One of the UK's first academic blogs
The Filter^ began in a Birkenhead chippy in January 2004. Stephen Lai and Anthony Evans were both recent graduates from the University of Liverpool, and wanted to present academic ideas to a wider audience. The original motto was:
The Filter^ endeavours to be relevant and insightful for the expert, and yet accessible and stimulating for the interested amateur.
The Filter^ REVIEW was launched in July 2004 as an assembly of cultural essays. Andrew Mellor joined us to review opera and music, and Matthew Whitfield took on architecture. Our sister site is restricted to reviews of live events, and has received recognition as a legitimate forum for arts criticism.
The group blog
In August 2005 The Filter^ decided to expand its influence by offering five distinct sections: economics, architecture, music, literature and sport. Whitfield and Mellor crossed over from the REVIEW, James Bainbridge was enlisted as resident literate, and throughout 2006-2007 a vast array of posts cemented our reputation, and in 2008 we became archived by The British Library.
"The Filter ... is turning out to be an excellent group blog. Highly recommended"
-- Tim Worstall, Editor of 2005:Blogged
The common thread throughout The Filter^ was that all authors had been educated in the city of Liverpool, standing at the dawn of careers creating and diffusing the ideas discussed on this platform. As the blog developed and gained a broad following, Matthew summed it up best:
What excites me is the thought that collaboration like this could generate something wonderful, where our individual posts on arts, culture and everything could add up to something recognisably ‘Filter^’ in its voice. I don’t know what that voice could be yet, and that’s why I’m excited.
Economics, economics, economics
Most of us have used The Filter^ as a platform to other opportunities, and time constraints on the other authors meant an increased concentration of economics articles. Evans acknowledged this specialisation in November 2009 by introducing more descriptive categories of "management", "monetary theory" and "sovietology".
In November 2010 Evans wanted to take a hiatus from blogging, thus calling time on The Filter^. He re-designed the website to reflect the lack of new content, and to make the archives more browsable. Throughout its active tenure The Filter^ attracted around 1,000 unique visitors a week.
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