Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Random Thoughts on Blogging

It is ironic that we bloggers invariably resort occasionally to blogging about blogging. Some find this offensive. I know from my personal experience that it was helpful to read what others thought about this activity; their lessons learned, successes and failures and what motivates them.

My blogging effort came rather late in the game. I began in December of 2004. By July of 2004 I was ready to give it all up. Going to Iraq forced me to give it up, but I was ready to stop if I had remained.

Let me back up for a bit. Although I began blogging late I have been involved in some sort of digital communication effort hobby for a very long time. Back in the eighties and early nineties I ran a BBS, several BBS systems at one point. Who remembers those?

I was a pretty early adopter of the Net and actually had a site up in 1994. Blogging is something I resisted however. I am not sure why. I suppose I was almost to the point that I believed it impossible to really change opinions on real and big issues.

I have heard many attempts to place folks that blog into two categories, Linkers and Thinkers. La Shawn Barber mentioned a third type in a post that I cannot find now, Pamphleteers. Most of us are a hybrid of two or maybe three of these types. I guess I would fall into the pamphleteer category. Of course on lazy days/weeks I have slipped into the Linker category (not that this is a bad category, some folks find success with linking).

I have had the opportunity to meet some interesting and good people. It is hard, try as we might, to really hide a lot of who we are in our blogs. If you really read what a person has to say long enough you get to know them.

The first person I met was Venomous Kate at Electric Venom. She took an obscure little piece of mine and mentioned it and for the first time I actually got visitors. I became a reader of hers, and eventually a customer of web hosting.

Watching her journey over the last year has been very interesting. She was once an extremely active blogger, combining linking and thinking. I used to wonder how I would ever build an audience such as hers; I simply do not have the time to devote to this that she seemed to spend.

It all caught up with her and got away from her. She had to step away and live life. I miss her, but she taught me much and encouraged me when I wanted to quit.

Soon after meeting Kate I meet the boys over at the Rebel Alliance (Stoney, Arklahomboy and Flannel). In some strange way, although we have never met, I consider them friends. During the unpleasant arguments over ideology last year within the Alliance and the subsequent split, Stoney and Flannel stood solidly beside Arklahomboy. I respect them for that.

More than that, we all share something more. Common values would be the best way I can describe it. Sure we do not agree on everything, but we have never disagreed openly. I am sure that Flannel has a different point of view concerning the best course of action to fix all of our ills but we still support each other. There is much about him that I like and respect, things that reflect in his blog, and core values he cannot hide.

Stoney has always provided words of encouragement when I went out on a limb to proclaim some bold point of view. His was a strong voice for our cause when he had a fire in his belly and I am sure it wil be again someday. And what can I say about Arklahomboy other than he has been posting every few days some bit of relevant information that supports a common theme of thought and supports our cause.

If I have never publically thanked you fellas I am doing so now.

We all get tired of trying to change the world. I am afraid I will grow tired of it one day as well.

Every time I consider that this is pointless I consider the small good I may have done. I think of my most frequent commenter Cicero. Then there is the newest member of the Alliance, Agent Sillyboots. Here is a fellow that seems to have the fire that we all had a year ago and of course The Southern Knight hits it hard as well.

Of course I have to mention my newest blogging friends Dabney and Celtic Lassie (friend long before she started blogging) and Cory for allowing me to talk him into blogging. They have come along just in time to help reignite a fire that might have turned to embers.

I am still unsure if my efforts at pamphleteering will ever actually convince anyone to think like me. This has allowed me to find others that share many of my core values. In a world filled with folks that often do not think like me it is a point not to be ignored.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

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