decided to set up a football blog it was only going to be for the duration of South Africa 2010... and here we are.

I've never attempted to blog in time with an event, and one thing I hadn't anticipated was the degree to which each day was a deadline. So the moment for my post reading Chile's formation in the light of Sir Thomas Browne's essay on the quincunx had passed within minutes it seemed of their knockout. A post on World Cup typefaces like this or this went by the way, as did a Stepford Footballers post, positing that one problem people have with the Spain midfield is that they're all physical and tactical clones of each other. I never linked properly to Robin Carmody's spectacular conspiracy theories regarding the CIA and the US team's progress, nor this post at Cold Calling. There was never a proper response to Laurie Penny's anti-World Cup diatribe, nor to the Orwell essay from which (with some ambivalence) we took the title of this blog. Mark did take Terry Eagleton to task at least over at k-punk.

On the other hand, it didn't matter: interesting pieces streamed in daily from the UK, New Zealand, Egypt and Holland. Ninety-five posts in thirty days?! Giovanni has already written about how enjoyable it's been to work collectively, which I absolutely second.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect though has been the quality and quantity of the comments. No trolling; not a mention of the Nazis. The comments were articulate, informed and interesting, and ended up producing not just new posts (DigitalBen and Dan) but new blogs. It's enough to make you think optimistically again about Web 2.0 potential. So, a massive thank you to all who commented.

And thanks also to everyone who linked: hopefully most are noted on the Return Pass sidebar – apologies to anyone whose link I missed.

Just two years until Poland/Ukraine 2012. See you then.


  1. As reader of the site I'd like to give my appreciation to the effort and endeavor present here throughout the month. The collective form of it really worked aswell, guaranteeing numerous different perspectives, all produced with the same thorough analysis and insight (some of the pieces with the least comments being the most enlightening - what could you add?).

    On a personal level, many thanks for the links/encouragement as I am wary of becoming just more noise or interference.

    2012 it is then. It even sounds good. So futuristic.

  2. absolutely; it's been a pleasure... some great stuff in here and elsewhere... made the World Cup a dynamic, shifting entity which, alongside the live twittering, massively enhanced the experience of the games; a dull, mechanical attritional grind got elevated beyond itself... in fact, my only issue is: what will non Web 2.0 games be like now? Hope I've not just ruined football for myself...

  3. The perpetual deadlines were a nuisance, especially toward the end of the first round. I think we all had a few half-formed ideas that had to fall by the wayside. When will FIFA reorganise their tournaments for the convenience of bloggers?

    Roll on 2012! I'm eagerly anticipating a load of posts about the way the architecture of Lviv influenced the Ukraine team's flat back four.

  4. I think we all had a few half-formed ideas that had to fall by the wayside.

    In the case of my YouTube compilation of the tournament's dullest, least memorable plays, I think we can probably agree it was a good thing.

  5. Thank YOU. All of you. It's been daily reading over the past month, and by far the most stimulating World Cup commentary going. Long live the collective project!

  6. Just a big thank you. It's been a pleasure reading this blog alongside the world cup.

  7. thank you so much, it was a great read, and I'm soo looking forward to your coverage of Euro 2012

  8. never commented before, but just want to say thanks--enjoyed the commentary and the collective format a lot.

  9. Thanks a lot for that post it was really helpful.