Annoying Autobiographical Pause – Blogging Edition

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging over the past few weeks and how things have changed since I started doing this. I’ve talked to several bloggers, and then I read this by Busy Mom, and I realized I wasn’t alone.

1. I’ve recently thought about hanging up the blogging thing. My community has changed, and I’m not sure what I think about that.

Despite the fact that it may look like I have already done so, I probably won’t.

However, I do admit to being discouraged by several things, including a sharp increase in online smug self-assurance and righteousness in the name of “discussion”.

When I started blogging, things were a bit different. I was gainfully and fully employed, I thought it was the coolest thing I’d done in awhile and it was groovy. I really had no preconceived notions about what would happen because I was living in the moment. And, then again, there was Brittney Gilbert at NiT that brought a community of people together. Funny and poignant, Internet evangelists, political junkies and a cast of characters that came together as she guided the new boat through the choppy waves of the Tennessee blogosphere. Those relationships have pretty much stayed pretty strong, be it online or blogging relationships that evolved into real friendships. We had a sense of each other. We came together despite geographical location and it was of the good.blogs-about-blogging

Times change and because we don’t have the original NiT anymore (although I am a friend of Christian Grantham who had to weather the storm after Brittney’s departure), it was different.

Morphing into the future, there have been efforts to regain the steam that drove a unified network of bloggers in Tennessee, but none have, or ever will I suspect, garner that sort of community again. As I don’t live in a metropolitan area, I’m not given the option to go to the new phase of tweetups, geek breakfasts, social media gatherings without several days of scheduling and planning, I commend that this things are happening and that they are very powerful in establishing community.

The issue that I go back to is what Busy Mom said. I thought about hanging this thing up. It was in the cards a few weeks back but then I went to BarCamp Nashville and I realized that it was my responsibility to have fun and feel relevant with my online presence. I did, however, think of putting my hat on the rack and keeping the computer in its’ bag. I have, however, started to have a good time with it again because I realized that blogs have peaks and valleys. The online community changes and it’s good to know that rolling with the tide isn’t always a bad thing.

This goes for Newscoma as well.

Last week’s blogger brouhaha that occurred when a Memphis businessman and blogger was nominated, and then dissed in a meeting got me to thinking about the state of the Tennessee blogosphere. And it was Jackson Baker who said this:

Which brings me to the Ross controversy, which I haven’t weighed in on up until now. I have from time to time over the years tipped my hat to the independent blogging community. Though most blogs are oriented to point of view rather than to objective journalism per se, the best bloggers have made enormous contributions to news coverage and thoughtful consideration of the public weal. Everybody else — the CA, the Flyer, the TV and radio stations — have had to take note. Increasingly, blogs break important news, and no self-regarding “traditional” journalist can risk not having several blogger URLs on their computer bookmark lists.

And then Michael Silence wrote in his weekly deadwood column this:

And once again, we learn how rapid and responsive online networking can be.

Both journalists validate that as bloggers, we are making a difference. Be it as entertainment value, social change or just being a part of a community, I was reminded that I am still part of an online community. A sad fact that I’d forgotten for some reason. It was good for me to read Busy Mom to see I wasn’t alone. And Say Uncle hit the whole Joe Brown controversy on the head quite well.

Our evolution here in Tennessee for each and every blogger is personal and very real. And we are part of this state whether folks want us here or not.

So there is the story. Take it for what’s its worth. Hell, I’m just a blogger. Wanna see a picture of a turtle?

7 comments for “Annoying Autobiographical Pause – Blogging Edition

  1. October 26, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I’m so glad you didn’t pull the plug on Newscoma. The Tennessee blogosphere would lose an important, entertaining, witty, and insightful voice if this site were to go dark.

    Much love.

  2. October 26, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Seconding what Russ said. To be perfectly honest, there are two blogs that I absolutely do not miss a day of unless I just miss that day personally altogether – yours and B.’s. I mean no disrespect nor negativity towards others by saying so, and I try to hit as many as I can in a day, and try to keep up with all others as time allows. But those two – I don’t miss a day unless I’m sick or out of town, pretty much.

    Blogging definitely does have peaks & valleys, and in 13 years I’ve had many of both. I’ve spent about two whole years away from mine before, but I still come back. I know now I always will, and 13 years from now (provided I’m still breathing, LOL), I’ll still be at it. It might change some between now and then, but I’ll still be doing it.

    Maybe that’s not for everyone, though sometimes when I see other bloggers announce they’re quitting, I think, “Don’t say that. Just walk away. Or say you’re taking a break, if you must.” You really can walk away if you want, without ending it all. I returned from my two-year break nearly a year and a half BEFORE I got involved with NiT, so my long break obviously did me far more good than harm. I wound up in a whole new arena of blogging, met countless people and contacts and friends, gained far more readers than ever before. It was a good thing.

    I think – maybe not all, but for most – even if one does choose to stop and thinks they’re stopping for good, the worst thing you can possibly do is delete your blog, especially if you’ve been around for a year or more. Just leave it, or at least make a backup. Some wouldn’t care, I know – but most would regret it. I know I would have.

  3. October 26, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Don’t make me come up there! :-)

  4. October 26, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I think I’m through the storm on this. I felt like last week I started to have “fun” with this again.
    That, my friends, is of the good but it’s about, I think, adjusting to the changes in the blogosphere and knowing that change is what it is.

  5. saraclark
    October 26, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Don’t make me go Jack Handey on you here.

    Times are changing and online content continues to change, but I read more real “news” via blogs than I see on so-called mainstream news services that have devolved into opinionated navel gazing instead of objectively reporting facts and events.

    Really how far away from some of the most extreme, self centered blogging examples that you’ve seen is the Glen Beck show or this childish feud between Fox News and the current Presidential administration?

    You’re more relevant than ever.

  6. October 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    won’t give it up until they pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hand. or if the ISP goes kaflooey.

    here’s what i think is best for the vast majority of us Blog Folk – we do it mostly because we can and not because it is required of us. sometimes i devote much thought to a post, sometimes not. the fact that whatever i choose is still my choice is a powerful attraction to continue.

    and i’ll echo what Russ said too – i loves reading your work.

  7. Leigh
    October 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I second the Lynnster re: I read you and B everyday. I also read about 20 other blogs daily. I also second Saraclark in that I get most of my news online. I feel vastly better informed because of the discussions that take place on these blogs and I would so miss your writing.

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