#25 – Dick Bernard: Thoughts at 25
Today is an anniversary of sorts: I’ve reached the quarter century mark in the world of blogging. Twenty-five posts is tiny, nonetheless, a good time to do an initial review…and encourage people like you to become contributors of your words.
Today is the 57th day this blog has been on-line, and this is the 25th post. I’ve averaged one post roughly every two days. (it is very easy to “cruise” this site: the calendar dates for which there have been posts are underscored, and there is no need to open any post to see the title.) I didn’t know what the frequency of these posts would be when I began. My long-term goal is a single post per day. There will be holes from time to time since I’m not chained to this computer, and do not carry it with me when I’m away.
In the first 57 days, there have been six authors other than myself on this blog. This is fewer than I’d prefer; but more than I expected at this stage. My hope is that this blog will become a community of writers, holding forth on many topics. (Each who posts two or more times will earn their own category. In addition to myself, there are three others in this category thus far.)
Those who know me well know that I am no stranger in the world of writing imperfectly. Those who don’t know me at all, and are curious, can go back to blog post #1 on March 25, 2009, to find out more about the personal history of this blogger.
I paid a fair amount of attention to the makeup of this blog: what I decided to call it (“Thoughts towards a better world”); how I decided to describe myself (“moderate, pragmatic, Democrat”); what photos I wanted to use (rural North Dakota; myself out for a walk at the cusp between winter and spring in Minnesota). I’m small town, and big city. To me, at least, all of these identify what I wanted this blog to represent. Early on I included a category called “Quietings” to move away from the seriousness and the shouting so endemic in todays political conversation.
I want this space to talk of many things in a manner which may attract reasonable people of assorted points of view. Unfortunately, we tend to be a polarized society, so that the words I use above, or some of the content I choose to print from “left” or “right”, may drive away some very good thinkers. So be it. It will evolve.
The blog community is an immense one. I actually thought there might be credible statistics on number of blogs but so far, no reliable data. Depending on one’s definition of a “blog”, it is possible that everyone who tweets once on Twitter can be considered a “blogger”. At the moment, anyway, it appears that anything from the internet version of school kids passing crude hand-written notes through the most learned commentaries are considered, by some, to be in the “community” called “blogs”. There’s likely a dividing line somewhere between thought out writing and idle chatter but I haven’t found it. I’d like to think this space will be more serious effort than simply fluff. Someone else will judge that over time.
It is clear from my own experience with the internet, that this medium has huge potential for good or mischief. Anything I write in this public space can be accessed by anybody, anywhere, any time.
Most recently, two days ago, out of the blue came a short e-mail from someone who had come across something I wrote in another forum over two years ago. I had written about someone he knew, a person he’d lost track of. (The posting he came across is in two parts, November and December, 2006, part one accessible at http://www.mapm.org/presidentsmemo/2006/11/. It referred to a 1989 Hunger Strike at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul MN, and the role of a man I had met, Jesus Hurtado.) Out of curiosity I wrote the individual to inquire where he was from, and how he happened to find the commentary. He is a teacher at a west coast University and he said “a student of mine found the article while researching a topic relevant to a book we are reading: Tom Mertes’s A Movement of Movements (Verso 2004).”
After hearing from him, I entered the words “St. Paul Cathedral Hunger Strike 1989” and sure enough, up came my blog post, first on the list. I got the same result entering the words Jesus Hurtado. It reminded me of the first time I had met Mr. Hurtado and then tried to find out something about that Hunger Strike: there was nothing at all on the internet. In a sense, I added to history, and helped some student, and can now help a couple of guys renew acquaintance.
It makes this project – this blog – worth my time. Consider submitting your own posts. My guidelines are simple. See the “about” page.