Friday, November 02, 2012

Refocusing Snowed In

Anyone who has read this blog since its inception (a list that, in its entirely, most likely consists of the author's father) knows that it has never had what could be described as an overall focus.  The "Austin" portion of the site has involved many not-exactly-political topics that have virtually nothing to do with the political posts.  (And what was up with those songs?)

And--I could be wrong--but I'm pretty sure that successful blogs (i.e., those blogs not written by sixth-rate political bloggers) have some sort of real focus.  And, honestly, there are too many different topics here for a blog with entries so infrequent.  (Good grief, I haven't said a single word about the elections coming up in just days.  Okay, here's one:  Vote.  Actually, here are four:  Be informed, then vote.)

So it is, sadly, time to bid some of the topics/labels/whatever a sad goodbye.  We've already seen, as I mentioned previously, the departure of Day By Day, a daily web-based conservative comic strip that, while I like its general viewpoint, has had multiple editions that have not met the standards for which I am aiming these days.  There have also been widgets on the right sidebar that are, honestly, clutter.

So, what stays and what goes?  Here's a quick sampler of what's disappearing:

  • "Unfairly Forgotten Songs":  Sure, I like some weird songs.  But are they a force to effect change in the political climate?  Obviously not.  There was an easy solution to that, since I would like to continue that series:  a separate blog.  One with a focus, even!
  • Austin Radio:  I knew that it was not worth it for me to keep this topic up on my blog when I discovered that Jammin' 103.1 had been on the air in Austin for two weeks without my having heard about it.  In the future, I will leave this to the experts, specifically, which is very, very good about staying on top of all radio news.
  • Austin news media:  As before, I was going to point to someone who, for many years, stayed on top of this much better than I did, Jim McNabb.  However--and this again illustrates just how well I keep up these days--Mr. McNabb has recently written a farewell post on his blog.  However, two other good sources for news on the news media here are Gary Dinges at Austin360 and former local news director Bill Church, whose blog I hadn't discovered until just recently (to my shame).
  • The "I post at Austin Post" box has already disappeared.  As it turned out, the Austin Post has gone through some leadership changes, and, rightly or wrongly, it appears to have moved to a much more leftward slant (not counting the occasional libertarian post).  Posts that appeared in the "news" section (not "opinion") took to flat-out insulting at least one conservative (Governor Perry).  When I called them on it on Twitter, their response was to unfollow me.  And that's fine if that's what they want.  I just don't feel a desire to be a part of that site anymore.  Besides, the Austin Post has been mostly supplanted by CultureMap Austin, which also appears to slant leftward but is more upfront about it (though that site, to its detriment, also has a vitriolic anti-Dallas Cowboys columnist).  And CultureMap Austin has a much better presentation anyway.
  • And I'm getting rid of the comments widget.  When you post as rarely as I do, what's the point?
And what is left?  I'm not going to post a similar list of things staying simply because I can't say specifically what I am going to write.  To be sure, I still have strong political feelings on the federal, state, and local level, but I don't simply want to link other people's articles and write a line or two about it.  (That's what I have a Facebook page to do.)  When I write, I want to add a perspective that has not been getting as much attention.  (And that's exactly why I was happy when Sarah Palin entered the national political picture four years ago...she brought a perspective that was not coming from the national candidates before that point.)  So the political posts will definitely still be around, in some form or another, hopefully with some insight that makes this blog worth reading and not just another story aggregator.

And I obviously haven't been giving this blog the amount of attention that I have given it in years past, so I can't speak to the frequency of posts.  I'm not apologizing for that, either; more of my evenings has been spent with my two older children, both of whom have read-aloud books that, on most nights, they enjoy hearing me read to them, and my youngest child is still in the newborn phase and needs lots of attention from his father as well as his mother, so I think it's a lot more important for me to be there for all three of them.  (Additionally, on most nights, Mrs. Snowed also enjoys not having me on the computer in the other room.)  And all that means that you can expect to continue to enjoy sporadic posts from me, when I have the time and feel like writing anything.  (Of course, I might be more inclined to write were a few of you to hit the tip jar and ask for new material.)

One other thing about the future direction of this blog is that, as has probably been seen in more recent posts (of which there has been a dearth), is that no matter what subject I am discussing, I want things to be uplifting, and that has caused me to think much harder about the topics about which I want to write.  I believe that this can be done while still discussing political topics on which the country is divided, or at least I'm gonna try to do it.

So, with all that said, I don't know what this blog will look like in the future, but hopefully it will be worthwhile.  Hopefully you, the reader, will stay tuned through whatever journey this blog is taking.