Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 07/Sep/2004: "Feature in the Evening Advertiser"

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Feature in the Evening Advertiser

The Evening Advertiser has now given me the permission to publish the full text of the feature about me and my sites I mentioned on Saturday. Enjoy:

Logo of the Evening Advertiser


Armin Grewe is one of a growing army of 'bloggers' - people who share their thoughts on the internet. He spoke to ANTHONY OSBORNE

SHARING your life with more than a billion other people across the world may not appeal to everyone.

But the latest internet craze - known as weblogging or blogging - has seen millions of people do exactly that.

Among them is German-born Swindon resident Armin Grewe, 36, who has blogging for six years.

His website, known as the Ministry of Propaganda, is one of the best known personal blogs on the internet, attracting hundreds of hits a day.

He said: "Weblogs are different things to different people I would not dream of putting details of my personal life on the internet, but some people do."

"For me it is a way of sharing my thoughts and feelings and the things I do with different people. I know my family regularly visit the site to see what I have been up to."

Armin, of Old Town, writes for the blog everyday but it does not necessarily get updated that often.

Weblogs are a real investment of time, but they can be rewarding. I suppose it gets updated on average once every one and a half days.

A keen photographer, he uses the blog to display his pictures, particularly panoramas.

Recent posts on the Ministry of Propaganda discuss the visit of Armin's parents. In the posts he describes how his father's suitcase got lost, taking 8.5 hours to travel the 68 miles from Heathrow to Swindon - in it Armin says: I'm not impressed."

Until recently Armin, who was born in Bremen, had five websites to his name, but now it is only the Ministry of Propaganda that gets regularly updated.

Others, including the Armin Grewe Homepage and the Armin's World Tour of Scotland, have become particularly popular according to Armin.

The internet has become a fantastic tool for booking holidays. I use it all the time myself. When I was producing the Scotland sites, I would take my laptop and digital camera and I would be adding to it everyday, and people I met while on holiday would log on when they got home and share their memories of the holiday.

The internet is great because you can find out what places are like, and you can get an honest opinion about places. People have e-mailed me to ask whether it is worth staying in one place and I can say, yes it's superb or I can advise them against it.

Scotland is a wonderful place to blog about. You can walk in Wiltshire, but you'll come across roads, cars and other people. But in Scotland you can walk for hours and see nobody at all.

Armin was one of the early generations of internet users, using it at work in 1995/6.

He works for Intel as a sales analyst, having joined the company in 1995 after graduating. He always planned to move to the UK, and a recruitment agency in Germany found a job with Intel very quickly.

Despite creating huge websites, he admits he is still an amateur at putting them together.

One of his most popular pages is one about Swindon and Wiltshire, which he has put together in the six years he has lived in the area.

The page shows of some of the most picturesque places in the town, such as the Town Hall, Christ Church and some of the town's parks.

He said: "A lot of the information I have found out about Swindon I got by talking to people. There are a lot of Germans, French and a few Italians in this town working for companies like Intel, but many stick those of their own nationality."

"I find that by integrating with the community I have found out so much more about the people and the culture."

"In Swindon people are friendly. When I go running people say good morning."

"When I went to work in Munich a few years ago, I found it extremely unfriendly and there were no good mornings or greetings."

Another popular page looks at Swindon's Magic Roundabout.

On it Armin says: Swindon has a lot of roundabouts, but nothing can properly prepare you for this.

Millions of people across the world have taken up weblogging.

Blogging accounts can be set up within five minutes, and some can be passworded allowing only you, friends and family members to view it.

Armin said: "Weblogging is great fun, but you need time to do it. Quite often, people make a start, write four or five entries and then stop.

But it is fun and rewarding to share your thoughts with the world."


To have a look at some of Armin's websites, point your internet browser towards...

Feature © Evening Advertiser 2004

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