Celebrating "blogiversaries" is a tradition in the blogosphere. This is the fifth year I have been posting at South by Southwest, a blog about politics and government. The areas of focus were citizen activism, civil liberties, Congress, the Middle East and the space program. I also devoted a lot of page space to the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. I worried that the previous administration did not adhere to the rule of law. And I have worried that the current administration was too quick to adopt some of the more questionable national security policies of their predecessors. Overall, however I am a happy citizen these days.
Posting at several blog sites — I came to writing regularly on my own and others' web pages. I began to expand first with a more personal and creative site called Making Good Mondays, as well as a round-up site called Behind the Links. More recently I joined a couple of social networking sites, Facebook-(private) and Twitter. Each venue had distinct advantages. When I felt the need for a piece of nonpolitical writing, I turned to MGM. And I came to the practice of posting to BTL the interesting links my readers who became blog buddies sent me via Email. At present I am drawn to the social nature of Facebook. I keep up with personal friends and family as well as friends and acquaintances I made on the internet. Twitter turns out to be the perfect way to do a quick scan of the very latest news, as well as read some of my favorite writers who have mastered the 140 character format.
Joining blog communities — For several years I cross-posted my original political pieces at several "big" and 'little' group websites. The blogging communities I joined include Daily Kos, Texas Kaos, TPM Cafe, The Reaction, Sirens Chronicles, Red Gage and Political Voices of Women. Like most other people in the blogosphere, I came to favor each group for different reasons. Kos and TPM are cutting edge, Texas Kaos is more local. Reaction writers are among the best progressive voices; Sirens were wonderfully edgy and occasionally outrageous. Red Gage is a friendly community where contributors earn money for the work they post. Political Voices of Women spans the ideological spectrum. These days I have stopped posting on most of the group sites. It became too time consuming. I also felt a little burned out, which made me question the caliber of my writing for these high quality group sites.
My posting frequency has changed over the years, expanding and now contracting. During the early years, there was no lack of issues about which I was passionate. You see, I had a discernible opponent. I am a progressive Democrat and President George W. Bush provided me with many things about which I could rant. I did not know I was ranting at the time because I was a "newbie." I just knew something was wrong and that I could speak out. And I did, almost every day. My goal, however, was to try to balance criticism with positive recognition, though I have not always kept that balance equal. Since President Obama was elected and Democrats became the majorities in both houses of congress, I am much less critical of those in charge. And somehow I have not felt as driven to write as in the past.
Five years of rather regular writing has been a wonderful challenge, which I have not always met as I would have liked. I have often felt the pressure to produce — something very good or something to meet a deadline. That is possibly a recipe for burnout. However, the writing members of these communities were unfailingly supportive, accepting and intellectually stimulating. I am sure I have gained more than I gave at each site. Now I am about assessing where I am and what I want to do in my writing future. I do know for sure that I will be around. Stay tuned.
[Post date – 3/29/10]
Blogs: My general purpose/southwest focus blog is at Southwest Progressive. My creative website is at Making Good Mondays. And Carol Gee – Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.