Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rambling Man

I get a little disappointed by what happened to the local blogosphere. People moved on. They gave it up. They went and got lost in Facebook (myself, included), which is an easy thing to do.Only a few people hung in there and most of them are bloggers I don't read.

It's funny to get nostalgic about something that started around a decade ago and only existed for only a few years.This blog, of course, started in 2005, following the cancellation of my first blog through the newspaper.

My editor at the time, Doug, filled my head with ideas that blogging was the way of the future. It was the chance to reach a huge audience, become a tastemaker, an influential voice in the new electronic media. He assured me the world was hungry for fresh voices with a wry spin that connected the broader universe to the smaller local regions.

Doug says a lot of the same things about Twitter now. He probably said them about Facebook, LinkedIn and even Youtube and while I think he means what he says, I don't think he's right anymore. Even if he is, I don't think I care.

Anyway, the first blog didn't catch on. I could argue it wasn't promoted by the paper, which would be true, but nobody knew anything about me. They had no reason to invest their time in reading anything I wrote. The only thing I had going for me was I was still kind of on the fringe of media with my work with Graffiti and those three or four other basically alt-media outlets I did stuff for. It was a kind of street cred, though not much.

The first blog just wasn't very good and when Doug told me he wanted to cancel me in favor of starting a food blog (where I accidentally learned the secret identities of local blogging legends, Raging Red and Hippie Killer), I just went with it and started something on my own.

It's been hit or miss, I know. I deleted a massive number of posts, good posts some have said, because I hurt the feelings of my then wife and I really hadn't intended to do that. She told me I didn't have to do that, but I felt bad.

I dumped a bunch of posts a bit later after a legal squabble with someone else. I lost the battle in that case, but really won the war. It's impossible to explain, unfortunately --per the mediation agreement.

The blog has been good to me and I like that a few people got to know me as a writer more for the shit I wrote here than for the umpteenth music interview I did. There's more of me here than almost anywhere else and that's probably always going to be that way. The newspaper has zero interest in giving me a column and yes, the subject has been broached occasionally, but I'm not old enough, mature enough or considered interesting or bland enough to give them what they want.

I have no idea. I ask every now and again and they keep shooting me down.

What I miss about the blogosphere were the different voices. I liked the diversity. It was a way to get to know people and largely, the people I read were decent people with something to say, a thought or experience to share.

I can still find most of the same people on Facebook, if I want, but they don't say the same things. They're not as brave. In a couple of cases, I barely recognize who they are now versus who I thought I knew --which is funny. Most everybody ran around under pen names and assumed identities (I was one of the exceptions, though occasionally I signed on comments as Emo McSourpuss, a name given to me by another blogger for my often sour contributions to political discussions), but I thought the bloggers were being pretty real. I thought they spoke from their hearts (sort of). Elsewhere, using their real names, surrounded by high school friends and co-workers, most people I think pull their punches and leave a lot out.

I miss the old neighborhood. I do. 


Mountain Laurel said...

I do, too. Your analysis of Facebook vs. blognodyms is right on target. I know that I feel a lot less free on facebook than on the blogs.

I'm glad to read your work, though. I've missed it. And glad that I'm finally able to comment.

Steven Allen Adams said...

I came across this post a bit late, as I haven't been here in a while. I have recently went back to look at my old blogs via the Wayback Machine and fell under the same nostalgia. There really was a golden age in blogging in WV. I kind of hope for a revival, but probably too much to hope for.