I guess the Latin American Bloggers Conference has me thinking about blogging, so here I am again blogging about blogging.
I’ve been blogging a lot lately. I also blog for work, where I post art gallery openings, and occasionally contribute to a foodie blog. On Sunday night, when it was discovered that a hacker broke in and replaced the home page of my other blog with his own, I spent hours rebuilding the format. I’m blogging right now, when I should be doing other things. Why do I do this?
When I look back to my childhood, I can see the DNA asserting itself. When I was a kid, there were no “blogs” or “Internet,” and if you wrote things, they were committed to “paper” with “ink.” My favorite toy for a long time was one of the messiest ones: a plastic printing press, with rubber letterforms and little printers’ ornaments that spelled out sayings like “rat fink.” There was a crank and a standard ink pad that created smudgy impressions that resembled ransom notes.
Those little rubber letterforms were forever getting lost and turning up in strange places. My inky fingerprints made Mom unhappy at times. But I loved creating pages, although I could go a lot further with stencils and some colored pencils.
Later, in college, I was editor of my student newspaper, which caused a small scandal in the journalism department because I wasn’t a j-major. But I spent too much time on pushing page production and distribution. Less and less time was spent on sharing ideas or reporting news.
Today I was passing through the lobby of a building and there were bundles of minor, independent newspapers in stacks by the door. They are the kinds of papers I used to dream of running myself. A previous late-career goal (before I remembered how much I hate the cold) was to buy or start a small weekly in upstate New York. It’s sort of like the other cliché dream many have of running a bed-and-breakfast. It’s so easy to romanticize, and even easier to overlook all the work and complications.
Today, with blogs, it’s so simple. Sure, I can fuss over my theme and its widgets and plugins, but mainly I’m writing. I don’t have to attend the press run and hope the color pics are in register. Bundles of papers aren’t loaded on trucks. I hit “publish.” There are minimal startup costs, and with enough hits you could conceivable earn money for a fresh pack of chewing gum every month of the year.
When I was 10, if I had a blog instead a toy printing press, I shudder to think what trouble I’d get myself in. But I would have fun in the meantime.