Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Celebrating my first year

Today marks the completion of my first year as a member of the Blogger community, so, of course, I have to write about it! (Whether you choose to read about it is another question...)

In the midst of the 2004 presidential campaign, I discovered blogs. One of the first ones I discovered was Hugh Hewitt, who continues to be an everyday read for me. He, along with Jim Geraghty at the Kerry Spot on National Review, became regular staples for me -- coffee, Hugh, Jim, breakfast. In that order.

The more I read blogs, the more I thought I would like to be a blogger. I bought Hewitt's book "Blog," and started reading a wider variety of blogs, all of which contributed to my desire to join the fray.

But deliberately, I put it off -- I had lots of things I could have written about during the campaign, but would I still feel like blogging after the election? As it turned out, the answer was yes, and two months after Bush was re-elected, I started blogging with a piece of software called iBlog, chosen because it interfaced with the Macintosh computers and iDisk I use. However, the limitations of the software were such that four months later, I migrated to Blogger. Not that Blogger has been fabulous, but the price is right. (I no longer use iDisk, so my iBlog writing is no longer available online -- and that might not be a bad thing!)

Somewhere in the iBlog timespan, I discovered another blog: Northwest Republican. It was Coyote (along with Hewitt) who I count as most instrumental in my desire to blog. At Northwest Republican, I saw the impact that a regional blog could have, and that furthered my desire to write about a combination of national, regional and local items. As it's turned out, I probably write more about national topics, but my involvement in the Atkinson Blogger Network has given me a great opportunity to focus on topics more specific to Oregon.

So why do I blog? I earned a journalism degree and worked as a reporter for almost six years, and I enjoyed parts of it immensely. However, I also realized that even if I had the talent, connections and luck to land a job at a daily paper, I would be working weird/long hours for crummy pay. And if I ever got married, such a job would not be conducive to family life.

Please understand: it's not that I think I have some great insights that other people need to read. But I like to write. I think I'm a decent (not fantastic, but decent) writer. And having a blog allows me an outlet for my writing.

I've especially enjoyed writing about judicial nominations, abortion (especially these three posts), faith, the media, the afore-mentioned Atkinson campaign, and other random topics. And every once in a while, I write something that I'm amazed came out of my head.

The challenge now is to find a balance between blogging and everything else I do -- work, family, church, etc.

I was hoping that by the time this day arrived, my site meter would have clicked over 10,000 unique hits. I fell short, but not by much -- somewhere this Wednesday or Thursday, I should hit the milestone. Compared to some, 10,000 is small potatoes, but it's meaningful to me.

So, to Hewitt and Coyote, thanks for spurring me to pursue this, even if you didn't know you had any impact on me. To those of you who have stopped by, whether you agree with me or not (yes, Andrew, you're one of them), thanks. Please keep checking in.


  • At 5/03/2006 2:47 AM, Blogger I am Coyote said…

    Congratulations on your first year and your 10,000 hit milestone.

    And thank you for the kind words. Golly now I feel a foreboding sense of responsibility.

    But then again, your blog has always been a calming influence. Perhaps it is the Noonan influence? hehe...

  • At 5/03/2006 11:13 AM, Anonymous gullyborg said…

    Here's to another great year! (raises beer mug)


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