Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hello, I Must Be Going

The careful reader (you two know who you are) have probably noticed a couple of things: this blog looks a little different, and I haven't been posting much lately.

Let's tackle the easy one first: I meant to change the look, but did not do so an orderly fashion by, you know, saving templates and boring stuff like that. So there are design elements in this off-the-shelf template which I will probably change, because I can't leave well enough alone. But the idea is to get back to basics and shake off all the load-heavy eye candy crap.

The tougher one: I used to tease my good friend Katie King about not blogging. I thought it was especially funny that she didn't blog because she a) taught her GWU journalism students that they had an obligation to blog, and b) because she was also a corporate consultant whose mission was to evangelize to her clients on the need to ... blog.

My goads were unfair (the best ones are). She was working, hard, and I wasn't, at all. I needed to to keep my name out there and my "skills" sharp but, more importantly, I had the time.

Free time is shorter these days as I am no longer a burden on society, so blogging takes a back seat to nearly everything. But something else has changed too, in this age of Twitter: we have rediscovered that short can be more compelling as long, that brevity breeds clarity, and that if you want to be heard, whisper.

I should have known this, as a old hand at various wire-service positions which required short, concise and accurate headlines, alerts and summaries. But that was the dog wagging the tail: technology mostly dictated that this content had to be small. With micro-blogging, the tail is now in charge, and correct on the merits.

Do I believe that blogging has become passe? Too simple. New media seldom if never kills the old. But new media do fill unexpected demands. Twitter won't die simply because we need it, even though we didn't have it even a couple of years ago, and even if they don't have one of them fancy business models.

I read blogs, too many for business, and too few for pleasure. My two friends (there's that number again, Sherlock) are among my must reads: Nicole Spridakis has been blogging for years and never fails to transport me -- armed with a recipe, a keen eye, and a way with words -- to some place I'd like to be. Now, she is apparently trying to kill herself by taking part in NaBloPoMo, which is all about getting people to blog more. I say, in her case, you can't have too much of a good thing.

Samer Farha has take up blogging, a development for which I can't take credit but which I thought was way overdue. The spark was a 61-day trip which began with work at the Bejing Olympics -- but who cares what it took: He's back in the game.

My blog won't be much about politics and media anymore, I suppose, or at least so exclusively about those things which still endlessly fascinate me (that's why God invented Twitter). And there will be less to love.

But, my friends, do as I say -- not as I do. I still have lots of time to read on my loooong commute, and I am counting on you.

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