Monday, June 20, 2011

Blogging, pro and con

Kevin Baker is going on hiatus.  I'm dismayed, but Kevin has earned our thanks and respect, and so I wish him God Speed in his voyage, and that he finds the peace he seeks.

This made me stop and think, putting an uberpost from Planet Borepatch on temporary hold.  It made me think on the pros and cons of running a free ice cream machine.  And make no mistake, there are both.

The pros include connecting with a lot of folks that I'd never have met otherwise.  Yesterday's Father's Day meetup with Pistolero and Sabra is one example; the upcoming blogshoot in Lockhart arranged by South Texas' own gunblogger Community Organizer is another.

And the entire New England blogshoot community - and my Blogfather - have been a continual source of friendship over the years.

Last, but by no means least, are the regular commenters here (you know who you are).  This is a group of people who make me laugh, and think, and strive to be better.  While I haven't met most of you, in a way, I have.

That's huge.  This has been a difficult year, and all of you have been here for me - and none of that would have happened if I hadn't started blogging.  So thanks, Jay.

But as Kevin points out, there's a downside.  At the most trivial level is the "OMG, I don't have enough posts queued up for tomorrow".  Usually this isn't a problem, as you all know that the problem isn't getting me to talk, it's getting me to shut up.  But sometimes life is busy, and the sense of letting the community down really is there.  After all, if you weren't a community that meant a lot to me, it wouldn't really be possible to let you down.  The more important you become, the more important it is to maintain the standards here.

But there's also the problem that Kevin blogs about - when the news is continually depressing, it becomes depressing to blog about the news.  Because Kevin doesn't just toss something off - he thinks about it, and chews it over, and then produces brilliant insight.  Sometimes, I try to do the same.

But it's a drag mulling something over and over when it's depressing.

One thing that helps me is that I intentionally try to mix things up - not only deep thinking and Planet Borepatch, but security, redneck country music and plain old goofy stuff.  Hopefully, you guys like the mix, or tolerate it.  I think that the mix helps keep me from flaming out from depression (or boredom, which seems to claim a non-trivial number of bloggers).

So take your time, Kevin - I hope you find what recharges your batteries.  I think I'll understand if you don't.  In any case, I owe you a personal debt of gratitude for the quality of the free ice cream you've given us over the years.  You for sure have made me think, and have in some ways changed my thought patterns forever.  And I'm better for that.


North said...

This week will be a busy week for me, so my blog will suffer.

I've thought about hanging it up, too. I like doing it when it feels rewarding.

I need to keep an eye off the daily visit numbers. It just plummeted (little line chart) and I don't know why. If I obsess with that, I'll surely quit.

Jay G said...

Thank you for the kind words Borepatch.

You know there's a bloggershoot in August, right? Just won't be the same without you...

I have a different take on blogging the bad news. See, I'd be ranting about this anyways. Putting it down in words helps me focus.

Or, as I like to put it, I blog to give the voices in my head an outlet...

And North, it may not be you - I've noticed a significant drop as well. It may be that Sitemeter changed how it counts visits or that maybe with the nice weather folks are outside more... ;)

LSP said...

Shoot straight old chap -- happy Father's Day.

Boat Guy said...

Speaking as one of those "commenters" (whether "regular" or not, dunno) we appreciate having something to comment upon. The "news" may very well be depressing, 'cause the news (and reality at the moment) IS depressing. Times are tough in so many respects that it's difficult to keep a positive attitude about many things, but one of the critical things these days is the feeling that via the net, we are not alone and at the mercy of MSM

Old NFO said...

Do what feels 'right' to you... we're all different! I prefer the scattershot approach myself :-)

Josh Kruschke said...

I'm with Jay G on this one.
When I first started I wanted to blog as a way to stress test my understanding of my personal code. Now I'm at the point that I'm just going to use it as a relief valve, my bitch box, and I'm not going to worry about if anyone listening or agrees. I'm going to offer up what we can do to make it better, but I'm not going to stress over if anyone is listening.

So, it's good to realize that I'm not a lone in they way I feel or the only one that believes the way I do.

So, I want to say thank you and keep up the good fight,

kx59 said...

to answer your question, I think the "mix" is great. Even reading too many strictly political blogs becomes depressing. To quote Jimmy Buffet, "if we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane".