Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, April 22, 2003 12:35 pm

Happy birthday to me … or my blog

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 12:35 pm

Blog On the Run was born a year ago today. I’d like to thank the literally threes of daily visitors for making it the feared and respected Force of the Blogiverse that it has become.

(Waits for laughter. Hearing none, proceeds.)

With the benefit of a year of hindsight, here are some of the things I’ve learned about you, me and blogging:

  • I actually blogged once before … a randomly updated site, coded with Windows Notepad, dealing with developments while Ann was pregnant with Victoria in 1997-98. I didn’t know what it was called then, but that’s what it was. Once again, I was ahead of the curve without even knowing it.
  • This blog is a writing outlet for me, but an imperfect one. For one thing, it’s limited to a particular kind of writing: hurried, not completely revelatory nonfiction. For another, my daughter is learning to read and no doubt will be visiting here soon, so I’ve always tried to keep it PG-13 even when the subject cries out for a different approach. For still another, my employer is the 800-pound gorilla in the corner — not that it has ever said anything about the blog, for good or ill, but it’s something I always have to think about before posting. I won’t publicly criticize my employer, even if I have cause, because I wasn’t brought up that way. And I try very hard not to take any position that might compromise my or my employer’s real or perceived ability to function fairly and accurately. Sometimes that involves biting my tongue ’til the blood runs down my chin, but what the hey. It’s only blood; I can make more. Besides, pain heals and chicks dig scars, as Keanu Reeves once observed.
  • You never know what’s going to trip people’s triggers. Sometimes the (to me) most banal observations draw the most comments or e-mail.
  • There are good people in the Blogiverse, some of whom I’ll probably never meet in real life. That’s a shame, but I figure meeting them online is better than nothing. And when I say good, I don’t just mean “good” as in virtuous; I also mean “good” as in providing helpful feedback, comments and questions that allow me to sharpen my thinking much as a good editor would do. In particular, R. Alex, Vectorgirl, Chip ‘n’ Shannon, Sedalina, Phred, Bruce Rheinstein, Page Turner and Beau need to take a bow.
  • I’m a better-than-competent journalist/essayist (not that what I fling against the wall here reflects that, or is even meant to), but some of the writers I’ve stumbled across just blow me away. They challenge me to get better, and I’d seldom had that kind of challenge in the 3-4 years leading up to when I started blogging.
  • My blog is not a theme blog, which is kind of a shame because all other things being equal, I think theme blogs work better (e.g., This Fish Needs a Bicycle, before Fish finally dumped J. and moved on to, one hopes, better bicycles). One notable exception: Que Sera Sera. Sarah B’s only theme is herself, and that seems to work fine for her. Some days, such as her recent post on her grief after the death of a close friend, it appears to work for the entire known universe.
  • Most war/political blogs bore me to tears.
  • That said, blogs have demonstrated the ability to, if not break a story, at least keep it floating long enough for the major mainstream media to snag it and run with it. (I’m sure I’ll hear from people who say Drudge breaks stuff all the time, but until Drudge approaches the accuracy level of mainstream media, I’m not counting him.) In some cases — that of Trent Lott, say — that makes a difference. In others, such as Howard Coble’s, it really doesn’t. (And I suspect the difference has much more to do with the personal popularity of those respective politicians than with anything bloggers, or journalists, did or didn’t do.)
  • Y’all are a patient lot. I get repeated visits from people (or computers) I don’t know in time zones I’ve never visited, and they keep coming back no matter how good or bad my day’s offerings are, no matter whether or when I take unannounced days or long weekends away from blogging.

I’ve learned other things, too, but I won’t bore you with them. Besides, enough about me. If you don’t already have a blog of your own, start one. Real or fictional, under your real name or under a pseudonym, whatever. (If you’re not sure how to start, go to Blogger and just follow the directions.

You’ll learn stuff, too. postCountTB(‘93054569’);

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