I have been loafing about the intertubes a lot in the last week, checking out various blog sites, and chasing down rabbit holes, and I have come to a conclusion. This blog is a mess. No really, this is a freakin’ mess. I’m not sure though if that is a good or a bad thing. Let me explain.
When I started 20 Prospect a little over a year ago, I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I just kind of closed my eyes and started typing. I had no plan for what kind of blog it was going to be. I just typed about stuff that interested me, on the off chance that it might also interest someone else. So as time passed and my moods shifted, I found myself lurching about from topic to topic, until a trend sort of developed.
Most bloggers pick a niche and go with it. Say they are interested in quilting, or kickboxing, they pick a topic, name their blog something related to the topic, and devote all of their writing to this one topic. The internet is made for niche’s, because even though there may only be 12 people in your town that are interested in what you are, when you multiply that out over the worldwide web, you have a potential audience of gazillions. This is how the world came to have such awesomeness as BikeSnobNYC and Uniwatch.
Then there are the personal blogs. These are the confessional writings of people about their daily activities no matter how mundane. They are meant to be read not so much as a verbatim recording of a person’s day, but more as an impressionist painting of their life. They will invariably leave out the parts that they don’t want to share, and over time they will come to assume an alter ego. So while I like the writing of Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka and Allie at Hyperbole and a Half, I don’t believe for one instant that when I read their blogs I am really getting to know a person the way that I would in real life. Technology is limiting, and the internet is a one way street. There is no give and take, or interaction between you and the writer. (Sorry comment boxes don’t cut it). With personal blogs, no matter how confessional they may be, you can’t see the whole person, just a shadow of them. These kind of blogs are about depth, not breadth.
Then there are photoblogs, which are pretty self explanatory. They are a way for people to express themselves by sharing their talent (or passion at least) for photography. Somedays when I am sitting in front my computer, half awake, and sipping a cup of coffee with my mind humming along with a Zen like white noise, I open a photoblog like Shorpy, or Window on the Prairie, and allow myself to be transported into a image.
In very rare cases, you may find a super blogger capable of pulling off all three of the above mentioned categories in a single blog. Like the Pioneer Woman, and James Lileks. These writers are the sources of guilt for all other bloggers who feel like slackers when they see the voluminous output that these Uber-bloggers are capable of cranking out. Some folks get cranky, and resentful and accuse them of being insincere, or using behind the scene help to create and maintain a “brand”, instead of a blog.
And then there are blogs like this one that seem to defy classification because they are rambling, shambling messes. I write stories about my hometown, I write detailed, useless information about arcane topics, I post pictures of my dogs, I complain about work, and I refer to myself in the third person a lot. Lately it’s been bugging me, and I have no idea why.
This blog will never win any awards. This blog will probably never grow in readership beyond the small circle of readers that it has now. Why do I care about orderliness? Is it the OCD in me coming out? Is it the competitiveness that looks around at all the other wonderful blog sites and feels inadequate? Is it a burning desire to make this into something important and not just the random musings of a 40 something guy in the Upper Midwest?
Yeah, probably a little of all of those.
So I’ve been kicking around the thought of dividing this blog up into separate pages, with separate themes. Looking back over 360 + posts I think I can safely say that most of them fall into one of the following categories.
Front porch musings about daily life around 20 Prospect
Stories about my life
Short prose poems
Sports related posts about trips to sporting events
Rants about work, globalization and my dark corporate overlords
I’m not sure how exactly to make this happen, and sort these 5 Main Categories into separate pages like my “About” and “Contacts” pages, but I am assuming I’ll figure it out with a little googlin’. But at the risk of breaking the 4th Wall, I am wondering if any of this matters to you, the reader. For as much as I write this thing for the pure self indulgent love of writing it, I also write it hoping that someone reads it.
So? What do you think?