When I first started my blog I was a different person than I am today. I started this out as an attempt to get people to see things closer to the way I saw them. To some extent that worked. (I think.) What I did not expect was how my own beliefs would be altered by those of you who interacted with me. My first blog posts were filled with passion, desperation, anger, frustration and perhaps a little contempt for those who were or thought differently than me. I like to think I blog and report with a little more purpose and direction now.
I prided myself on being open-minded all the while trouncing folks who stopped by to share a thought, opinion, or insult (or two.) Sometimes I lured people into making statements or voicing logical fallacies that could easily be picked apart. I wasn’t too keen on listening or being right so much as proving others wrong. I was coming from a place of anger and frustration (and probably a little fear and sadness now that I think about it.) Over time I found myself listening more and arguing less (on some topics). Instead of just complaining about how things were, I worked towards tapping my community to make things better.
To my surprise that met with more success than I expected. While things developed in the virtual world, behind the scenes things were evolving even more. I was meeting people in real life that I only spoke with on the phone or in comments or e-mail. I became a speaker, activist, and a misfit leader of sorts (instead of just an agitator). Leaders need faces and so I revealed mine and stripped away the safety and security of my anonymity in the hopes that I could have an even greater impact.
This was a big change for me. I’m a pretty classic introvert (small-talk is not my forte) and being in public and interfacing with people (even family) drains me, but I found I enjoyed it and that I was filling a need. That realization gave me energy and hope. Eventually it even spurred me into seeking a political office, a state level BESE position. Just a few years ago I had been one of your more typical self-involved, condescending IT types, not unlike the one portrayed by Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live.
My blog was primarily focused on education issues, but I tackled other issues outside of this sphere such as religion, gun control, national politics and political candidates, philosophy, poverty, military spending and political parties, to name a few. I stopped doing that when I switched my focus over to solving education issues and even more when I resolved to run for office. I wanted to nothing to get in the way of building a coalition to fight back against the education reformers, their billionaire financiers, and their misguided, profit centric and truth deficient movement.
Going forward I believe this has to change. We have a major problem with corruption and politics in this country that extends far beyond just education, or Louisiana (where I have spent the most of my blogging time and focus up until now.) I don’t plan on running for office again (being exposed to all that grotesque and amoral behavior was very stressful on me and my family and I don’t have the support system in place to dedicate the necessary time I think I would need to be successful), but I can still be influential on a wide range of issues as I have been in the past.
I have been gathering info for a set of stories on the recent elections and I will be producing some items for that in the coming week(s). I will also try to do a better job of incorporating different forms of media in my blog coverage to hopefully keep folks engaged. I’d also like to return to doing more opinion pieces where folks write in their opinions on issues of the day.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have plenty of ideas and questions folks might find interesting to discuss. I still plan to continue doing investigative and overview pieces, because the mainstream media has ceded that to the indie news artists (INAs), like myself. (I just coined that term but i like it better than blogger. We definitely need a better term than “blogger” for what Tom Aswell, Jason Brad Berry, Lamar White, and I (occasionally) provide.)
If any of you have any other suggestions for what to call us let me know!
Thanks for reading and hopefully sticking around.
some of you might have noticed the new addres: http://www.thecrazycrawfish.com
If not, now you know! Hopefully this will be easier to refer folks to my blog in the future.
See ya around,