Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prolificity

Tucson, Arizona. The press has wasted no time in stating that President-Elect Barack Obama is wasting no time in the strategic and tactical aspects of becoming the next President of the United States. Many of us would expect no less, and I must acknowledge an emotional experience mixing relief, admiration, expectation, and a certain vindication linking back to Martin Luther King’s "Free At Last!" and Abraham Lincoln’s somber acknowledgment of the cost of freedom.

I’ve received some correspondence regarding the drop in prolificity of this blog and fully acknowledge that yes, frequency has dropped. The recent personal episodes involving growth and development have led to movement towards what is distilled by the gifted mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, "Few, but ripe."

Gauss invented something like half of what humanity knows. My one cat, a brilliant Siamese I got as a kitten, was named Gauss. He split when I met the wife. Smart cat. I have learned that a fellow local blogger considers this place "amateur." To this I reply "Absolutely!"

What was his first clue?

A blog is not a dissertation, but what is the quality/quantity curve of a blog? President Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, good friend of Congresswoman Giffords and a member of Obama’s economic think tank (stood with him at the first press conference), has a "for real" blog, by which I mean it is not at a media web site like CNN. He posts about once every five or six days. Of course, he is a distinguished economics professor at Berkeley and has published many very well read books. Many of his posts solicit well over 100 comments from sophisticated readers throughout the country.

The man has a life, and at least in terms of my experience, an over-prolific blogger might be wise to inquire who is driver and who is horse, and by blogging I think one should include those who read and comment. As the situations mature, they evolve. Remember the pre-election blogging of 2006? Many of us (self-included) were junkies through and through.

I have no idea where this is headed, but it is not going away soon. Odds of reaching the stature of Robert Reich are on par with your average lottery ticket. Odds of going back to the days of 2006 are about the same.

8 Comments:

Blogger Casey DeLorme, APR said...

You should coin a term meaning "growth blog" (grolog?), which is what this one has been.

I remember when you were first very excited about this and your original "Something Else" (when everything was still anonymous and you couldn't wait to go public). When you first started going to ACE a lot.

You railed against and analyzed the situation you were in. You explored politics both national and hyper-local. You shared music and dissected artistic films. You brought us along for the dissertation. Doted on daughter. Spurred great debate.

Above all, you shared with us the curve of your personal growth from the ashes of SAIAT to the new horizons you now see. I'll bet with some incredible clarity and a touch of trepidation. Your posts from Berkeley were the point at which that became obvious. The slowing of your posts like the slowing tempo of a song that trails off.

You have to decide for yourself, of course, but it might be time to wrap this one up and let it be what it was. It's like reaching the end of a physical journal. This one's filled with catharsis, exploration, and discovery. But it also has a back cover. Time to buy a new blank book. (Well, open another Blogger account.) Start anew for new path down which you've headed. If you do, I hope you'll invite us along.

This golog's been fun. May we all have the strength to invite as many in for our personal development. The world would be a far more interesting... if not far better place.

11/11/2008 10:46 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I don't know that I would end this blog if one were only to replace it. Why not redesign the existing one completely if you like?

I concur with Casey's remarks otherwise. Without doubt x4mr does live growth and transformation. I wish our politicians did.

Whoever said your blog was amateur is a pompous ass. My guess is that it's the Joan Rivers blogger who thinks it's cool to feed us a bunch of insider gossip that I find completely boring.

I hope you keep blogging. You consistently bring either an angle or an insight that provokes thought and deepens one's perspective. The stuff about "the cloth" was just great.

11/11/2008 2:59 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

About eight months ago I started reading African American blogs. Some of them are absolutely incredible. These guys talk about race, hip hop, the NFL, and some of the blog owners and commenters are so insightful that all you can do is envy the construction of their sentences and their ability to write them.

Obama's campaign really inspired people to open up in a way that I haven't seen before in my entire life. And for me, someone who grew up in the Jim Crow south, reading what intelligent young people have to say on the subject of race has been a series of revelations that I was finally ready for.

Here's an example. This is what Ta-nehisi Coates (Atlantic.com) said in reference to a picture of Michelle and Barack Obama that was taken on election night:

I don't think a lot of folks understand how hard black people take their portrayal in mainstream media. We probably spend more time bemoaning the latest R. Kelley affair, than bemoaning racism. America is like the NFL--without the salary cap. And some days to be black is to be a Detroit Lion. Before they fired Matt Millen. And then something like this happens, and after years of feeling ashamed you look up and you see what you represent on your best days, what you hope your fam represents--vision, courage, competition, confidence--is represented at the highest levels of this country. You wake up and realize that your best face, is the face of the country, is the face of the world.

When I read posts like that, I start to believe that maybe this is a new beginning for America.

So, X4mr, I am glad that you are going to hang in there for awhile and stay with your blog. It is a worthwhile endeavor, in my opinion.

11/11/2008 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I echo what has been said here, and x4mr as far as I have seen always does what he says, and about his blog he said "it is not going away soon."

Whoever said this blog is "amateur" must think they know what it's supposed to do. How arrogant. I suspect the same blogger that Nav suspects, and I think it's jealousy over the exposure x4mr got when all that downtown cloth stuff erupted.

X4mr became quite the buzz, and then those huge articles in the paper about downtown? Then that thing about TUSD? His blog changed who got the job. Then that article about TREO stealing funding for non-profits?

I'm probably not the only one who started reading this blog soon after "Something Else," but I will never forget getting the paper and seeing that article that did the chronology of events for Rio Nuevo exactly like this blog. I felt like an insider of sorts.

I was also an "addicted" blogger back in 2006. I think x4mr is very insightful about our "evolving." It isn't like it was back then.

X4mr, the evolution of our local blogs is worth a post. We have changed. Remember George Tuttle?

11/11/2008 9:34 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Here is something that I just discvoered, so I thought I would pass it on. Rep. John Conyers has a blog:

http://johnconyers.com/blog

This is really impressive. John Conyers is not exactly from the omnivore generation. Yet, what he appears to be doing with his blog is writing posts that are keeping people informed about things they might not otherwise notice. And, having been in Congess for as long as he has, he knows how to pick them. Conyers was a major Obama supporter, to be sure.

Wow. Politics is changing before our eyes. The Internet and the blogosphere in particular seem to be the main catalyst.

The Rovian smears do not work as well as they did in 2000 and 2004 because their are armies of bloggers out there who are ready and willing to dig for the truth. Yes, it's true that lies that can be disseminated as fast as truth, but truth tends to prevail at the end of the day.

Blogging, done well, is quite worthwhile. As far as the amateur aspect of blogging, all I can say is, "so what?" What we just saw in this past election are the effects of armies of amateurs who decided to take action. I'm just fine with amateurs. Quite a few of them are better than the "professionals."

11/13/2008 10:53 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Thanks for the link, Liza.

This technology points to the future of politics. Elected officials who wish to keep their positions will have to learn to use it effectively.

11/13/2008 2:27 PM  
Blogger Casey DeLorme, APR said...

I'm adding a comment to an earlier post, but it was the first relevant one I could find.

When I moved to San Diego last year, I found a web site that was out-journalisming the San Diego Union-Tribune. http://voiceofsandiego.org/

Since I work in PR, I pay a lot of attention to the media, how it actually works, and how it is rapidly evolving with the internet eating traditional news sources for lunch.

Voice of San Diego today is the focal point of a significant article in the New York Times about exactly this trend. (http://tinyurl.com/sandiegosignon) It's a nonprofit, web-based source of real journalistic reporting that's out-scooping the media we used to rely on. Part of this is because it takes advantage of the fact that you no longer need a warehouse full of printing presses or a television studio to deliver the news. Part of this is because traditional news sources keep clinging to their traditional structures (control of page space/air time where they can sell advertising next to the content you're actually seeking). They're bleeding. Instead of changing the model they're axing their real resource, which is talented, professional journalists.

With both a morning and afternoon daily still operating, Tucson is an odd market. It's fun to watch, especially since I know it and so many of the players so well. This includes many local journalists. But I'm also watching them leave (some of the best began exiting to PR jobs in recent years, with others hanging on to their chosen profession to the very end).

I think that you already realize that your blog (among others) has picked up the mantle that was once these journalists' realm. You're affecting the news. You're breaking the news (in both senses of that word). By being nimble, quick, and willing to express a strong opinion, you have gathered a small, but significant audience. And you're affecting the public/political discussion.

I wanted to tip my hat to that. I don't always agree with what's here. Hell, I don't think any of your readers/commenters could agree on much of anything. But we certainly enjoy the debate.

There are those who would argue that what you do isn't true journalism because it is not impartial. However, if you dig into the history of journalism, impartiality ("balance") is a marketing approach, not a real foundation of journalism. It used to be that newspapers (when that was the primary medium) were overtly biased even in their regular reporting. Readers chose the paper (or leaflet/pamphlet) they most agreed with and stuck to that. Impartiality came about to draw a larger audience. If you could get both sides (or, all sides, for there are rarely just two) to buy your paper, you could charge more for advertisers who wanted to reach your larger audience.

We're getting, through your discussion and its interaction with others, the true nature of what journalism should bring us. Probing. Skepticism. Questioning. Awareness. Public debate. Action. Change.

Oh, and it should be fun, too. This is fun.

11/18/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

Highly intellectual, this blog has a soul. I place it somewhere between music and poetry.

11/21/2008 7:18 PM  

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