October 5th, 2009

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#100 – Dick Bernard: Thoughts at a Century of Blogging

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Sure, “century” is grandiose, since I’m celebrating, here, the 100th blog entry in just short of 200 days as a more or less official part of a blogosphere.  (To be “official”, you just have to be foolish enough to get yourself a space on the ‘net, and then post something on your bulletin board.  I don’t know how people like me rate against the Facebook or similar crowd, but I like to think I have more substance.  Maybe so, maybe not.)

I’m here to tell you that there are easier ways to become notorious: make me Keith Olbermann’s “worst person in the world”, and I’ll be far up the food chain; or make me the predictable columnist in the local newspaper – which would probably require compromises I’d have to make.

But I don’t plan to stop at 100.  Today is just the beginning of the next chapter.

It’s hard to get respect when you’re just an ordinary Joe wasting a few ciphers on the internet.

My biggest “fan” so far is someone who I collectively and methodically designate as “spam”.  In this class I get all sorts of requests and offers, including in languages I don’t understand.  I was warned about this in advance.  It’s an easy process to dump them, but they’re irritating nonetheless.

Earlier this summer, I learned first hand how low on the food chain bloggers are.  I donated $25 to an organization in which I am active, a “Friend of…”.  I was one of about two dozen who ponied up the exact same amount.  I asked if my blog handle could be included, and my colleague, the one putting together, looked at the blog, pronounced it very good (actually even better than that), but declined to publish the web address cuz then it would have to be done for all the others, most of whom were elected lawmakers or candidates.  When the flier came out, for each of these, their office was listed….  I remained just a name.

Most of the 100 blog posts thus far have been mine, but not for lack of invitation to others.  At least 10 people have been willing to submit at least one posting.  It would be nice to have more, but as the saying goes, “you can’t push a rope”.  The offer remains.

With all the indignity connected with the project, I still consider it worth it.  Commiserating with a friend who’s submitted a couple of entries, we agreed that the process of writing is a good way to clarify our own thinking about this issue or that. And going public, regardless of how many people actually see the thought, you know that someone, somewhere will catch one or more of the columns.  (I’ve had at least one candidate for Governor call me about something he’d come across on my blog; someone I’d never heard of in California actually sent a non-spam comment.)

I know that a few people do regularly read the blog, and so it is worthwhile.

I think back to those good old days when the local blogster was somebody who printed a few handbills which had to be distributed hand-to-hand to a select audience.  Some major thinkers got their start that way.  They’re quoted (and often selectively mis-interpreted) all the time.

So I trudge on….

Thanks for reading.

Now, how about you as a writer, publicist or whatever?