About this blog

Thanks for visiting!

First – what is a blog? A ‘web log’ is just a collection of website pages on different topics that are added to every so often, that express opinions and/or useful information. The major difference between a website page and a blog page is that blog posts are usually more time-sensitive; IE they become outdated faster – they’re ‘news’, not a dictionary or encyclopaedia.  So the kind of content put into a blog post is either different to what is put onto a website page, or it’s information that has been included in the blog post because the writer doesn’t have the time to keep trotting back & updating it ad infinitum. As distinct from website pages – which should always been 100% up-to-date. Search engines recognise this difference and blog pages have traditionally been treated differently to standard website pages.

There are several reasons for the existence of this blog. Some of the main reasons are:

  • Provide useful ag-related information that is either unavailable elsewhere, or inadequately or innacurately covered.
  • Raise some of the agricultural and rural issues that aren’t being discussed in the media, or aren’t being discussed in any depth (i.e., the intention is to say what a lot of people are thinking, but not writing about).
  • Correct a few of the very many agricultural story errors that appear.
  • Provide facts that are as accurate as possible, to help promote a genuine understanding of rural Australia.

and

  • News of events; as due to the increased cost of postage it’s no longer affordable to mail out newsletters (and my mailing list runs to thousands of people), and email newsletters are too time consuming to create regularly.

The information contained in this blog and on the rest of the website is gained from a huge range of sources – including information provided by customers and my own knowledge of the bush.

Blog posting is by necessity a part-time affair and not intended to be a comprehensive journal of everything that happens in rural Australia. That’s what rural newspapers, agricultural magazines, government agricultural bodies and producer organisations etc are for. During extra busy periods and when I am travelling, blog posts are few and far between. This doesn’t mean nothing is happening; quite the reverse – this means it’s busier than usual!

Blog history:

The oldest blog posts are dated 2009 but in fact they date back to when the website was created in 2003. (The date of pre-2009 posts was changed to 2009 when there was a major design revamp.)

The kind of posts that appear in this blog have changed over time. When this website went online in 2003 there were very few Australian agriculture websites online. Those that were, were often just place-holders, one-pagers akin to a listing in the phone yellow pages. (At that time, still the primary source of business contact information.)  Very few of Australia’s largest pastoral companies had websites – those that did had very little information and few pages.

It’s worth pointing out that when I created this website in 2003 – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Snapchat had not been invented.  Forums on websites and via email ruled the day. Hard to imagine, but any kind of social media was non-existent in relation to rural & agricultural Australia.

So when I began I included a large amount of rural information on a wide variety of topics, to help others. For a number of years this website was the number one Google result for search terms relating to rural employment and outback travel. Gradually other websites appeared and all expanded to include useful information, so my blog morphed into tackling under-represented and inaccurately represented rural issues. Gradually rural bloggers appeared, and rural social media users began to flourish. I then began writing out information to help rural social media users avoid common traps, and address common workshop questions.  Then my most frequent blog content moved on to another neglected field – drones in agriculture. Undoubtedly this will eventually become a well-covered space online, and there will be a new gap to tackle.

The blog ‘comments’ facility has always been turned off  because to function in a professional manner, it is essential that a public blog discussion is constantly moderated (to ensure blog comments from the public are not insulting others, language used is reasonable, discussions are relevant, etc). When this website began there were no other obvious targets for animal rights zealots so I used to receive (very unpleasant) anonymous rants via email. I had no desire to also receive them via blog comments, particularly as there was nobody else in the same boat at the time (IE nobody to share headaches with) and systems for discouraging anonymous trolls weren’t as sophisticated as they are now. In any case I’ve never had the desire to waste valuable time on moderating – writing a blog and managing such a large website are already vastly time consuming activities. If you would like to send me a comment please do so via the Customer Enquiry page of the website.

Please note that all the content in the blog is protected by copyright in the same way that the rest of the website words and images are protected against unauthorised copying. Years of work have gone into it all and I take a dim view of idea-raiders and plagiarists; this is my living, not some idle hobby. The source of small quotes must be clearly attributed and large quotes are not permitted without prior permission from Fiona Lake (copyright owner). Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that copying other people’s writing (word for word or with just token alterations) will never be discovered. Though there are thousands of commonly used words in the English language we all put them together in an astonishingly variety of ways, consequently it is surprisingly easy to recognise what a particular person has written. In fact it is as easy to recognise plagiarised words as it is to recognise stolen photographs. I find both and those responsible are invoiced.

Note also that while all care has been taken when posting information onto the blog, sometimes mistakes do occur and of course things change. When errors are discovered corrections are made as soon as possible however accurate but outdated posts are not usually updated. If you discover any errors or the omission of obviously relevant facts, in the interests of ensuring publicly available information is 100% accurate, it would be very much appreciated if you could let me know asap so corrections can be made.

I hope you find the blog informative and thought provoking. Please remember that sales are what fund the running of this website (and blog), so if you haven’t bought a book yet, please consider doing so. If you find this blog interesting, you will also enjoy my books.

Fiona Lake

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