Sunday, March 05, 2006

March 5, 2006
Still wrestling with the pros and cons of doing this blog. As Emma Bull and J. Rae so succinctly pointed out, I love doing it and that’s probably the strongest reason to continue doing it, but there are other uglier realities (see remarks below).

But First, Carole Glenn Forwards Me This Gem
“Clarity accounts for probably 80% of success and happiness. Lack of clarity is probably more responsible for frustration and underachievement than any other single factor. That’s why we say that “Success is goals, and all else is commentary.” People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. This is true everywhere and under all circumstances.”
—Brian Tracy

A Jerk for The Memories
"Kill the Blog? Bob, you've made this decision once before.

"The first of my many disappointments in Phoenix radio was the day you announced that you really needed to focus on True West and the radio show had to go. I hoped your ADD would kick in, pushing such thoughts into the memory abyss; but of course that didn't happen. Jerk.

"But here's another data point for you; back before the Internet meltdown, fortunes were made selling executives on ways they could make their websites "sticky." If nothing else, your blog is the essence stickiness. I check it everyday, and a TW site without it would hold no interest for me. (I'll conveniently ignore the fact that a great number of sites continued to burn cash magnificently, regardless of the adhesives they implemented.)

"Then again, I'm a liberal whose only knowledge of the West is that Cosmatos' Tombstone beats the hell out of Kasdan's Wyatt Earp. TW isn't going to live or die on my demographic. But then again, having visitors to every day who normally might never have taken a look around has got to be worth something, no?"
—Dale in Mesa, AZ

Actually, the example Dale gives (pulling the plug on the radio show) is a perfect example of me trying to do too many things (“He who sips from many cups, drinks of none.”). And, in fact, the radio show had many of the attractions of the blog. It was fun to do, I thought the audience would support the magazine efforts and it took a whole bunch of time away from actually running the magazine. Plus, the last incarnation of the radio show, with Buffalo Rick and Gordon Smith, made zero money (just like the blog!)

As the magazine struggled (in the time period Dale is mentioning) and our finances looked bleaker and bleaker (see March 3, 2000 entry below, and by the way, part of that entry that I didn’t include was that the radio show “was really cooking” and the future looked bright.), I was increasingly spread too thin.

At some point, Kathy came out to my studio and famously said, “Everything we own is invested in this magazine and I just wish you’d act like it.” That’s all she said. She didn’t yell, or act angry, she merely said her piece and walked out the door.

I quit the radio show the next day and started spending the extra time (at least four extra hours a day) on the business. That we are still publishing six years later, tells me that was the right decision.

Is the blog the same thing? Not exactly, but, as I said, it does have some of the same components. Here’s another view:

"BBB Blog – Humm, what is it?

1. People locating resource (found family members through blog)
2. West / southwest travelogue – especially featuring rural and small town
3. History come alive
4. Western fashion rag
5. Movie review
6. A peek into mag publishing
7. Music reference of sorts
8. Comparative economics
9. Well-edited electronic bulletin board

"An interesting inside look into the life of an artist! Wow!"
—S. Tally

“Young men think old men fools, and old men know young men to be so.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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