Writing: influence or inspiration?

Last week I asked the question “Why is Melbourne covered in gambling ads?” and it seems that plenty of other Melbournians has been asking the same thing – the next day The Age published an opinion piece on the same topic.

In his piece, freelance writer Jonathan Horn has noticed the same things I did – Sportingbet advertising on trains, Tom Waterhouse’s tram, and the sports betting advertisements at Richmond and Southern Cross stations. He also found a few things I didn’t – the mug of Sam Kekovich plastered inside train doors, the background of Tom Waterhouse’s gambling empire, and a campaign by Sportsbet that asked Enjoy coming second?.

The production process of a major metropolitan newspaper is something I am yet to research, but I’m going to guess that coming up with an opinion piece from scratch in the few hours before a publication deadline isn’t a easy task – Mr Horn would have had his idea floating around in his head long before seeing my blog post, assuming he had seen it at all.

As for my post, I’m not one to do things in a hurry. I first began collecting my notes on the topic a month ago, but it took until October 9 for me to get a boot up the bum, after that morning inside The Age I found the letter to the editor I ended up quoting. I didn’t get very far on my piece, and the next day Melbourne blogger and ex-PTUA president Daniel Bowen published his post on the same topic – “an entire train painted with a betting slogan” (pic) #metrotrains. My reaction was as follows:


I’m not sure what the moral to the story is, but it seems to be along the lines of “there are other people out there who pay attention to the things they see” and “if I stick to obscure topics that nobody else writes about, I won’t overlap other bloggers or opinion piece writers“.

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One Response to “Writing: influence or inspiration?”

  1. Andrew says:

    Shortly before you wrote about, I posted some photos and expressed my shock at the gambling ads at So Cross Station. Long ago I wrote about advertising covering tram windows and how difficult ads made it to see out of the windows at night. I once put up photos of, and wrote about old kangaroo sculptures atop a fish and chip shop in Malvern, and a couple of weeks later, there was a story in the local paper about them. Too much of a co-incidence.

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