Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bonus Blog Regarding the Blog, March 2, 2006
Well, I've gotten some pretty funny and insightful responses and frankly, I can't wait until tomorrow to run these. But, first, an Onion headline:

Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
Furniture Store To Pay Employees Nothing Until 2006

Whither The Blog
Finally, a chance to use 'whither' in a subject line. Every so often I'm approached by a student who is interested in a career in magazine publishing. Once I've stopped laughing hysterically at their reckless youth, I've suggested that they visit your blog, particularly the archives, to get a sense of what the challenges are.If they do, inevitably, they switch their majors from journalism to chemistry. I've enjoyed reading your blog, but I also understand your inclination to eliminate the task from your daily to-do list—list? What list? I suspect your blog does play a roll in the marketing of TW, though, and that writing it is sometimes cathartic for you. Other times, of course, it's just one more damned thing to do. Of course, the cool thing about the question you're asking is this—there's no wrong answer.”
—Tom Carpenter
Flagstaff, Arizona

Eating the Results
“Let me assure you that this will be as unhelpful as possible.

“I enjoy the heck out of your blog; I check it every morning, and grumble when there's no new post. I've learned cool stuff from it, laughed out loud at it, and gotten the heads-up from it on old west events, issues, and controversies I would never have heard about. I'd miss it if it went away.

“But I wouldn't forget to keep subscribing to and reading True West, and I'd enjoy the magazine as much as ever.

“On the other hand, I may not be the person you're maintaining the blog for. Some new or potential readers will make a stronger connection with the magazine because they know a little more about the editor (I think we did, but it's hard to say whether we'd have subscribed anyway). It also reminds people that you're not just That Magazine Guy, but a participant in the larger western history community, who lives the modern western lifestyle (whatever the hell it is).

“The only reason to blog, really, is because you enjoy it. Novelists are being told, ‘Start a blog to promote your work!’ But if the writer in question is only interested in self-promotion, it shows in the blog content. Readers check it out once, but they don't come back; if they want an ad, they'll go to the publisher's site, not the writer's. A writer who blogs because blogging is fun, however, does get some self-promotion mileage out of it, because readers make a personal connection to the writer through the blog. But a writer who figures his blogging time is part of his work hours is fooling himself. Blogging is recreation, and should be assigned to the goofing-off budget. If it's keeping him from goofing off in a more agreeable manner, he should ditch the blog and spend more time snowboarding or scrapbooking or whatever it is that makes him happier. A happy artist is a more productive artist.

“If you decide to stop blogging, the trick will be (speaking from experience) to assign that forty hours to something that isn't just as much of a distraction as your blog was. If you figure out how to do that, let me know. When we lived in Minnesota, I had a big garden. Will looked at it one day and said, ‘At least, when you procrastinate, we can eat the results.’

“There: Enough ‘on the other hands’ for six or eight arms, at least. And whatever you decide to do, it'll work out.”
—Emma Bull

“If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.”
—William James

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments