There once was a note, pure and easy,
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by
It's been a quick year. The anniversary of this little journal came this week, and nothing came to the front door from the wealth-laden executives at TypePad - no flowers or card or champagne. Surely, my contribution to the TP discourse was worthy of a card?! Ah well...live by the blog, die by the blog.
At times during the past year, this little experiment did die - days passed and I had neither the time nor the inclination to post. Once, I even walked away, stalking from the set like a sulking starlet (this was post-election, of course). Then, a few moments' meditation, some jotted notes, a glass of cabernet, and the conversation continued.
I learned a few things during my year of writing dangerously, and gingerly set them forward here:
1. I'll never be an uber-blogger. I have no desire to share every moment, every thought, every meeting or headline or story or assignation. I'm moderately choosy about what to post, occasionally stand-offish (yes, even with you), and have come to admire silence more than I used to. You'll never see this type of item here: "I'm going out for cigarettes now, back blogging in 15!!" Over the past year, I posted a total of 254 items - less than once per day but more than every other day. That seems about right.
2. Writing matters - at least it does to me, and very deeply. Linking is OK. Speed is OK. Pictures are OK. But the best weblogs, or journals, or personal sites are the ones that are the best written. This is about words, the joy of language and communication. And I try to put that principle into practice here, sometimes successfully.
3. I do this for fun. I've been a working journalist. I ran a newsroom. I had a Web business. I've been published and paid, all over type's creation. Before this site, I always wrote for money - almost never for entertainment. Well, I'm not getting paid here and I'm doing it for personal enjoyment. That frees me - in my opinion - from the responsibility of satisfying someone else: an editor, a publisher, an advertiser. I can experiment, fool around, try to convince myself of a specious argument, or set some bait for readers to swallow.
4. The conversation sustains this Weblog. Without the regulars here - and their comments and fomentation - this site would have died a quiet and early death. As may be apparent, I enjoy stirring things up - so thanks for being stirred. The items posted here have had more than 1,300 comments posted in reaction to them.
All that said, I know my place. I do not have the time nor the energy to aim for "professional blogging" status. According to a recent item on Susie Mernit's site, I'm pretty much a gentleman's C-plus in terms of daily traffic; only during the fractious election season did my readership spike to B-plus levels.
Nor am I - as regular readers know - particularly enamored with the "blogs are changing everything" wing of the blogosphere. I think Weblogs occupy a newly-developed and valuable part of the media neighborhood. But I'm more in the "academic journals are changing everything ... eventually" camp.
I thought ol' Fred Wilson - who first turned me on to TypePad last year - had a good, earth-bound set of reasons for his own blog this week. So I'll steal his ending for this post:
The bottom line is that I'll use this blog for whatever it can give me. It's about me first and foremost. If the readers get something from it too, that's a big plus ... That said, I hope you enjoy it.