Sunday, December 30, 2012
This is the 400th blog that I have posted since switching over to this platform in 2009 [click here for why]. I don't have an actual number for how many blogs I posted before that, but I would say I probably had close to 300 blogs on my old MySpace page. That's a lot of writing.
I was urged to create a MySpace page in late 2005, my sophomore year of college. I did and enjoyed what was there. One of the first features I saw was the ability to write and post blogs. I didn't know much about blogging at the time, but I instantly felt like that was something that I would enjoy doing.
I had spent 4 years writing for my high school newspaper and I was starting my second year on Concord University's newspaper staff, The Concordian, so I enjoyed writing and was looking forward to how I would utilize this feature.
Starting in 2006, I thought I would use the MySpace blog as a supplement to The Concordian. Three issues had been released at that point and I decided to look at each one and write what I did and didn't like about it. I thought it would be fun and people would like it.
Well, people did like it. And, some people did not like it. Most of the people who didn't like it were some of my fellow staff members.
One of my "beats," if you will, was to cover Concord's Student Government Association. Something that I saw as a problem in early 2006 was that several high-ranking members of the SGA were staff members of The Concordian, including the Editor-in-Chief.
I thought I could use the newspaper to present my stories and disseminate the news in an unbiased manner, while using the blog as an avenue to voice my opinion and get my point of view across. I brought up that I saw the influx of SGA members on the newspaper staff as a potential conflict of interest. It very obviously was. Here's how it all came to a head:
There was a proposal made by a student to allow pets in the dormitories. Like cats and dogs and shit. Kind of crazy. I interviewed her and wrote a story about it. She was trying to get SGA support behind it so it could build momentum. At the weekly staff meeting, the SGA Board of Governors representative (Editor-in-Chief) mentioned my article to the SGA President (staff writer). They started to laugh about it. A couple other SGA members on the staff started to laugh about it. One of the members said something that stuck out to me.
In the next issue of the newspaper, I wrote a piece on the opinions section about how I overheard SGA members making fun of that girl and her proposal. I specifically (anonymously) quoted the one who stuck out to me.
At the next staff meeting, we had a group discussion about staff relations and how it was inappropriate to do stuff like that to your own staff members. I initially tried to defend myself by naming the positions of the people I talked about. The SGA President responded by saying that he wasn't the SGA President when he was in this meeting, he was a Concordian staff writer. After that I shut up and let them finish; I didn't care anymore. The Editor-in-Chief concluded by saying that if we have any issues to discuss them as a staff, and not to write about it in your blog. The SGA people chuckled.
After that, I concentrated very heavily on writing about the SGA and my issues with their leadership. That event was the catalyst for me becoming "that guy who writes blogs about the SGA."
One of my things is that I feel like people need to know the real story. I always tried to do that with The Concordian and when it wasn't as good a publication as I felt it should be, when the readers weren't getting the real story, I voiced my displeasure with it on my blog. When the SGA wasn't helping the students in the way I felt they should, I wrote about it.
Initially, doing that caused me some scorn. I had a scarlet letter of sorts on me; I was "that guy." But, another thing happened over the months, semesters, and years - people started to respect me for speaking my mind and standing up for what I believed in.
After I left the newspaper staff, I was still a student and I continued to attend SGA meetings and write about them. I did that for a majority of 300 MySpace blogs that are no longer here and a huge chunk of 399 blogs here that you can check out.
I've also expanded my writing to other stuff I'm passionate about - namely professional wrestling. I've actually tried to distance that from this blog, since most of my readers aren't in to that. If you do like to read that stuff, then you know where I post it.
A problem I've had lately is that I really haven't done much of interest with my life and therefore haven't had much of interest to write about it. I spoke about this recently with a former SGA member from my "glory years." This blog isn't really important at the moment, and I feel like it used to be. Some people like to read about me growing a beard and listening to random gloomy songs that I embed, but it's not must-read material.
A successful blog needs to have a focus. It has to be about something. This blog used to have a specific purpose. It doesn't really have one at the moment. That's something that I would like to change. The idea would be to change the fact that I'm not doing much of interest. Then I'll write about interesting things. I'll keep you guys updated on how that goes.
So, this was the first 400. Let's see how the next 400 go.