The State of the Blog Address

Lately I’ve been feeling my blog has become a little less relevant – a little tired and boring, like I’m running out of ideas and I’m just blathering pointlessly. I know that I’ve discontinued the “Random Links” posts, as those are being sent over to Misc.Asst. (Visit Now! Join the Team!), but something else seems to be missing.

I think a lot of it is that I’ve come back to earth. I started the blog nearly a year ago for my own purposes – to get into the habit of writing daily and to hone whatever natural skills I might have. I didn’t expect people to read, or care, about what I had to say, so I was pretty loose in my definition of a blog. Many people have limits – a theme, of sorts – but me? If it’s on my mind, it’s on my blog.

I was surprised to find I had steady readership after a few months. I was more surprised to find my posts mentioned and referenced around the South Dakota “blogosphere.” It raised my spirits significantly. Now, not only was I writing for my own enjoyment, but for the enjoyment of others. I was suddenly a desired entity on the Internet. The world liked me, to steal a clichéd Oscars quote. They really liked me.

Now, my readers consist of my friends and fellow South Dakota bloggers. The latter have been either dropping off or keeping silent, and so I’ve lost a lot of my free publicity. Gone are the weekly “blog roundups” – both South Dakota BlogWatchMan and Todd Epp of SD Watch routinely presented my stuff to an audience that might not otherwise frequent the site – and gone are the search-worthy topical posts. The once frequent referrals from Dakota War College’s South Dakota blog aggregator have significantly dropped. This summer, my star rose. This winter, while resting on my laurels, it has slowly set.

When I thought about this I was a little melancholy. My sudden drop in relevancy couldn’t be healthy. I had worked my name into the South Dakota Blogosphere only to watch it gradually disappear. Then I came to a conclusion: it doesn’t matter. I didn’t start this blog to become famous. I enjoy the fact that people read it, and I enjoy the fact that I was a blip (even if only a small one) on the SDB’o’sphere, but now I’m content being the nicest looking, though not the easiest to read, site in South Dakota. Sure, I’ll never be featured on CBS News, but at least I might be featured in your NewsGator blog list.

I’m not worried about being relevant anymore. I’ll still try to stay away from politics (that genre’s tapped out by much more accomplished political bloggers) and I’ll still post incessantly about my iPod. I’ll continue to be South Dakota’s book and literature blogging representative. I’ll leave music to Scott Hudson, though I will pop up with additions of my own when I see fit. I will continue to constantly talk about the little things in my life that I think about way too much.

The links need to be updated, and the layout might need to be freshened up, but I’ll still be the same old Black Marks on Wood Pulp.

Simply put, I’ll continue doing what I do best: write about whatever. Whenever. For myself. Oh, and for you, if you like that kind of thing.

This was lovingly handwritten on February 17th, 2006