And a tribute to our web creators & publishers….
25 September 2019
TUMBY BAY - Many Australians who spent time in Papua New Guinea, and who want to keep in touch with others who were there too or simply want to find out what’s going on, follow three main websites.
These are the Ex-Kiap website, the Papua New Guinea Australia Association (PNGAA) website and, of course, Keith Jackson and Friends PNG Attitude.
A few Papua New Guineans follow the first two but a much larger number follow PNG Attitude.
For many of us, regularly checking these websites has become something of a ritual.
For older readers they are a welcome alternative to the frenetic, exploitative and shallow offerings of such sites as Facebook, Twitter, Fritter and all the other dross available on the internet.
What a lot of readers don’t really appreciate is the tremendous amount of work that goes into running and maintaining these websites.
This is all done on a voluntary basis. None of the publishers has a profit motive. At best the only reward is the satisfaction of keeping people informed.
I hope I’m not offending anyone by also pointing out that the people responsible for the websites are not what you would call spring chickens.
The PNGAA website is run by a committee, currently comprised of Lyn Arden, Nigel Wong and Nick Booth.
Their main organ of communication with members is a quarterly magazine called Una Voce that is available in either printed or digital form.
The Ex-Kiap website is run by Peter Salmon and PNG Attitude is commanded by Keith Jackson and, as he would insist, his friends.
I didn’t really appreciate the work that these people put into what they do until I got involved in the Crocodile Prize and its spinoff publishing arm, Pukpuk Publications.
When you embark on such a venture you not only create a rod for your own back but rob yourself of precious time.
If you add to that the inevitable problems that are visited on anyone in their senior years, such as poor health, the burden becomes even more pronounced.
As the readership of the websites has increased over the years there is also the problem of meeting people’s expectations.
People expect to be able to read the websites without realising the pressure this puts on the website creators. There is nothing more debilitating than the realisation that there are people out there expecting you to deliver the goods on time come hell and high water.
Thomas Hardy, in his epic novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, describes the stress that is involved in being obliged to make a regular payment on a debt and I imagine running a website involves a similar sort of feeling.
On top of that again is the proclivity of certain types of people to abuse the privilege of reading the websites. They do this by attempting to post derogatory and inappropriate comments.
This means that the website creators have to be on constant guard to prevent such posts seeing the light of day.
Just because you disagree with someone’s political leanings or take on a particular subject doesn’t mean you can be offensive. Thankfully these instances are no longer as common as they once were.
Neither are the threats of litigation. Once commonplace, they are now rare. Such threats were usually pure bluff and indignant posturing and their exponents quickly learned that they don’t work.
The aims and standards required by each website are made plain for people to read. Unfortunately some people don’t bother.
The short answer to these people is that, if you don’t like the content of the website, don’t read it.
I don’t know how people like Keith, Peter and the PNGAA committee do it. It is not something I could do. I lack the discipline and the organisational skills.
So when you next read something interesting on PNG Attitude, the Ex-Kiap website or the PNGAA website spare a thought for the dedicated and hardworking volunteers who make them possible.
Hats off to them all!
"Many Australians who spent time in Papua New Guinea, and who want to keep in touch with others who were there too or simply want to find out what’s going on, follow three main websites."
There is also the very popular Facebook group, 'I used to live in Papua New Guinea', where former residents can shares memories and thoughts. It now has over 23,800 members.
Posted by: Alan Brooke | 05 October 2019 at 09:06 PM
Time after time, we’ve written our hearts out till our inks run dry
Heaven knows how we’ve toiled, the talent we possess, it must not be in vain
Appraisal and exposure is what we needed, a guiding hand to guide us
Nourishment to help us grow, to blossom, to reach our full potential
Knights in shining armour you are to us, the guiding hand we longed for
You came along and opened a whole new world for us, we’re
Optimistic that our dreams will come true
Ultimate gift you’ve given us, with heartfelt gratitude
Posted by: Dominica Are | 27 September 2019 at 12:47 PM
Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said Phil.
Many thanks to Keith and friends of PNG Attitude and the people behind the other two websites.
PNG Attitude has been a blessing to me on so many levels and for that I'm deeply grateful.
Posted by: David Kitchnoge | 25 September 2019 at 10:37 PM
Pats on the back may not cause a pain
Pats are back as many here explain
'Pats down' of back checks errors' terrain
Pats aptly back worth's virtuous gain.
Posted by: Lindsay F Bond | 25 September 2019 at 09:24 PM
Can but agree emphatically!
Posted by: Daniel van R Claasen | 25 September 2019 at 05:50 PM
The most impressive feature of PNG Attitude is the critical thinking and discernment behind the majority of the posts.
It is a refreshing alternative to the binary dialogue of bar parlour bores on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, where the unnecessary use of exclamation marks is like eating in the street or laughing at your own jokes.
Keep up the great work Keith Jackson and Friends, it is much appreciated or should I say cool, awesome, excellent!!!!!!
Exclamation marks permitted for demonstration purposes only - KJ
Posted by: Bernard Corden | 25 September 2019 at 04:17 PM
Always go too far because that's where you'll find the truth - Albert Camus
Posted by: Bernard Corden | 25 September 2019 at 03:55 PM
In this age of technology and consumerism, we have these digital producers who carry these weighty daily doses of delights for their digital consumers and with superhuman strength.
PNG Attitude is a minefield of everything PNG in a digitised library. Well done, Keith and friends. And yes, hats off to the others as well.
Posted by: Raymond Sigimet | 25 September 2019 at 02:40 PM
I concur with Phil's comments. Without the efforts of people like Keith there would be no opportunity for the people who contribute to PNG Attitude to see their writing published.
We would thus be denied the opportunity to try to inform and influence opinion on various matters dear to our respective hearts. Whether we actually have much real impact is a matter of conjecture but at least we have a voice.
Thank you Keith for your hard work over many years to make PNG Attitude a success and provide me and many others with the chance to have our work published.
Posted by: Chris Overland | 25 September 2019 at 12:31 PM
Hi Phil - You are highlighting an important point on the people behind the blog, who write articles and also receive articles, edit and publish them to enable a continual flow of literary fare to the reading public.
Their often thankless job behind the scenes is creating a big impact on the many lives who read the blogs you mentioned.
These publishers are daring souls who are at the intersection of technology to create magic with technological innovation and enlighten the minds of many with vital information.
They are impacting and enlightening the world in profound ways.
Posted by: Simon Davidson | 25 September 2019 at 09:40 AM