Sunday, March 3, 2013

Your Questions Answered: What's Up With All the Blogging?

Anonymous asks:

Why do you keep blogging after all these years? What keeps you going? Do you like the attention?

Wow, tough questions from the crowd.

At the end of this month, I will mark my ten year anniversary of my first blog post.  In internet time, that's an eon.

What started me then is not why I'm doing it now, if I can even recall why I did it then.  Truthfully, the original League of Melbotis blog was more or less about having a one-to-many communication tool for myself when I'd moved to a place where I was far from people I knew, and had nobody to talk to (aside from Jamie), and pestering people with email had gone about as far as it could go.

Back then, blogging hadn't really taken the shape it has now of routine columns on single topics.  It was closer to journaling, in my opinion, but the public forum-ness of blogging meant a push and pull of having an audience that just writing for and to yourself won't ever have.

But why am I still doing it?

There are a lot of reasons.

I do believe writing continually has improved my ability to think critically.

I think.


Blogging routinely does mean I apply some thought to media and how that media is produced when I act as a consumer.  If reading that pondering is useful for others (ie: you), well...  I'm happy for you guys!  But I did figure out years and years ago that this works best if I do this for myself first, and if its of benefit to other people, that's a very nice thing, but it can't be my primary concern.

I write with myself as my primary audience, assuming there are other The League's out there.

And, it turns out, there are other people out there who have found a reason to return, even if their own voices are very different.  I do feel some responsibility to the great folks I've met or not met, who show up online and stick with me.  That's an honor.

On Friday I drove in from College Station, dropped off Co-Worker Kristi and picked up Horus Kemwer who was in town.  Horus has been with us for years, but we'd never met.  But, after all these years, we had a great dinner and a drink or two, and picked up like this was a regular thing.

I've reconnected with old friends who could have been lost to time, like Matt A, kept up with some who would have otherwise maybe disappeared, like JimD.  Like Horus, I have also met Randy, Jenifer and a handful of others through the site, but I've never met Fantomenos, CanadianSimon, Jake, Stuart and a few others.  But that doesn't stop anyone from commenting or sharing in the conversation.  While I've got good friends here in Austin, some of whom lurk on the site, they don't necessarily give a damn about what's going on with DC Comics or why Marie Windsor is alluring.  So, of course, it's nice to make those connections and have those conversations.  And, often, those conversations are a great way for me to not just live in my own head, but think a bit more critically about these various topics.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that the occasional creator drop-by wasn't pretty amazing.  The first one we ever got, now lost to time, was by Meco - the artist behind Star Wars Disco, Ewok Celebration and the Star Wars Christmas album, Christmas in the Stars.  We've had Paul Kupperberg comment, Jeff Jensen, and many others.  I've received twitter comments from Kurt Busiek and Mark Waid.  Somehow this all also meant I ended up having drinks with Chris Roberson and Allison Baker on their back porch.

But it also meant I went to the Film Noir Fest with Jenifer and met Eddie Muller, got a signed poster from Peggy Cummins, and probably a dozen other things like that.

And, y'all, my traffic isn't that great.  It's really low.  The average post is probably around 30 hits according to the stats I get from blogger.

So, the idea that I'm doing this for attention?  Well, maybe once upon a time I had dreams of making money doing this, but when I did try to write for money, the check I eventually received was for $1.25 in profit sharing from Film Fodder after writing three columns a week of a couple thousand words for maybe five or six months.

Anyway, I don't know how you separate "attention" from enjoying an internet community that sort of lives in your comment section, but I think "attention" indicates that I'd go out of my way to make people look.  And that's not ever been my issue.

That said, all signs are pointing to this blog shutting down after the release of Man of Steel this summer.  My personal life is getting busier, my professional life is busier, and I have a few things in this life I want to accomplish that aren't this blog.  Ten years is a long, long time.  You've now got archives of more than a quarter of my life.

So, let's enjoy the ride while we can, and I'll stay around on social media after we turn the chairs over and turn off the lights.


JIMD said...

I believe you may have met Horus here, no?

The League said...

I thought so, too, but he had no recollection of the incident.

horus kemwer said...

JD almost convinced me we *did* meet at the bar post-screening after all, though I definitely didn't attend the screening itself. Either way, I feel I know you better from reading the blog for years than from whatever 30 sec exchange of pleasantries we may or may not have had in 2005.