#179 – Dick Bernard: A year blogging

One year ago today, March 25, 2009, I clicked on “publish”, and blog entry #1 on this blog was officially posted.
What a year it has been. I have averaged a post every other day on diverse topics. I’m glad I started the project, and I don’t have any plans to discontinue it. There have been and are frustrations. But it has been very well worth the effort.
I know my blog has at least one serious reader: me. I know there are a few more who check in. The Twin Cities Daily Planet has quite often used some piece or other that I wrote for the blog on its internet newspaper. I feel privileged to occasionally “get ink” in the Planet! The Editor of the Planet visited at some point during the post-Haiti earthquake, and apparently liked what she saw, and stops in now and again.
The pluses of preparing and maintaining this blog have outweighed the minuses.
Writing about diverse topics to a completely unknown potential audience has given me both an opportunity to express an opinion, and a responsibility to think through what I put on screen. Unlike the anonymous on-line comments to newspaper columns which appear on-line, I am both a name and a face, and I need to keep that in mind as I write.
Unlike something like Facebook (about which I know little, but am part of); and Twitter (which I know almost nothing about), a blog gives me an opportunity to at least partially flesh out an opinion about some topic of interest. It has also given me an opportunity to practice writing, which is, in my opinion, really the only way one becomes a better writer.
I started the blog with no clear notion of what a blog really was. There are probably millions of blogs out there in the e-universe, so finding a niche is difficult. But blogs are an accepted form of communication these days, and the diversity of opinion expressed on blogs is a welcome relief from the newspaper and magazine and visual media pundits who get paid a lot for essentially repeating their same general message over and over. They have their place in the scheme of things. So do I, and people like me who have their own blogs.
I no longer accept comments, and there is a simple reason for this: I was overwhelmed with spam. There are nuisance manipulators and pirates on the internet, and I finally gave up on deleting spam, and just closed the blog to comments. If anyone wants to write me, my e-address is on the About page of the blog. I’ll enter comments if anyone wishes. DICKunderscoreBERNARDatMSNdotCOM is where I can be reached. I’ll enter the comments as an update to the blog if you wish.
When I initiated the blog 365 days ago, my hope was that there would be frequent outside contributors. This has not happened. Ten or so writers have put their own opinions up, but this is not nearly as many as I would like to see. I’d like to see more people expressing their opinions here. This would make this site a much richer place, than simply looking at what I have to say.
So, I renew my invitation to writers who want to have access to a potentially larger audience. Do a blog post, and then publicize it to whomever you wish. Just submit it to me